When I think of the impact that the Academy of Preachers has had on my life, an illustration comes to mind. We have all picked up a pebble at one time or another and tossed it into a still pond and watched the ripple effect that ensues. There is a similar ripple effect that takes place in each of our lives. Along the way, there have been people and events that have impacted our lives in meaningful ways.
One of the first pebbles in my “Gospel preaching” pond was the appointment of a clergy woman to my home church. I spent the first few years of my life not knowing that women were called to gospel preaching or that they could serve as the pastor of a church. She was not only the first woman to serve as a pastor in our church, but in our county as well. The ripples her appointment created have positively impacted my life and introduced me to new opportunities along the way. Those ripples have led me to pursue a career in ministry and introduced me to the Academy of Preachers.
The Academy of Preachers happens to be another important pebble in my pond. I have found it to be an excellent place to learn and grow. It is also a place that provides each of us with an incredible network of young people who are also called to share the Good News! The Academy of Preachers has impacted my life in more ways than I can count and the ripples have proven to have a continual effect.
Every event offered by the Academy of Preachers provides us with a unique experience that is unlike anything else. To have the opportunity to network with and befriend other young preachers is an incredible blessing and being able to learn from one another is priceless. I have heard sermons preached from many denominations including Protestant, Evangelical, Catholic, Orthodox, and Pentecostal traditions. While we may all come from different faith backgrounds, one thing remains the same and unites us all: God is at the center of each and every message that is spoken. Listening to other Young Preachers tell the Gospel story from their denominational perspective impacts all of us who are there to hear it. My life is never ceases to be enriched by every interaction that I have; whether it is having a conversation with someone at dinner, listening to a young preacher preach, or catching up after a few months have gone by.
There are many instances where I have witnessed the ripple effect through the Academy of Preachers. I think it allows us to get a glimpse of the great things that can come from a group of people, who seek to glorify God and unite together. The Academy of Preachers creates many ripples and it is without a doubt in my mind that through the network of this organization, a tidal wave of Young Preachers sharing the Gospel story will result!