Identity & Worship Speak into the Life of a Leader

I was honored to interview worship leader, Gail Song Bantum, of Quest Church in Seattle, Washington.

Photo courtesy of Gail Song Bantum

Photo courtesy of Gail Song Bantum

Reverend Gail Song Bantum is the Worship and Executive Pastor at Quest Church in Seattle, Washington. She is passionate about leadership development and leads seminars in diverse contexts. This is what she had to say when we sat down to talk about leadership:

As women, and particularly Christian women leaders, we talk a lot about identity and living our calling. What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as a woman and ethnic minority in pastoral leadership, and how have those challenges equipped you as a leader?

I am a second-generation Korean-American woman, grateful for 17 years of journeying this life together in marriage with a biracial man, and grateful for the gift and opportunity to raise three beautifully multiethnic children. I have a passion and prophetic call to pastoral ministry and leadership development particularly, in order that people and communities can live out and embody their true calling in Christ. I received my M.Div. from Duke Divinity School and am an ordained minister in the Evangelical Covenant Church. All of those things have shaped me as a person, Christian, and leader.

I provide that foundation before saying mentoring should never be a question of desire, but a question of obedience in response to Jesus’ command to ‘Go and make disciples.'” As a young woman of color, the path that was set before me as a worship leader and pastor 20 years ago did not afford me many opportunities to find mentors early in my ministry career. Lamentably, if I had waited specifically for a female mentor, I would not have had any mentors to speak of. Therefore, I often felt very isolated as a leader. I know that this is the reality still for many young women and people of color. It’s always hard for me to hear their stories and idly stand by, especially for those whom I know God has specifically called to positions of leadership.

Continue reading at Christianity Today Gifted for Leadership.

A Personal Request

Today I have a personal request. My friends, Chris (Naval Academy classmate) and Erin Wallace, have sought the Lord for a long time and decided to adopt a child from the Democratic Republic of Congo. What started out as a loving journey of conviction has been deepened by what seems to be an endless amount of suffering and injustice. While they have met all requirements and the paperwork for their daughter’s adoption is officially complete, their daughter has not yet received exit papers which allows her to leave her home country. As a result, Erin spent several months in the DRC with their youngest daughter Lainey, while her husband, Chris, remained state side with their two older children. Several events has led the family to bring the other children to the DRC with Erin and little Lainey. As a result, Erin are raising the three children in the Congo while Chris continues to serve our country as a Navy Officer and advocate for his family. They are already working with the Embassy, maintain their trust in God, and desire to reconnect their entire family at soon as their government allows.

Please check out the video below to hear their story and sign the petition to bring them all home:

Sign the petition to #BringLaineyHome: http://www.petition2congress.com/14960/please-help-resolve-pending-adoptions-from-democratic-republic-co/

See pictures of their beautify family and read more about their story at Erin’s official website:   http://tinytwistcreative.com/

Book Review: A Beautiful Disaster

The summer is in full gear in North Carolina. We are enjoying the sunshine, beach days, and the excitement of children and their play. I’m also taking this summer sabbatical to enjoy the many books that have been arriving in the mail and piling up on my book shelf. I am particularly excited to prioritize this summer’s reading to include books written by or about issues facing women.

A Beautiful Disaster book coverToday, I’m completing a book review for my sister and fellow Redbud, Marlene Graves, on the recent release of her book, A Beautiful Disaster: Finding Hope in the Midst of Brokenness. You can find out more about Marlena and the book at the official website: http://www.abeautifuldisasterbook.com/

I like the honesty of this book. Marlena shares her heart and experiences about those who have been hurt or spiritually abused in the church. In spite of the failings of people, she clings close to her God and grows more and more in love with his church.

Continue reading