Foursquare’s theme this year is “Sent”—a concept not limited only to Connection 2015, but an action lived out by Foursquare leaders across the nation, every day throughout the year. In this exclusive new feature series, you will meet people in the Foursquare family who have been sent by the Lord to different places. Get ready to be inspired.
From the two church staff members who are pursuing their Foursquare ministerial licenses to the young ladies who have lived in her home and become part of her family, Carrie Jenkins has touched many lives through the years as she has faithfully lived out her calling to disciple others.
As co-pastor with her husband, Dale, of New Hope Worship Center (Concord Foursquare Church) in Concord, N.C., Carrie has the privilege to influence dozens of lives for Christ. But it is in one-on-one mentoring relationships where she feels most effective.
“People need to see how you live out your faith on a daily basis,” says Carrie. “The greatest opportunity for growth is when you let someone experience life with you.”
In this daily-life approach, Carrie draws from her own experiences and helps people navigate the different seasons of life. Her own challenges when her children were infants have allowed her to come alongside young mothers now walking the same road. In fact, Carrie believes that period of motherhood became one of her most creative and engaging times of discipling others.
“When my children were infants and needed constant care, I felt like my leadership role had to take a backseat. That was tough,” Carrie explains. “But over time, the Lord showed me that what I was doing as a mother was highly valuable, not just to my family, but also to other young women.”
She started inviting girls and young women to come help in her home and with her kids. This became a blessing to her and her family, and also allowed Carrie to mentor these students.
“I found I could still speak into their lives,” says Carrie, “and they could see what being a wife, mother and Christ-follower was like in reality—its challenges and triumphs.”
New Hope Worship Center is taking this personal discipleship model and using it to equip other pastors and leaders in their community. For instance, Carrie and Dale teach pastors about how to deliver strong messages and what it takes to grow a church, but their focus is on the people part of leadership: how to surround yourself with the right team, how to build great relationships with your staff, and how to live life in step with one another.
Carrie and Dale believe their congregation has a clear a directive from the Lord to disciple leaders. Carrie admits this is different from, and harder than, leading followers, but also more rewarding.
“When people are directed by God to leave us so they can help plant a church, attend college or relocate because of their jobs, we know that they are equipped for every good work that God has prepared in advance for them,” Carrie affirms. This is the type of empowering discipleship she says she has found to be truly transformational in her own life.
Above all, Carrie believes in the importance of people discovering and verifying when and how God wants to use them.
“It’s important to always confirm a calling for a leadership role,” she asserts. “Yes, you need passion, and that can be a good sign God is prompting you to do something; but you also need spiritual mentors who can help you direct that energy and identify the open doors.”
In her own calling to be one of those mentors, Carrie says it comes down to basics: a sincere commitment to the Great Commission.
“Whether we are the ones flying across an ocean to reach the lost or just equipping those who do,” she says, “it’s all about taking the Good News and hope of Jesus with us to share with others.”