Come to the Table
I am excited about facilitating the 2022 Colloquy for Young Black Church Clergy with James Ellis, III.
These are trying times we are in and one major lesson I have learned in ministry is that you can’t do this odd and wondrous calling alone.
Sure, you can try, but it will leave you unnecessarily drained and isolated.
James and I are exactly 10 years apart, but some of our life experiences and kind of service God has called us to have intersected in numerous ways.
First of all, we didn’t grow up in the church. Our consistent exposure to faith came in our early twenties and then we were hooked!
We fell in love with the Black Church, her dynamic preaching and soulful worship, even if we had to lip sync our way through some of the traditional hymns and songs we never learned as children.
Beginning a saving relationship with Jesus as young adults has given divine direction to how we desire to embrace the rich diversity present in biblical Christianity.
Secondly, both of us have ties to military communities, growing up with members of our nuclear families serving in the US Air Force; so we have this distinctly dual consciousness of God and country as we reflect on issues of faith, religious freedom, and social justice.
Ministering to that demographic probably comes more naturally to us than some because of these formative experiences.
And thirdly, a large part of God’s professional work for us has involved the context of being black while serving in white spaces.
In many ways, James and I are products of the academy—working with students, teaching, preaching, and leading worship.
We are seminary graduates who studied African American history, teach Black Church Studies, and embrace liberation theology that upholds an equal footing for people of color among their white peers.
Aside from all of this, we share a mutual passion for serving God without pretense or apology and championing the Black Church, as well as loving photography and cheering for the Maryland Terrapins.
Prayerfully, my extroverted passion and James’ introverted wisdom will lure you to participate in the 2022 Colloquy for Young Black Church Clergy.
We take God much more seriously than we take ourselves, but are happy to continue investing in the next generation of ministry leaders.
We trust that this pathway to engaging with fellow travelers will be beneficial.
James and I know first-hand that God’s call keeps on ringing, from birth to baptism, from the pew to the hallways of theological education, and from the wilderness to glory.
When the Lord calls, we must answer because the ministry entrusted to us is worth a life!
We want to dialogue with this group about how God has been calling you from when you first answered until now and how you will continue being called from one place to another until the end.
Also, we want this time to be an encouragement for participants to think out of the box and reimagine how God might use you in unexpected ways, and even in unfamiliar vocations and locations.
We can tell you more during the colloquy, but at one time I served as a police officer while introverted James was a competitive “spoken word” slam poet.
Moreover, as a woman in ministry, I want my sisters to know there is a place for you at this table we’re convening.
Young black women clergy can bring unique insight to our discussions, as we explore the numerous and frequently disparate challenges of ministry.
Whether it be sexism in the church or preaching from the floor, black women in ministry are desperate for mentorship and godly peer relations.
Mentoring matters and we want to encourage the development of mentoring groups post-colloquy for all participants, but especially for women.
Lastly, and most importantly, this group will find that James and I will preach authenticity!
You are young, gifted, and black, and called by God.
Don’t hide your light under a bowl to appease others.
The ecumenical church and the world need you.
Bring the best version of yourself to the colloquy, not a version of someone you admire or want to emulate.
Our goal is to shepherd you on this journey, exploring together, encouraging that you think creatively about what God Almighty can do with your broken and contrite heart, when you allow yourself to be shaped by Spirit-led community.
Come join us at the table! Registration for the Colloquy for Young Black Clergy February 7-9, 2022 opens soon. Click here to learn more about the Colloquy for Clergy Series
Lynn Brinkley is associate director of Baptist Women in Ministry. She joined the staff in January 2020. Lynn previously served as director of church, alumni, and student relations at Campbell University Divinity School in Buies Creek, North Carolina, where she had been on staff since May 2007. Since 2012, she was an adjunct Instructor, teaching in both Campbell University’s Divinity School and the Christian Studies Department. Lynn earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in May 2014, a Master of Divinity degree from Campbell University Divinity School in May 2008, a Master of Science degree from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga in May 1997, and a Bachelor of Science and Sociology degree from North Carolina State University in May 1992.
Active in the Baptist community, Lynn is the coordinator of the ministers division and women in ministry for the General Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, serves on the board of the Baptist Joint Committee, and is currently a member of the BJC’s executive committee. She serves as associate minister at First Baptist of Fayetteville, North Carolina and was ordained on May 4, 2014. Lynn was a board member of the Baptist Women in Ministry of North Carolina, and from 2015 to 2018, she served on Baptist Women in Ministry’s Leadership Team