Brittany Crimmel : My Leadership Pathway
Ministry was something my parents did.
It was never something I thought I would want for myself. Then one year I went to summer camp, where I got to help one of the girls in my youth group take her next step with Jesus. Once you get to experience life change, it’s addicting. And it was all I wanted to do from that point on.
My dad is an incredible leader and a powerful developer of people, so I’ve got this theory that he’s been developing me since I could talk. He saw potential in me and made sure I was surrounded by excellent leaders, and put in situations where I could learn how to lead. As a church planter’s kid, I stared volunteering in the nursery at age eleven. I served on our production team and eventually joined the worship team. That allowed me to intern with our Experience Department during my senior year of high school, and really step into leadership.
Right now, I’m a Worship Resident at Mountain Christian Church. As a multi-site church, it has stretched my ability to build systems and teams across multiple campuses. I’m learning how to deal with people internally and externally, with more than 100 people on our team. But I’ve also learned some difficult things. When I started, I was working for one of my professional heroes. When God called her and her husband to a new ministry by the end of the year, our team was left without a leader and I was left without a supervisor. The normalcy and consistency I had finally found in my new resident life were gone my very first day back from Christmas break. When our Programming Director became my new supervisor, it took me some time to figure out the new dynamic.
The path to full-time ministry can be challenging, but it’s also so much fun. I’ve been allowed to sit in some meetings that were way above my pay grade, leading to other opportunities in our weekend services on teams that gave me a voice. I’m learning to give up control and trust my teammates. And I hope to continue to learn how to have hard conversations with people before they become larger issues.
I believe the local church is the hope of the world, and my calling is to come alongside others as we build the Kingdom. When I started, I thought I really needed to prove myself, but I missed out on the opportunity to get to work with my team, and not just alongside them. Now I know the most important thing is to work toward healthy, thriving relationships, because that’s what builds healthy, thriving teams. I would definitely tell my younger self: you are valued, not for what you do, but for who you are. This is God’s church. The weight of everything isn’t on you.
If you’re a high school or college student preparing for ministry, be sure to ask lots of questions. Do a high school internship if you can, and definitely one in college. Do a residency. Learn from people who are several steps ahead of you. Learn the good, the bad, and the ugly. As young aspiring church leaders, we often look at the church and life in ministry with rose-colored glasses. This path is hard. But it’s so, so worth it.
I’m Brittany Crimmel, and this is my leadership pathway.