Mitch Muehlenfeld : My Leadership Pathway
Leadership is a journey I was born for.
From a very early age I loved to lead, build and create. Whether I was conning my parents into buying something from my “art store” (the bottom bunk of my bed) or leading a group of guys at church, I was always creating and leading. It’s what somehow landed me a job in college working for a rapidly growing church plant, doing everything from creating the student ministry to running the fully mobile setup team, leading community groups to doing production, training volunteers, you name it. Whenever the opportunity arose, I was even speaking at worship nights and student ministries in the area.
In the early days, I just believed in what God was doing, so I would just show up and move chairs. We went from about 40 people coming to over 3,000, in just 3 years. I saw God do such mighty works through this church: major life transformation, changing the culture of a city, and breaking the stigmas of what the church “should” look like.
In high school, my youth pastor told me he thought the Lord had put a calling on my life to teach pastorally. I basically told him: “You’re an idiot! I’m going to business school so I can make a lot of money.” I don’t feel like I ever really chose to do ministry. It was just something God had continually made painstakingly clear I was called to do. And even as I got comfortable in my work with the church plant, God was continually breaking my heart for Colorado, specifically the Boulder area.
Through a whirlwind process of God opening doors, I’m now the Student Ministry Resident at Rocky Mountain Christian Church. As I left my former church, my pastor told me: “This is going to be one of the hardest, most teeth-gritting, frustrating seasons of your life, because God is going to be doing a major work in you before He does a major work through you.” It is hard, but I serve the God of the impossible. I fight hard every day to stay desperate and dependent on the Lord to come through. I love having the freedom to create and explore areas of a new church, grasp different perspectives, and gain more assurance of my calling. In this next year, I’m especially praying over and seeking the message God is specifically giving me to speak into that microphone. What is the message of my life?
This is a busy time. I’m teaching, and I’m in school 3+ days a week. But overall what I’m focusing on is building community and investing in it as I seek the Lord. To younger me I would say: Don’t ever stop doing what God has you doing, even when it’s tough and feels small. God is with you. Keep stepping!
To others seeking their own pathways, I would say this: Try everything! Work with high school and college students, serve in kids’ areas, be a greeter, lead a small group. And there is no better opportunity to do so than in a residency. This is a short season, full of growth, wisdom and experiences that will lead you to know what your exciting next step could be.
I’m Mitch Muehlenfeld, and this is my leadership pathway.