Renee Stabile : My Leadership Pathway
As a former Registered Nurse, I believe “leader” is a behavior, not a job title.
I held many informal leadership roles over my 15 years in the medical field. The majority of my time was spent working in pediatric oncology and bone marrow transplants, which involved tons of teaching both children and their parents, along with the coordination of ever-changing treatment plans. I worked with dozens of teammates performing diverse roles. I learned to actively listen, communicate clearly with people from all walks of life, help teammates understand each other’s perspectives, and encourage unity and camaraderie.
Even as a child, I enjoyed guiding people toward understanding. In school, I was the student who loved to help others learn. As an adult, I stepped into many unofficial leadership roles by demonstrating values through action: working with kindness and empathy, striving for continuous improvement, flexibility with change, and building bridges between others.
I had been feeling burned out as a nurse for a few years when I finally took a sabbatical and spent the summer in Las Vegas to intentionally listen to God and discover what path He might want me to pursue. I was able to volunteer at Verve Church as much as possible, and through a serious of serendipitous events I heard God’s response to my prayers loud and clear. I was drawn to ministry because I believe it’s the best place for me to use the gifts God gave me to have a meaningful impact. The lead pastor at Verve encouraged me toward Leadership Pathway, and I knew right away it would guide me in the right direction.
When I began my job as the NextGen Resident Intern at Verve Church, I thought residency would be similar to the “clinical trainings” I went through in nursing school – hands-on skills under close supervision, in real world situations. But I have come to see that it is so much deeper than that. I’ve learned a great deal about casting vision, recruitment, engagement, and how to help others find the unique voice God has given them. Right now I’m having fun being stretched, and growing in ways I never imagined.
I love being able to connect personally with so many kids and families, having kids run up to me at events with a smile and a hug. Seeing parents’ faces light up when I share a positive word about their child makes me smile, too. I have a great deal of freedom in setting my own schedule and working on projects, so time management has been a new skill I’m learning.
From the perspective of someone making a midlife career change into ministry, this has been an amazing boots-on-the-ground experience. It’s a place where leaders can “fail” safely, and I know at the end I will be able to step into fulltime ministry with eyes wide open. When I began, I saw things from a student mindset: there would be a series of tasks and lessons, and at the end I would graduate with all the boxes checked. Now I know the skills I’m learning are much more abstract. I’m learning leadership through relational discipleship and vision casting, and how to truly, authentically connect with people.
Ministry is simply the most exhausting and rewarding job I have ever had. It’s exciting, uplifting, painful, inspiring, and heartbreaking – and it’s helping me have a greater understanding of who God created me to be. I’m honored to be one of the bricklayers in building a spiritual foundation in the lives of children.
I’m Renee Stabile, and this is my leadership pathway.