Updated: Aug 21, 2018
Thanks so much for taking the time to share your life with me and our readers. Can you tell us a little about yourself, what you enjoy, etc.? What might a typical day look like for you?
Thanks for the opportunity, I’m honored you would ask. I am married almost 30 years to the love of my life, Les Jones, and we have two beautiful, godly, gifted children, Austin, 23 and Allyson 18, who are both gifted singers, musicians and writers. My husband and I Co-Pastor, New Song Family Church in Decatur, AL. I recently became a Certified Life Coach and I plan to launch that business in the Fall, along with a non-profit. I am pretty excited about that! I love investing in people and helping them build a life of peace and contentment.
We homeschooled both of our kids from Kindergarten- High School. Allyson just graduated and is getting ready to attend college, This will be our first year not homeschooling, so I am not really sure exactly what that will look like after 17 years of homeschooling. Our family is very tightly knit. We do more stuff together than most families and as the kids get older, I am so grateful for the bond that we have built through homeschooling, worshiping together and truly doing life together almost 24/7. With both my husband and I being involved in full time ministry, we took our kids everywhere we went. Whether it was the hospital at 4 a.m. or the funeral home, etc. they have always been a part of the ministry. They both play a big role in our church.
So, back to the question, in the Pastoral Ministry, you never know what a day will look like. I’ve learned to not be too set on a schedule, but to go with the flow. Pastoral Ministry is kind of like practicing medicine, you’re always on call. Some days are boring and then sometimes for weeks it is non-stop ministry. I am a pretty free spirit, so that does not bother me at all. A "normal day" here may look like, waking up and my sweet husband making me coffee in bed. He doesn’t cook, so coffee is his specialty. I’ve never learned to make it. This small gesture, is a sweet part of my day and I totally appreciate it. Then, I am usually getting in a hot bath to loosen up my muscles and spend some time with God, check messages and get ready for the day. If I am at home for the day, I ordinarily start preparing for lunch. Cooking is one of the few things I do really well. My excitement about it kind of comes in spurts. I also am connected with thousands of friends, fellow ministers and people I have met through ministry. I spend a good bit of time ministering to people online, sharing their needs with others to pray and of course, taking care of my church people.
What were you like growing up? Were you raised in a Christian home? When did your relationship with Jesus become a definite part of your life?
I was born in Auburn, Alabama (War Eagle), into what seemed a “Cookie Cutter,” type Christian family: a mom, dad and four kids. I was the youngest of the family. I was pretty withdrawn and shy as a kid, but I loved to sing. We went to church every Sunday and Wednesdays and our home was the hub for many church socials. When I was 7 years old, my mom was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. I learned a lot about prayer, faith and the beauty of the body of Christ functioning together during that time. My grandparents lived next door and they were ministers, I hung out with them a lot.
At the age of five, I accepted Jesus as my Savior during an Alabama tornado. Even then I was very serious about my walk with God and it grew as I got older, especially after my mom passed away. I desperately needed God and He was so faithful to prove Himself to me as my home became much different after my mother’s death. It literally went from light to darkness and despair. Our souls were shattered like glass hitting pavement. We were so broken and I knew I had to cling to God to survive. I quickly learned that He was my only hope.
Wow. That does sounds pretty devastating. Only God can get you through something like that and give you hope. So, knowing this was your background and experience, when God called you into ministry, were there any mental/emotional obstacles that you needed to overcome in order to “say yes” and walk out what God was calling you to do?
I surrendered my life to God at the age of 8 at a youth camp and told him I would do whatever He asked. When the Lord called me into full time ministry, I believe I was 14. Sitting in a Science Class, bored to tears and very depressed about life, God spoke to me by giving me a song. His presence enveloped me and in a matter of minutes He gave me a song entitled, “Feed My Sheep.” That was the only Science Class I have ever enjoyed.
I assumed since my calling came in the form of a song, I would always be a singer. At the age of 21, God made it clear my calling was to speak the Word and bring freedom to those who were in bondage. I love pastoral ministry, but my sweet spot is evangelism and a prophetic ministry. I love going into a crowd of people I have never met to preach and prophesy, and deal with the hidden, tough stuff in life, most people do not like to deal with. There is something special about God sharing your pain with a stranger and bringing light to hidden things. To me, nothing shows the Father’s heart more than the prophetic gifting.
Obstacles have mainly been people assuming I am an overbearing, non-submissive woman because I preach. They seem to stereotype me a lot, until they get to know me. My husband and I work side by side, I certainly do not lord over him. The parts of ministry that I love are usually the things other people do not like to do like, counseling, and identifying and uprooting strongholds the enemy has on people. It’s funny, one of my biggest critics, a former leader, could not name one incident where I did not submit to him. Actually, I ended up giving up my job to please him and it finally came down to, he just assumed I was not submissive even though I submitted everything I did to him for approval. Sometimes you cannot win with people, they are trapped in their own mind sets. If they have ever had a bad experience with a women in authority, they often displace their anger on you. I am learning to just look at those kind of people as spiritually ill and move on. You cannot change the mind of someone who is infatuated with a lie. Forgive them and leave them alone, they are toxic.
What do you consider to be your greatest strengths? Do they ever work against you? Was there any kind of “learning curve” in knowing how to use those strengths in the best way?
My personality is very charismatic; some people take that and assume I am just on a move to rule the world. I love people deeply and I have a very keen gift of discernment. Yes, sometimes these things work against me. When you love deeply, you often get hurt deeply. I have had my share of pain, people often think that the love I have is fake. A lot of times people try to take advantage of you, if you love deeply or they will think they can run over you because you will always forgive them. Learning new healthy boundaries helps me to deal with that more effectively. The bottom line is, I know what it is like to feel unloved, so I try to do my best to notice neglected people and share God’s love with them.
The gift of discernment is a two edged sword, it seems. It is good because it lends protection and you see beyond the exterior of people to what is inside their spirit. A lot of times, especially in pastoral ministry, discernment is hard, because even though God shows you someone’s heart or motives, you still have to try to love them in spite of what you see coming. My husband has told people, “When people walk in the door, they are just another person to me. My wife, knows a lot about someone the minute she meets them.” Often when someone is up to no good, the Lord will show me and the person that the Lord reveals it on, will often know that God has shown me without me ever saying a word. To be honest, there have been times when I do not want to see the things God shows me, because the information the Lord downloads comes with a lot of responsibility.
Have you ever been wounded or rejected as you’ve stepped out in faith? Can you share a bit about that and how you dealt with/recovered from it?
Well, when I first knew I was called to preach, a Pastor I really respected was coming to our Bible College. I could not wait to share with him about my call to preach. His response was much different than the joy I expected. He said, “Well, B.Kay, a woman preacher is like a two legged dog. Everyone likes to see it dance one time, but after that the show is over.” I was devastated at his response, totally taken back by his disparaging remarks about the cherished call God had placed on my life.
In Pastoral Ministry, I’ve had people leave pamphlets on our church door about the abomination of women in ministry. I asked one man, who was totally against women preachers and attended our church, did he think if God could use a donkey in the Bible to speak His word, God could use me? His response was, “NO!” Every time I spoke at our church, he would get up and leave. I’ve had other male Pastors speak to everyone in the room at ministerial gatherings and get to me and walk away or ignore me when I am in the room of a ministerial meeting. You definitely cannot wear your feelings too high on your shoulders in this line of duty. In the past it has crushed me many times, but I have come to realize I don’t really need their endorsement if God has endorsed me to do His work. I come with a heart to serve and love people. If they let me, I serve and love them too. If they reject me…I have to leave that with God and keep doing what I am called to do.
Amazing! I'm not sure how I would have responded to the "dancing dog" comment! That's pretty bad! Tell us, do you feel gender roles are still enforced/practiced in the church? Can you share your thoughts on that?
It is unbelievable to me how gender roles are still very much enforced in the church, of course I live in the South. (Our church is exceptional in this area, they give me total freedom and are very supportive.) I think we have come a long way, but we still have many miles to go. A funny challenge. that was a bit painful, occurred when an older lady in our congregation was admitted to the hospital. They gave her some medicine that put her completely out of her mind. The hospital was trying to get her committed and her family was out of reach. She was older but I knew she was not crazy because I had been with her a few days before. As I entered her room she was screaming and crying and had ripped all her clothes off of her body. Ministry comes with some crazy encounters. My husband opted to stay in the waiting room for her privacy. They had to restrain her. She had always been kind to me, but this day was a different story.
Entering the room with our secretary, she kept demanding my husband and wanting to know why he sent me instead of coming himself, she wanted her Pastor. All this poison spilled out of her heart as I was trying to keep her from harming herself. She said I thought my ministry was greater than my husband’s and many other hurtful, untrue things. As I left the hospital pretty broken, after helping her family get to the root of her episode that was a delusional reaction to a certain medication, I realized that she was jealous of me. Possessing a great call to ministry herself, her husband had never released her to work side by side with him. She had been held back from her calling all her life. The next day when her head cleared, she apologized about the things she said. The sad part was that all those critical things had been stirring in her heart for years and I had no clue.
Wow. That's a powerful story and an example of how hearts can turn bitter when we are not allowed to be who God created us to be.
So, you and I first met at Bold Venture, a women’s leadership gathering hosted by Lee Grady. I was privileged to be able to hear you speak and share some of your story and your heart. What messages do you feel God has given you to speak forth? I mean, are there any common themes God keeps using you to speak forth?
The theme of my life is bringing Christ’s freedom to others. I do not mind diving into the ugliest of circumstances to bring God’s healing, restoring power to others. I love when the Lord gives me a word of knowledge about someone who has been abused and they have been wallowing in the pain and backlash of it for years. The enemy has convinced them that God does not care. When God reveals something that sensitive to a stranger, they often can unravel the lie that God does not love them and find hope and healing. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the chains of deception fall helpless at someone’s feet. Every altar call I give will draw those who have experienced emotional and sexual abuse. There is nothing more beautiful than watching people receive God’s beauty in exchange for their ashes. My theme is freedom in Jesus, but for some reason the area of sexual abuse is a recurring theme where God wants to bring freedom.
That's so beautiful. And powerful. What encouragement can you give to our readers who might be doubting their usefulness in Christ or their “qualifications” to make a difference?
A famous saying I grew up on is, “God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” I was passed over a million times in school, in church and in the world. I have never won a trophy or any acclaim for anything in the world. I was super shy and extremely broken, I came out of a very imperfect family situation, but when the God of the universe chose me, I was forever changed. God does not look for the prettiest, the smartest or the boldest. He just looks for those who are willing to let His light shine through their brokeness. He loves making miracles out of messes and I am a prime example of that. Without His great love for me, I undoubtedly would be at the lowest state in life. I am forever indebted to Christ, my Great Rescuer!
Amen! Okay, tricky question, what one quality in you would you most want to see multiplied in those you disciple/minister to? It’s okay to answer honestly, you won’t be bragging- we give all glory to God!
My heart for the broken and my love for people is what I would like to see multiplied in the people I minister to. If you can teach people to see the broken and act on their behalf, you will teach them to touch the heart of God over and over. People often do not want to get their hands dirty in ministry. They only want to do the pretty things that everyone sees. Nothing is more exhilarating than getting in the trenches with broken people and helping them dig their way out with the unconditional love and the undeniable power of God.
Thank you so much for being so honest and opening yourself up so others can learn and be encouraged and inspired! If people want to hear more about what you’re doing or follow you on social media where can they find you? (facebook, website, etc)