Introduction by Nate Banker
I’m so excited to publicly announce that Immerse has hired Monica part time to care for, empower, and equip leaders within Immerse as well as outside of Immerse. She has been an integral part of our community for years and we have trusted her to pastor, lead, and teach here for a long time. Please join me in praying over her a blessing her as she starts up:
Father, I extend my trust to Monica and I bless her heart to be vibrantly alive, engaged, present, and vocal in this new capacity. I bless you, Monica, to be courageously vulnerable and powerfully loving. I call your spirit to attention and bless your spirit to stand tall in this role. I bless your spirit to lead you into creativity, divine insight, connection with God, and prophetic seeing of people, circumstances, and solutions. I bless your spirit to receive as well as give.
Without further adieu, Monica Secord, everybody:
Well hi there! If we haven’t yet met, I am Monica. I have been involved with Immerse for 6 years now, first as a participant and then as a leader. Early on, I caught the vision of Immerse and knew how unique it was. I was deeply committed to the community, and found it to be a unique place of healing that really helped to mature my relationship with my heavenly father. It didn’t take long before God placed greater levels of visibility and embracing new skills on my heart.
I have always been comfortable in the background interjecting as needed. It seemed that God had another plan as I began teaching despite my absolute terror at the idea. I long-hoped that someday working with Immerse could be my job. Like many others, the idea of support-based-ministry was pretty scary. So, I kept putting in my two cents at staff meetings and making known the things I saw coming down the road for us. All while working a full time job.
Fast forward to this year. I was pretty unhappy with my role in a mental health clinic. I needed a change. I craved a healthy work environment like we had at immerse. I quit my job early this spring as an act of faith. I recognized that the typical 9-5 was just not me. My long-term plan was to work in a restaurant and work for Immerse on a volunteer basis until we could become sustainable. Miraculously, we were gifted with this sustainability much more quickly than I anticipated.
My heart is for caring for our leaders. God started prompting me to think about longevity and sustainability in ministry. Ideas tend to float around in my head bouncing into other ideas until I finally catch the connective thread. I wanted to know how we effectively care for our leadership. This has evolved into a clear vision for a pastoral and leadership care group.
I look around and see so many leaders burning out and I wonder how leadership can be done in authenticity, visibility, and sustainability. I know we, in the past, have not done this well both as individuals in leadership and also as a church community. So, coming on as staff at Immerse, I will be heading up our leadership team while also formulating a care program for church staff down the road. This is so exciting to me. I have a dream that eventually burnout will be a thing of the past and we won’t be stuck in constant loop of work, burnout, isolation, recovery and repeat.