Nancy Ruth, Co-Director, Author, Speaker
My goals have always been simply to serve the Lord and raise a family, but the way we picture the future is not always God’s plan. I often say that God and I have been working on trust for a long time.
Testimony & “Call” to the Ministry
I accepted Christ as a small child and my salvation was confirmed at sixth-grade summer camp. I was baptized as a college freshman during homecoming weekend so that my family could attend.
In 1997, my senior year of high school, I found myself a co-director of Vacation Bible School at my Lutheran church and leading half of the closing program. God demonstrated His sense of humor by choosing a shy girl who was terrified of public speaking to begin teaching and leading others. I’ve been serving in His strength ever since.
As a summer camp counselor during college I had a group of barely six-year-old campers one week. During evening devotions one night they began asking questions about the trinity. Thankfully, God sent the camp pastor to knock on their door just then, rescuing this blindsided young counselor. (God is good!) It was because of that incident that I began to study the big words and hard concepts of Christian theology. I went for a pastor’s degree in seminary rather than one in children’s ministry because I figured I needed to try to understand that stuff before I could explain it to children.
What was my education?
I earned an Applied Ministry degree from Oklahoma Baptist University and a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Those degrees encompass theology, the Bible, biblical languages (Greek and Hebrew), apologetics, ways to teach, and assorted other things. I am currently working on a Master of Arts in Christian Service with an Apologetics focus from Oklahoma Baptist University with the goal of beginning work on a Doctor of Ministry degree in 2020.
My oldest sister taught me to study people, how they interact, and how they learn best. These things, along with history and God’s Word, have continued to be favorite subjects.
Other life shaping experiences?
My world shattered in 2003 when my much-loved oldest sister died rather suddenly. That was a very dark and troubled time (gross understatement). Even in that deep pit God proved Himself to be my unwavering Solid Foundation–the only One and only thing that can withstand the great storms of life.
In November 2016, God called my mother home due to complications following surgery. We miss her.
I have served on staff and as a volunteer in children’s ministry since 2004. (Really I’ve been working on and off with kids since I started as an assistant teacher in Vacation Bible School in seventh grade, but let’s stick with post-college assignments for the official number.) In the process I have worked with various-sized churches in multiple states and different denominations.
I co-founded Parent Road Ministries in 2013 when I left my Colorado children’s ministry position to move to Oklahoma and get serious about writing. I continue to serve at my home church by teaching kids and singing in the choir. This year, I’m primarily serving as the interim children’s pastor/minister/director at my home church (see below). I’ve also served as a substitute teacher and library volunteer at the local elementary school.
Check out a fuller resume on Nancy Ruth’s LinkedIn profile.
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What is an “interim” and how does that change what I do?
Our church has been without a children’s director/minister/pastor since the middle of February. After much prayer and discussion between the church leadership and myself, I began work yesterday as the new children’s interim. (Not intern, interim.)
If you’re not familiar with that term, “interim” means it’s not a permanent position. The interim serves in the gap of time between one permanent staff person and their permanent replacement. An interim keeps things running and prepares the church for their replacement. This interim steps down when a more permanent replacement is found.
My new church position will be part-time to allow me to continue to serve with Parent Road Ministries. I am also preparing to begin doctoral studies in about a year, so that is as long as I would be available to serve as interim.
You may remember that I’m currently working on a second master’s degree. Those classes end July 28. I will receive my diploma at the December graduation. After that, I will be preparing for my doctoral entrance exams and research language proficiencies.
I’d appreciate your prayers as I move into this new season of life, however temporary. It’ll be a hard push through the summer, but I’m excited to see what God will do.