The Experience Spring 2020

BETSI (PHILLIPS) CALHOUN ‘73 You Are A Will-Be

I kept thinking. . . I’m just a “Has-Been” in the ministry. I am rapidly approaching my 70th birthday, and I was driving to speak to a group of young women on the topic of discipleship. Sure, after my dramatic conversion at age 16, I was blessed to lead hundreds to the Savior and to disciple many of them. For almost five decades, I have been privileged to teach hundreds of women. Serving alongside my wonderful husband, my passion has always been to consistently disciple young women. But I still felt that icy whisper in my soul that taunted me: You’re a “Has-Been!” It’s time for you to retire. After all, what do you have to share with young women in their prime? You’ve had your “day in the sun” of ministry, and now you can just rest and minister remotely through prayer. (Not saying that prayer is inferior!) Suddenly, I felt the Spirit’s tug on my heart – His inaudible reminder: Betsi, you are a “Will-Be,” not a “Has-Been”! Moses, as an elder servant of God, wrote his thoughts about “old age” very descriptively in Psalms 90-92. I couldn’t help but smile at his comeback words: “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom” and “Satisfy us each morning with Your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.” He ends his thoughts in Psalm 90 with this encouragement to those of us who have ministered all our lives and feel like “Has-Beens”: “Let us, your servants, see You work again; let our children see Your glory. And may the Lord our God show us HIS approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful!”

Youth pastors, leaders, teachers, pastors, counselors, small group leaders – and so many more of you who have faithfully and passionately served our Savior for years... am I relating to any of you? I think so, because we all face the challenges of aging in ministry! WE HAVE TO CHOOSE WHAT AGING IN MINISTRY MEANS. If aging means maturing spiritually – growing daily in wisdom and grace – diving deeper into God’s Word – becoming more like Christ – that type of aging means you are a “Will-Be.” It means you are still in the process of becoming more effective in the wonderful experience of ministering and impacting lives! If aging means believing I am useless, quitting on the growth process and giving in to the devil’s lies, my effectiveness will cease as I embrace the label “Has-Been.” I’m not a “Has- Been.” I’m a “Will-Be”! God is NOT finished with Betsi Phillips Calhoun yet! I have made my choice. How about you?

Betsi & Mike Calhoun

Betsi is a wife, mom, grandmother, discipler and servant. She and her husband, Mike, live in Raleigh, North Carolina where he is part of The Summit Church pastoral staff.

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