Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Woman to Watch! Pastor Shelisa Hull

Here is a detailed interview my friend Pastor Shelisa Hull of Valdosta, GA... it is also on my Feminine Fire column today... Enjoy!

Briefly introduce yourself (tell a little about your testimony)

My name is Shelisa Hull I am the wife to the greatest man in the world, Billy Hull and the mother to 3 boys; Caleb 15, Blake 13, and Augustine 8. I grew up in a Pastor’s home…in fact I am a 4th generation Pastor. Unfortunately, I was the stereotypical PK. I saw a lot of hurt, religion and what I called hypocrisy. I decided that I did not want any part of “church”. I ran for a few years but one day I had a God encounter that reached my heart and went down past the bitterness and anger. Gods tender Spirit drew me in and I realized that being a Christian is not about “religion” it is about relationship. I finally understood why my parents were willing to endure so much and still love with such a great love. Well now it is my turn……I am on a mission to let EVERYONE know that life is not about do’s and don’ts life is about saying YES to God as our Father and Best Friend. We can have an intimate one on one relationship with the Creator of the Universe! What a privilege and honor. I am passionate about knowing God and teaching others to live outside the man-made box of religion and pursue RELATIONSHIP!

How did you and Billy meet?

Billy was my dad’s Youth Pastor so we met when he came on staff at our church. I can honestly say that He is a gift to me from God. He was a friend during some of the hardest years of my life and he is the one who helped me realize my worth and value as a woman and as a minister! In case you can’t tell….I just LUV him!!

What are your boys’ names and ages?

Caleb is 15, Blake is 13 and Augustine is 8. And for those who are wondering….they are ALL boy! It can get a little dirty, stinky, and loud in my house!! But I would not trade it for the world. I believe as moms that some of the very things that get on our nerves now are the things we will look back on and miss when they are grown and gone!

What is the name of your church and where is it located?

The Winners Church is in Valdosta, Georgia.

How long have you been in ministry?

I always tell people 36 years plus 9 months!! I am the fourth generation of ministers in my family so I literally cut my teeth on pews. Growing up as a PK (preachers-kid) you feel like you are in the ministry from a very early age. But, Billy and I have been in ministry together for 11 years.

What do you most enjoy doing in ministry?

There are several things…but if I had to honestly narrow it down it would be walking in the prophetic call and preaching. I love when God uses me to speak a word to someone that they know has to be from God. He will reveal deep things that they have not shared with anyone else. Their lives are forever touched by God in a special and personal way. I also absolutely LOVE preaching. It is my passion…my “sweet spot” in life. I know that I am doing what I am supposed to do when you hand me a bible and a mic!!

What is the biggest lesson you learned in ministry overall?

Let’s see, I think it would be forgiveness and relationships. If you are going to be in the ministry you will have to have thick skin and be willing to walk in a constant state of forgiveness (if you are not in ministry this may sound crazy….if you are you know exactly what I am talking about ;o). I also think relationships are key, first and foremost your relationship with God. If you ever get to the place when you are only seeking God for the next sermon to preach you are in a bad state. And I know MANY ministers that are there. Bishop Tony (my spiritual Father) always taught us to have a relationship with God first and foremost and the best messages you will ever preach will flow from that. Secondly, we have to have relationships with others that are “like-minded”. Others who know what you are going thru, who have been there and done that and will give you their T-shirt for FREE! They will encourage you and motivate you to keep pushing on!

What is the biggest lesson you learned in being a senior pastor?

Wow, this is a tougher question. The above response all applies but I think you also have to watch out for the spirit of familiarity as a Senior Pastor. There are many people in a congregation that want to be the pastor’s “Best Friend”. Now don’t get me wrong I have some very close relationships with members of our church but we have learned thru the “hard-knocks” of ministry that there are some spiritually immature people who cannot separate the line of friend and Pastor.

What is the biggest lesson you learned in being a woman in ministry?

That there are some people that won’t like you…..but do it anyway (thanks Martina and Tara!) When I first moved to Valdosta and we started the Winners Church the local newspaper at the time was doing a spot about ministers in the area. They asked if we would write a message to put in the paper. I guess they just “assumed” that Billy would be the one doing it. WRONG! It was me and the feedback was incredible, we received everything from absolute hate mail to letters rebuking me for speaking in the church! It was crazy. Well, for those of you who know me you know what I had to do. Yes, I wrote another message…this time about Women in Ministry. Obviously I ruffled some feathers and I stirred up some religious demons in this South Georgia town but PRAISE GOD! It brings me great pleasure to make demons mad and do damage to the kingdom of darkness!

If you could advise women called to ministry on one thing that is most important that they realize, or do - what would it be?

Women called to ministry need to realize that there is a proper order to things.

§ First and foremost, you are called to Love God with all your soul, strength and might and pursue a passionate love relationship with Him (as a stated earlier this part has absolutely nothing to do with ministry….this is intimate one and one time between you and your Creator for you and your Creator!!)

§ Second, you are called to be a wife. Yes ladies….you are a wife first and a mother second…..we tend to forget that. The truth is God gave you a companion to spend the rest of your life with and he comes first. One day the kids will be grown and gone and you need to still have a happy, healthy, vibrant, romantic, loving marriage.

§ Thirdly, you are a mother. I believe that children belong to God and He just blesses us with them…kind of like they are on loan while on this earth. I see my children the same way I see the parable of the talents…what are you doing with the blessings that God has given you? Are you cultivating the gifts within them, are you teaching them the principles of Gods Word so that they can be successful, are you demonstrating uncondional love to them so that they will be compassionate and love others. I guess I am a little off subject here but I fell so strongly about this stuff. Because one of the major areas that I see so many problems in Pastors and ministry leaders’ homes is the idea or concept that children are in the way or they are a hindrance to the “real work of God”. I actually had a lady ask me one time “Do you regret having three kids…..because if you were not ‘tied down’ so much you could be ministering and traveling with the best of them.” Now mind you, I had to bite my lip and take a deep breath and realize that somewhere in that ignorant statement she was trying to pay me a compliment! But it revealed a lot about her perception of the value of children. I will say it this way and try to get off my soap box…..If I did not have kids and was out there “preaching with the best of them” it would be wonderful and I could reach a certain percentage of people. However, if I take time to pour into my kids and be a “ministering mother” right here in my home…..my boys will also one day be out there with the “best of them” and all around the world the FOUR of us will impact that many more people. It is about training them up in the way they should go…..so that THEY can ALSO advance the Kingdom.

§ Lastly – Yes this is the FOURTH thing on your list….Ministry. I know if you are in ministry it is hard to wrap your mind around this fact….but it cannot be first in your life. God, your husband, then your children. I look at this part of my life as I do paying my tithe. If I am willing to keep the proper order and pay my tithe off the top of my increase it never fails that I can live better off the 90% than I ever did the 100%. The same principal applies here. If I will count God, my man and my kids as my tithe and give them my best I will have more than enough time, talent, resources, creativity and power to minister to others.

§ When you get these four things out of proper alignment burn out will always occur!

What do you feel is the most important thing a woman in your position as co-pastor can do for her pastor husband?

Pray! Pray!! Pray!!! That is the absolute must. Women have an uncanny way of touching the heart strings of God. I also think that women have intuition, insight, revelation whatever you want to call it that men don’t always have. God put it in us for a reason and it is not so we could one day say “I told you so” God gave us that innate ability so that we could combat the evil forces that we are opposing on a daily basis. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the powers, [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.” Now I hope I don’t offend anyone with what I am about to say…..but I really think that this verse was put into the Bible just for pastors!!(Obviously I am being sarcastic here) but I had a wake up call a couple of years into ministry when I realized that I am not wrestling with Deacon So-n-So or Elder So-n-So. We are wrestling and contending with master spirits who are trying to usurp the rule and authority of the set man and woman of the house. It makes it easier to deal with people when you realize who they are being controlled by, then you can PRAY! PRAY! PRAY! and watch God move. (If that doesn’t work try suddenly laying hands on them and rebuke the devil! Smile again :o)

What do you feel is the most important role a pastor's wife/woman in co-pastor role plays in the church?

I believe the co-pastors role is to walk in full anointing and demonstrate to the body the role of a strong woman of God in ministry. To lead by example in every area….as a wife, mother and pastor! To edify and encourage men and women both to not make excuses but to walk confident in fulfilling their call. And most importantly to not make apologies for being a woman but embrace the attributes of God that are in us that are distinctively WOMAN!

Tell us how you feel about co-pastoring and why.

I think it is the God designed way to do ministry. I believe it is evident in the way God created us. He took parts of Himself and put into man and took parts of Himself and put into woman. Men are aggressive, they have an internal drive, and they were created to be protectors and providers. All attributes of God. Wn however, are nurturers they have compassion, emotion, insight, they like things in proper order. All of which are also attributes of God. When you leave your father and mother and become one as the Bible talks about it is the perfect union of Gods attributes that allow us to become complete. A church that has a Pastor (husband) and a Co-Pastor (wife) is getting the completed design of God so that all the attributes of His Spirit can be manifested.

Give us a few survival techniques that you have found to help you in balancing being a wife, mothering, ministering and all the other stuff you do. Please is there somebody else’s answer I can see here?? (smile) I am always looking for new ideas, strategies, calendars, organizational tips etc. to improve in this area. I like every other woman in ministry out there deals with this on a daily basis. Obviously my answer earlier about keeping my life in proper alignment is the first thing I always think of. But more on the practical side, here are a few

1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Most of the time the hubby and kids just some how think the laundry fairy drops by in the night and puts the laundry away. When you explain to them that it is really you and you have a lot going on most of the time they are willing to chip in :o)

2. On the laundry note…I threw away all my little cheap laundry baskets and bought five big nice ones. I took a sharpie maker and wrote each family members name on their own basket. It is a breeze distributing and putting away laundry now!

3. Chore lists are a must in my house….the bible says with out a vision the people perish….so write the vision and make it plain. Well the Shelisa Version, Mom translation is ‘with out a chore list the people in this home could perish from the soap scum, dirt, and trash so Mom will write down your chores for you, she will make it plain so you can do them!!!

4. I allow myself one junk basket – I throw the mail in, magazines, color papers from the kids, a pack of crayons I found on the dining room floor etc. Anything that I just don’t have time to deal with at that moment but I want picked up. The key to making this work is when it gets full I take 15 minutes and clean it out so I don’t let myself get two basket’s, three basket’s, four….you get the picture?

5. I like to keep my room clean. My room is my sanctuary. It is where Billy and I can be ourselves; it is where we relax, where we spend our intimate times together, where we unwind from our hectic busy days. It is ours and all ours….children and messes need not knock…we don’t want any! So even when everything else in my life may seem disheveled I have one place I can go and just relax!

That is enough for now I am sure there are hundreds of great ideas floating around out there.

I know you are a strong believer in the five fold ministry and function in an apostolic/prophetic team with your husband, Pastor Billy. Tell us more about how that function benefits the local church and the Kingdom.

Lets start with reading Ephesians 2:19-22 “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.”

Billy and I are "Prophetic" and "Apostolic" in our beliefs that God is presently moving in the church bringing the restoration of the five-fold ministry gifts. The restoration is beginning in the foundation, for how can we build on and grow if our foundation is faulty. I believe the reason the Church as a whole has not reached the full potential that we have at our disposal is because the role of Apostle and Prophet has not been established until recently. I also believe that the present restoration of the Prophet and the Apostle will bring about a release of the saints of God to manifest His kingdom in the earth because as the Father (Apostle) and Mother (Prophet) we are now able to raise up the sons and daughters that are going to go about doing great exploits. It really goes back to what I said in an earlier question about us working together and being placed together for the fullness of God’s attributes to be manifested.

What has the Lord been speaking to you lately?

I recently started a BLOG and the title of a new post is ‘IT IS TIME TO BE!!’ This is what I have been hearing lately! A dear friend and fellow woman in ministry Tammy Vaughan sent me an email recently and this is part of what she said.

"...You are in a set time to walk in the fullness of God. Don't hold back on ANYTHING that the Lord has given you to do. It is time TO BE!!!"

I cannot tell you how much that Word has stirred me lately. It is time TO BE~! No more holding back. No more scardy-cat!! It is time to chase a lion in a pit on a snowy day!!! (For all of you Mark Batterson fans you will know what I mean)!

As Christians we have been paralyzed by our circumstances and fear for so long that some of us have retreated back. Some of us are still hanging on but that is all that we are doing. We are not advancing; we are not pursuing our promise land or living in the fullness of increase that is rightfully ours. God is ready and has already begin to raise up a new breed of warriors who will look at their enemy eye ball to eye ball and say if is a fight you want it is a fight you are going to get because on the other side of you is the abundant life that God says I can have. In stead of looking at our obstacles as a set back look at them as an opportunity for favor, increase and promotion. It is TIME TO BE no more excuses! (More on this can be read on my blog at http://thewinnerschurch.blogspot.com/)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I attended a church once where they asked for prayer for the Pastor's wives. I'm sure none of us knows all that goes behind the scenes but I imagine it must be a lonely place for a Pastor's wife at times.