Here you can stay connected and read about new testimonies from CLI students from all over the world!
My name is Makenzie, but I go by different nicknames, Kenzie, Ken, Mac, and so on! I am excited about the Christian Leaders Institute, a free online ministry school. I come from a family of five: Mom, Dad, my older sister, my younger sister, and myself, the middle child! My poor Dad surrounded by so much ‘woman-stuff’ with all of us girls! I was born and raised in Canada and have lived here all my life.
I was born and raised in a Christian home. I’ve lived a lifestyle trained to understand church, prayer, serving, and reading the Word. I have a theory that those individuals who grew up in a Christian home have a much harder time learning how to find their faith and a real awakening through the power of Jesus’s love. As I matured through life, I only understood the schedule and the feeling of regulation with living a Christian life. However, this regulation did not form a firm foundation for me in my faith walk.
I took my weak foundation with me through lots of significant steps in life. Eventually, the only foundation I had slowly started to chip away. High school and college went by with little personal relationship with God. I still believed myself to be a Christian. Many people questioned me about my beliefs. I proclaimed my faith when asked but did not live it in my everyday personal life. It took the death of a dearly loved family member to crumble my foundation completely. I continued to go to church and small group, but in my heart, I swam in a pool of confusion and hurt.
I ended up taking my broken foundation into an unhealthy relationship that was on its way to marriage. From the venue to the wedding dress, slowly, the event planning came together, but the loud painful voice deep inside me was surfacing. I was disappointed with where I was at, who I was with, and who I was. But, the Lord intervened and opened both our eyes. We canceled the big day and said goodbye to each other.
After that, my walk with the Lord through healing and foundation building began. God so passionately pursued me, and I pursued Him during that time. I am more than happy to say that I found Godly love, my true identity, the relationship I have with the Lord, and the calling that He has placed on my life.
So, this all brings me to now, where I am happily involved in my home church as a Worship Leader, Youth Ministry Supervisor, and the training Band Director. My church and its pastors have been supporting and mentoring me in my journey to discover career ministry. This journey has taken me to different places and training, such as here, at Christian Leaders Institute, a free online ministry school!
I am also happy to say that I am in a serious relationship that is on its way to marriage. We look forward to the Lord’s leading in this beautiful partnership of marriage.
My calling is to serve the youth of this generation. My story started with not having an understanding of my true identity during my youth. I realize now that everything starts with learning our true identity in Christ and building a firm foundation on Him. The Christian Leaders Institute has been a blessing in coming alongside me to support my dream. As someone who can not afford or manage the time commitment of full-time school, studying with the Christian Leaders Institute has been a real answer to prayer. I thank God for this platform.
So, I close with my favorite and ‘life’ verse:
Psalms 37: 3-4
“Trust in the Lord and do good, dwell in the land, and enjoy safe pastures. Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. ”
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Hello, my name is Marc DeGroot, and I am thankful for the free ministry leadership training at CLI. I am from the United States Of America. About a year ago, I began to feel as though I was being led into ministry as a Chaplain. I did a lot of praying and meditation on what is the best direction for me. I looked at options that would fit into my life. As a husband and father of four, I didn’t have a lot of extra time or money.
As I began my journey at Christian Leaders Institute, my calling became more and more apparent. I also started helping in my church’s youth group program again. I enjoy the time that I get to have with the high school youth. Continuing to work towards becoming a Chaplain, I am also taking steps to get something in youth ministry.
I lost my job a few months ago. That was not an easy thing for me, but I have taken the chance to learn and increase the time that I have to take classes. I know that the Lord will give me another job. As for now, though, the Lord has blessed me, and I am making the most of the situation.
The ministry leadership class at CLI will help me as our youth program continues to grow. I didn’t even realize that I lacked so much in leadership. The course has shown me how to be a better leader, one with a vision and confidence. Therefore, I now have the focus that is needed to move the youth program to the next level. As I continue to work and on my leadership skills, it will help out when I become a Chaplain and collaborate with fellow employees.
The biggest challenge that I am facing right now in ministry is the lack of leadership in our youth program. Currently, the person in charge is not much of a leader and has no focus or vision. They do not wish to grow any further and have plateaued. I offered my help and, to date, have not been able to do so. The hardest part is seeing that there is a problem yet not being able to help make the necessary changes. Hopefully, we can make some changes soon and make the entire group better. I am doing my best to remain humble and not seem like I am taking over.
I am thankful for all that I have learned in this leadership class. My prayer is that I can recall and use what I have learned to create a vision and work to see it through to completion. I know that God can always send me in a new direction. However, with what I have learned so far, I can move forward and have an impact on bringing more people to Jesus Christ. I also pray that I inspire the people around me to learn and grow more every day.
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Hello, my name is Denna, and I am blessed to have this educational opportunity for free at CLI. I am from Virginia (USA). I am the youngest of three children born to Cecil and Rosella Garretson. My parents were church planters until my father made his move up to Glory on November 15, 2006. My daddy’s father was a Church of God pastor and a coal miner until he passed away in 1956 when my father was a teenager.
Papaw Garretson started churches in WV, VA, and NY. His last church was the Marlinton Church of God in Marlinton, WV. My parents were involved in starting several churches in VA, including the Spotsylvania Church of God and Stafford Church of God. My brother, Troy, attended Lee University to become a pastor and was over Christian Education at the Stafford Church of God. I was born and raised Church of God.
I was born in Stafford County, VA, in 1982. I met my husband in 2000 after graduating high school, and we married February 14th, 2002. We had our first daughter in 2003, our second in 2005, and our surprise in 2009. My husband is a Marine, so we have traveled and experienced places and things many do not get to experience. We have lived in North Carolina, Hawaii, Rwanda, Denmark, North Carolina, and now we are home in VA.
In North Carolina, I attended a Church of God. In Hawaii, I found a Four Square that I loved. We participated in a missionary church in Rwanda. Back in North Carolina, we attended the protestant service at the Base Chapel. However, I am Pentecostal to the bone.
Seventy-three percent of Virginians claim to be Christian, according to https://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/state/virginia/. Our church is located in Falmouth and close to drug-infested neighborhoods. We are a small church with an average of 70/80 regular attendees. The church I attend and work in now is non-denominational. I started at Grace Chapel in 2017, singing on the Praise and Worship Team. Later, I became more active teaching Sunday School, Junior Church, and now, I am the Youth Minister and Worship Leader.
My heart is for Praise and Worship and also the teens. Praise and worship are in my bones. I can’t hear music without moving and singing. I have had a call on my life to sing. Finally, I stepped into the anointing, so God can use me to bring others into His presence. I give God the glory for all He does through me.
January of this year was the first anniversary of our youth group. I had a burden for the teens in our church in 2018. Therefore, I was given the opportunity in 2019 to start a youth group for middle and high school students. We have 5/6 teens regularly, and we are growing! I am excited to see God move!
The Christian Leaders Institute and the many courses they offer free of charge are a blessing. Currently, I work full time, have three children, and have had several health challenges over the past year. God is faithful and provides us the desires of our hearts. I desire to grow as much as possible and be a better teacher and worship leader. To have CLI that offers the educational opportunity for free to grow and learn is fantastic! I could not afford to go to university, and our church does not have the funds to send me to training. I pray that God blesses CLI much for the excellent work they do to train and send out disciples to make more disciples.
Learn about ordination at Christian Leaders Alliance.