Teaching Pastor Dream
I am Alecia Gardner (Allie), and I have a teaching pastor dream. My family and I live in Norwalk, Iowa. I serve (diakonos) as an educator in the community and within our church. I am blessed to have opportunities to love on others daily as a wife, mother of three, teacher, and elder at our church.
Childhood Significant Events that Shaped My Story
My earliest memories are of a joyful childhood with a father who worked three jobs, but always found the time to play, read, and cuddle his children. My mom was a soft voice in my ear and took good care of our little family. Sadly, my father was killed in a train collision when I was seven years old, which caused me to spiral into a world of fear, anxiety, and sadness. I had a fantastic teacher who stepped into my life to pull me through the pain of the loss of my father and changed my future by sparking the desire to become an educator one day.
After the death of my father, I lived in a variety of broken homes. I grew up in a home destroyed by alcohol, meth, and other illicit drugs, abuse, disappearing parents, homelessness, and poverty. Therefore, my grandparents stepped in to help raise me due to the parental instability of my mother.
Teenage Significant Events that Shaped My Perspective
As a teen, I experienced a transient family life due to my mother’s failed relationships, lack of education, and loss of jobs. My mother remarried, which forced a permanent move to Iowa. There I met the love of my life in our high school biology class. I started learning about God through a group of church-going friends, who repeatedly said I was going to hell because I was not baptized.
How I Came to Know the Lord
I found Christ in the hot July summer of 2001. I was utterly broken, utterly lost, and homeless. As an unwed, pregnant teenager, my parents kicked me out of their home due to my embarrassing situation. The father of my child, Gavin, was not around due to military duty. I was trying to decide if I wanted to survive while living in my 1974 Chevy Malibu. I lost all hope of ever reaching my dream of becoming the first person in my family’s history to go to college. So, I was ready to give it all up as I had a plan and a source prepared.
I was ready to let go of this life, but God had other plans. He showed me to give it all up to Him and to let go of the life I was living to live a life with Him. I knew I was not good enough, did not deserve it, but I sought Him anyway. Grace, forgiveness, and hope I never knew existed overwhelmed me. This encounter with God was the beginning of my spiritual journey, and I am so thankful for the grace He has shown me along the way.
How God Has Impacted Who I am Today
I married the love of my life from high school. Our marriage of 17 years is centered on Christ, and we have exchanged vows in 42 states and five countries. Military moves made us hunker down and focus inward on raising our kids. We have three amazing, loving children, who have hearts for Jesus and received water baptism in 2016.
I completed multiple education and leadership degrees. My husband and I started tithing and going to church regularly. We paid off six figures of debt and have taught Financial Peace University. Recently, I started volunteering and leading in my church and community. As a couple, we began to fill our cups with service, scripture and seeking an authentic relationship with God
My spiritual dream is to become a teaching pastor. Through my teaching pastor dream, I want to lead others in their walk with God. I want to help others to navigate the world with hope and light. I want to serve more and love better.
Obstacles We Faced and Humbling Events
Some of the challenges we faced were crippling debt, multiple moves with the military, and family strains. Every single day, I wake up and know I am not good enough for His grace and love, but I am humbled that He gives it to me anyway. He has seen us through all our obstacles and blessed us with three children. Being a military family meant moves around the country, but God was always with us.
My insecurities and inadequacies humble me and make me know I need Christ and a daily walk with him. God became so real to me once I accepted Him, and began to talk not just pray to Him. I sought a relationship when I was alone and scared, and He showed me what Love is. I had given up, but once I gave it all to Him, He showed me He had not given up on me.
My Teaching Pastor Dream Led me to CLI
Through my ministry training at Christian Leaders Institute, I hope to be able to empower others to seek a relationship with Christ. God has given me a teaching pastor dream, and I am excited to see how he will use me.
My family is debt-free, so the free ministry training at CLI is crucial. Also, I am currently working on a Doctorate in Education in Organizational Leadership, so we do not have a lot of extra money. We do not want to go into debt for training, especially since our teenagers will be starting their education and training soon too.
Learn about minister ordination at Christian Leaders Alliance.