In September 2017, the NBA Incubate Initiative hosted the 2017 SENT Seminar: Equipping Social ENTrepreneurs for Leadership and Change, in Leavenworth, Kansas. Designed for Disciples and their leadership teams who are starting new health and social services ministries, the SENT Seminar covers the basics of nonprofit ministry startups, as well as skills for leadership and change in our global and faith communities. Rev. Lisa Renee Sherman, Drippings of Grace Ministries, attended as a 2017 SENT Seminar Participant and shares this reflection.
The day begins as any other typical day. The snooze button is punched several times, and the chaos of the morning routine is off and running. Shoes are all located, and hopefully paired up correctly and on the correct feet. Backpacks are zipped, coats are bundled, and the school bus is at the end of the driveway. Many of us can relate to these mornings, right?
However, for my family there are other morning routines that are vital. Three little sippy cups containing the exact amount of drink that can mask the horrific taste of a plethora of crushed and liquid medications are all lined up. Epi-pens are checked and double checked and placed in each backpack, my purse, and the car glove box. Breathing meds are dispensed by nebulizer to a frustrated child who doesn’t like the mask, and the portable nebulizer and meds are placed in the backpack. Snatching yet another child, as they are struggling to regulate sensory input and is currently running screaming through the house, I wrestle just long enough for seizure medication to be placed under the tongue and pray the pills dissolve quickly. Meanwhile, from out the entryway window, I can see vague flashing of red lights informing me that the school bus has arrived, and I realize that the third child has decided to strip himself of all clothing because this morning it was too much stimulation.
There are families, just like mine, throughout our communities and nestled within our churches. Yet, for so many of us, we never see them. Drippings of Grace Ministries seeks to advocate for those that have been stripped of their voice, offer support for care providers and help to meet the gaps in services. Regarding the church, it is our desire to help create authentic bodies of Christ, that proclaims to this world a complete gospel!
A major turning point for our church was when our paths crossed with the National Benevolent Association and attending the SENT Seminar. I don’t think that I can even put into words the vitality that was breathed into me throughout that weekend by all the leaders, as well as other attendees. However, God whispered continuously in my ears, trace the footprints. This is the understanding that we can be innovators and visionaries without having to recreate the wheel constantly. The NBA provided exceptional individuals to serve as guides along our leadership journey, being both encouraging and authentic. I live in the reality where I must advocate continuously for basic rights for my children and for my calling as a woman to be recognized in ministry. My soul craved for a safe place to encounter God to develop into who and what God needs me to be. I have found that with NBA, and for that I will be eternally thankful!
The NBA incubates new ministries, supporting social entrepreneurs of faith who are serving their communities in a variety of innovative ways and empowering these Disciples-led health and social service projects to focus on growth, impact, and sustainability. Learn more at nbacares.org/incubate or by contacting Rev. Ayanna Johnson Watkins, Director of the NBA Incubate Initiative, at firstname.lastname@example.org.