A Note from Kelly King: We live in an alcohol-centric world. While I choose to abstain, I agree with Deb Douglas that drinking would interfere with my personal calling to minister. There is nothing about it that would benefit me in my leadership. Whether you agree or disagree, it’s a personal conviction that continues to serve me well in ministry leadership. I pray you will read Deb’s words and consider your own convictions.
I am allergic to grapes. I am a diabetic.
A glass of wine is not a healthy option for me. Neither is any type of alcohol. Without allergies and a faulty sugar system, I would still not consume alcohol.
Why? Because God called me to not drink, just like I was called into full-time ministry and to seminary.
That looks stranger on the screen than it did in my head, but I do not think I am the only one.
I am not judging ministers or leaders who consume alcohol, and I am certainly not saying those who do drink are forbidden from being called by God. But for me, I know that I’m called to not consume alcohol. Maybe it is because I am already tipsy enough without adding alcohol. Or maybe it is because I need every ounce of my focus to complete the tasks set before me.
God has called me to some uncomfortable places and to have some uncomfortable convictions. In an alcohol-centric world, this is one of them. I have witnessed how quickly alcohol consumption can slip from something cool and socially acceptable to something time consuming, mind numbing, and critical to existence. A craving for that glass of wine to unwind, relax, and destress. A craving that is distracting from who God created us to be.
I am not just a minister by profession or by calling, it is who I was created to be at all times. I am not just a minister on Sunday mornings or during office hours. God places opportunities to serve in unexpected ways, at unexpected times. I need to stay ready for whatever or whoever comes my way.
Drinking alcohol interferes with my call to minister by:
- Removing my focus from others to myself
- Changing my priorities
- Shading my judgment
- Distracting me from what’s important
- Putting me at risk for addiction
- Jeopardizing my witness
- Taking my limited resources away from other more productive avenues
Being a minister, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother is a balancing act. I do not need anything to tip me off the delicate balance. God has blessed me with a call to serve. This call is a treasure, a symbol of the value God has placed on me while at the same time a responsibility for me to protect and hold as valuable.
Every woman is unique, as is her call. Mine is to serve soberly in the midst of a messy world.
For more help and resources on ministering in the messy, check out Women Reaching Women in Crisis and Steps: Gospel-Centered Recovery or refer to the other articles in the Hurting Women or Ministering in the Messy categories.
Dr. Deb Douglas has served in women’s ministry for over 37 years. Now she spends her time working with Purchased Ministry, a ministry to women in the sex trade industry. Deb is also the Director of Biblical Counseling at First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA. She was the first to graduate from New Orleans Baptist Theological seminary with a Masters degree focusing on women’s ministry and has earned a Doctor of Education in Ministry degree from NOBTS. She is “Pearl” to 3 sweet grand babies, “Mom” to Jared Douglas and Katie Chavis, and wife/sweetheart to Paul Douglas.