Connections: Christa Zapfe
Trusting God's Call
As lead pastor of Lighthouse Worship Center in Greensburg, Kan., and the first female sectional presbyter in the Assemblies of God Kansas District Council, Christa Zapfe connects her current ministry with a well-established faith in God’s call on her life. Pentecostal Evangel Editorial Assistant Emily Tharp spoke with Zapfe about blessings and challenges she has faced along the way.
evangel: Talk about your faith journey.
CHRISTA ZAPFE: I grew up churched and spent a lot of time going back and forth to the altar. When my family and I moved to Conyers, Ga., in the early 1990s, the pastors at our church, Tim and Debbie Hogg, began to pour into my family. Sometime around 1994, I began to realize what it really meant to be a Christ-follower and made my final decision to have a relationship with the Lord. I attended Southeastern University (Lakeland, Fla.), where I pursued a ministry degree.
evangel: What led to your ministry at Lighthouse Worship Center?
ZAPFE: I did my master’s work at Assemblies of God Theological Seminary while working as a staff pastor at Garden Grove Assembly of God in Winter Haven, Fla., as well as being employed full-time in corporate America. When I graduated, I went to Garden Grove pastors Wayne and Sherry Lee and expressed my desire to be a full-time minister. They really challenged me to move straight into a lead pastor role.
I met with various district superintendants, including Terry Yancey, the superintendant for Kansas. As he shared with me about the heart he had for the state of Kansas, I just felt a release in my spirit. Out of the churches I looked at, I felt the Lord would open doors for me at Lighthouse Worship Center, so I sent them my information.
However, when I talked with one of the board members he told me the church had already selected a candidate. I asked him to hold on to my information because I felt this was where I was going to end up.
About a week later, the church called. The weekend before Thanksgiving in 2005, I visited the church, and two weeks later they voted. On Jan. 15, 2006, I began serving as pastor.
evangel: What challenges have you faced as a full-time pastor?
ZAPFE: It has definitely been a new experience for this congregation to have a female lead pastor. We’ve had to walk that balance of where do we stand biblically and philosophically, and it has been a challenge at times, but it’s also been a blessing.
evangel: Why do you think it’s important for all Christians to be involved in ministry?
ZAPFE: God has called each of us to fulfill a role, whether it’s vocational ministry, as lay leadership, or as active participants in the body of the church. God has called each of us to be a part of the Kingdom work. Each of us fits into that puzzle uniquely, and without our participation there are areas of the Kingdom that are not being served.
evangel: Do you see growing opportunities for women in the Assemblies of God?
ZAPFE: I do, in Kansas especially. When I moved from a progressive area to what I anticipated being a more conservative area, I was concerned about how I would be received; but I’ve never been so warmly received or supported.
I was elected three years ago as the first female Kansas District presbyter, and not because they needed a woman on the board. My brothers and sisters in Christ felt I was the one for the role, and have since re-elected me.
evangel: What advice do you have for women called to vocational ministry?
ZAPFE: Know what God is calling you to do, trust that He has called you and equipped you, and never forget He is going to go before you. Don’t make apologies for your calling and don’t be afraid to ask people who have walked before you to pour into you and hold you accountable.
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