Denise McKinney

THE BLOG:  So many are so far ahead of me on this, but I have decided to try the blog experiment and see how it goes! Seems like a great place to begin is to explain the picture at the top of this page. It is of a person attempting to climb Devil’s Tower in eastern Wyoming. It is a huge, massive rock and this guy seems to barely be keeping his footing as he climbs.

I grew up in Wyoming for most of my childhood and Devil’s Tower is just one of the intimidating and exhilarating landscapes that can be found there. The whole state is full of unique, incomparable views that remind me of all the intrigue God has hidden in nature.

When I stumbled upon this picture, I couldn’t help but think about how much my growing up years were a metaphor to my ministry years. I constantly felt a sense that I belonged in what many would call a wilderness. When I moved to Denver my sophomore year of high school, people asked me if I rode my horse to school each day in Wyoming. They were so curious that I came from such a place. But I found it to be a very magical land for my youth.

WHAT BECKONS MY SOUL:  Youth ministry is both an exhilarating and intimidating calling for me. I don’t feel just called to reach the kids who come into my life, I feel tugged and called to get into the lives of kids who need a hope in their life. And that voice that says “go” is getting stronger every day. And, even though it often feels like an impossible climb, I want to keep going upward.

My parents lived out a legacy in front of me as foster parents to dozens of kids during 2 decades.  My youth pastor took notice and nurtured the good work that God had begun in my life.  Thanks to the trail they blazed in my life, I’ve been walking the road of faith with students and their families for about 17 years:  as Director of Student Ministry at Redeemer Covenant Church in Tulsa for 13 of those years, and now as a ministry coach, writer and communicator.   Most recently, I joined the remarkable staff of Metro Christian Academy in Tulsa, OK as their Spiritual Life Director.   

WHY WORDS MATTER TO ME:  Although you wouldn’t want me to do your taxes, operate on your spleen, or build you a new invention, I’m pretty good at anything that involves words and music.  My passion is communicating truth and grace for daily living – by speaking for camps and retreats, leading worship by fusing ancient and emerging worship practices, or jotting down the thoughts that eventually become a poem, article or book.