Dynamic Downtown Worship in the Anglican Tradition

The Next Generation On Mission: Why Not?

A Conversation with Price Crenshaw by Lori Moore

img_1464Over the Christmas break, Price and I met over coffee to talk about a subject we are both passionate about— The Mission of God. If you have ever had a chance to speak with Price, you know the great blessing I received as a result of our time together, so I invite you to enter into our conversation, to be inspired by the ways of God, and to consider how He may be calling you to join Him in His work wherever you are.

LORI: Unlike most freshman, your college experience has been quite different since you left for Clemson last fall.

PRICE: Yes! There are three questions every freshman gets asked: Where are you from? What is your major? Where do you live? While I’d gone to Clemson to begin studying Elementary Education with a minor in nonprofit leadership, I began to ask myself, “Why wait four years to begin my calling? Why not start now?”

Through these everyday conversations with everyday college students, Clemson Hope was launched in early October with our first Adopt-A- School effort in December.

LORI: Wow! Tell me more about Clemson Hope.

PRICE: Clemson Hope is a replica of Charleston Hope, a nonprofit that seeks to inspire hope in the next generation by partnering mentors with Title One school students. I’d heard founder Emily Hoisington speak last spring and got the vision—a recurring dream, really—to begin one like it.

LORI: How did you get this kind of vision? Where did it come from?

PRICE: It began as a wake-up call.

My grandfather had died recently, and my family was grieving. We’d heard about grief counselling at St. Michael’s, so we decided to a end a service one Sunday. Father Al spoke about how to heal from grief by reaching outside of yourself to others. That same day I connected with Bri any who invited us to youth group. My mom, sister, and I knew St. Michael’s was where we needed to be.

LORI: You went on the Youth Mission Trip to Boston last summer. How did joining God in his mission there help you with what you are doing now?

PRICE: Boston was another wake up call for me.

Hearing the stories of people who have su ered abuse from their families, persecution for going to church, and how God had met them gave perspective to my own problems. Their stories opened my eyes to what God could do— how He can heal and redeem. They inspired me to forgive my dad.

Also, going out on the streets of Lynn with Claire Sullivan helped me. The way she went out and just talked to people—gang leaders, prostitutes, drug pushers. She really cared about them as people. Mission is not just a box check of doing a good deed for the day. It’s about relationships and caring. She made it seem so simple.

So when we came back to Charleston, I thought Why not? Some of us went out and starting talking and praying with homeless people. We gave someone a sandwich and just listened.

LORI: It sounds like you got to experience then live out the way of Jesus on mission, rsthand. What would you say to encourage someone to join in God’s mission as you have?

PRICE: It depends.

If the person is a Christian, I would say God calls us. We belong to Him, and He has chosen to use us to build His kingdom. When we obey, it starts a chain reaction of Kingdom work that goes far beyond our initial service.

img_1463If a non-Christian, I would want them to experience the joy of making someone else feel loved and valued. It’s just fun.

I want the volunteers of Clemson Hope to know how fun it is—simply being with children. Children do not yet have the weight of the world on their shoulders as we do. They live the lives they are supposed to live—trusting their parents as we should also trust God.

LORI : How has God proven that He can be trusted through the challenges of life and ministry recently?

PRICE: God is Provider.

The day before we were supposed to deliver gifts to James M. Brown Elementary School, we didn’t have enough volunteers to cover every class. I couldn’t gure out how we were going to do it, but on the day of, God provided more than enough. And through our small obedience, He did far more than we expected, blessing the teachers as well as the students.

Sometimes I have doubts and ask why am I doing this?

It’s hard work. Volunteers who fail to follow through cause others to have to work harder. Being a leader means you have to be willing to sacri ce your schedule, so there never seems to be enough time. Also, tuition is expensive. Often I get overwhelmed, and wonder Is this really what I am supposed to be doing?

But God continues to remind me that as I focus on obeying Him, He will provide.

A scripture from Isaiah 41:10 means a lot to me: “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you by my righteous right hand.”

L O R I : That’s awesome! I have encountered similar challenges and needed to hear that today. How has being a part of a community in Christ helped you?

PRICE: I am most thankful for Christian community because they encourage and hold me accountable. Ge ing Clemson Hope o the ground has moved me out of my comfort zone to be involved in a variety of campus ministries with people of di erent traditions, denominations, and backgrounds. I have come to enjoy the peace of being uncomfortable.

LORI: How can the body of Christ at St. Michael’s support you?

PRICE: Pray for balance.

After a semester of launching a startup ministry, going to school full-time, and campus ministry involvement, I need to make some strategic decisions about training new leaders with the right motives for ministry.

New leaders will help me delegate responsibilities so that I can focus on nding work to cover expenses this quarter. Keep praying for God to provide.

LORI: Thank You Price. I look forward to how your obedient response to the question Why Not? will challenge those of us at St. Michael’s to move forward in God’s mission wherever He has placed us.

To connect with Price Crenshaw and find out more about her ministry, contact her at www.charlestonhope.com/clemson-hope

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