Little book with big help for those going into next gen ministry
Caroline Hare wrote "Big Hare + Big Faith: May Your Faith Be As Big As Your Hair and Your Impact Cross Oceans" to help people wanting to go into ministry who don't know who to talk to about discerning the call.
"Every chapter I talk about a hairstyle and I compare it to ministering to the next generation," Hare wrote in an email. "It is a great book for parents/grandparents, those going into youth ministry or those in youth ministry."
Hare was blessed to have several people help her get started in her ministry. In high school, a woman named Jeanne McNally taught a women's Bible study in the community.
"At that time, I went to a church that did not believe in women in ministry. She was the first woman I ever saw teach the word," Hare said. "I talked to her after that first session, and I asked her if she had any recommendations on how to pray like she prayed. She gave me a book on praying the word and spiritual warfare. She was a huge inspiration."
Hare also credits her mother, who supported her all the way through school.
"My mom constantly encouraged me that we are all called by God," Hare said. "Her support, the questions, and even coaching on getting internships and experience as a young college student set me up to not only excel but also have the perseverance to do what God says to do even when others do not understand or support."
Hare also positioned herself in college to be mentored by a girl youth pastor in her college town, who she served with for three years. Also the dean of the Youth Ministry Department believed in the call on her life, coached her, allowed her to ask questions, and allowed her to be his class aid for first year youth ministry students.
"And my friend and mentor Rob Touchstone had me intern for him for two summers in college. These three people taught me so much practically, spiritually, and professionally," Hare said.
Hare chose youth ministry because of a series of events in her life, beginning with her parents divorce when she was 5 years old.
"There was a series of chaotic years in my relationship with my father," Hare said. "My mom told me that my heavenly father was consistent. Due to that core understanding, that my identity first was as a child of God, I did not operate in rebellion as so many do."
When she was 16, Hare was praying about what to do in life as she approached ACTs and college decisions.
"During that prayer time on a retreat, some younger girls I was mentoring kept coming and interrupting me for me to pray for them," she said. "The third time I was interrupted, I figured that it was a sign that God wanted me to do exactly what I was doing ... youth ministry and girls ministry."
And so began Hare's ministry, which she continues today as youth pastor at Shoreline Church. She founded Waves Girls Conference in 2013 and her Waves Ministry is able to minister to girls and women in youth ministry locally and globally.
A Nashville, Tennessee, native, Hare has a degree in youth and family ministry from Abilene Christian University and has been in youth ministry for 14 years. She also has a column in The Destin Log called "Big Hare, Big Faith."
"Big faith is having the ability to look at all sorts of things from a heavenly perspective," Hare said. "God is full of humor, order, grace, justice, beauty, healing, safety, wonder, miracles, and the list goes on and on forever. Sometimes I think God looks at our situations and says it's OK to laugh. Other situations, I see how God desires order to create safety and structure for development. Big faith has an impact that crosses oceans, generations, and norms."