5 minutes with Edwina
Tell us a little about you
I am a Location Pastor at C3 Camden (which is in south west Sydney). The church I lead was initially a church plant in our area which has grown significantly over the past 9 years. I am also a registered Psychologist and I continue to do small amounts of work in the area of developmental and educational intervention. Over the years I have also worked extensively in providing psychological support for children with Autism and their families.
I am married to Paul who is a fantastic husband. We have been married almost 22 years and through all the ups and downs he has always been my biggest support. We have three boys aged 16, 14 and 10. I love being a mum to boys (not that I know any different!) and I really enjoy this season of parenting teenagers. Paul works full time in the marketplace and also serves faithfully in our church in a number of areas, including leading our worship team. He is also very gifted when it comes to all things church governance.
I would say that I am an introvert by nature and love time on my own, particularly when I can be out in nature. I love a good hike and I enjoy the adventure of travelling to new places and seeing new things. I can be an idealist (shout out to all the enneagram 1’s!) which has pros and cons in pastoral ministry. I love learning and thinking deeply about things, and love a good discussion about topics that draw a lot of different opinions.
Do you have a favourite bible passage? If so, what is it and why?
I have had many favourite passages at different times and in different seasons. Over the last few years though I continually come back to Habakkuk 3:18-19 “Yet I will choose to rejoice in the Lord; I will choose to shout in exultation in the victorious God of my salvation! The Lord is my strength, my source of courage and my invincible army. He has made my feet steady and sure like hind’s feet and makes me walk forward with spiritual confidence on my high places of challenge and responsibility”. The last few years have been challenging and the weight of being in leadership has at times weighed heavily. It has been such an encouragement to come back to the foundation of knowing that God is my strength and courage, that He fights for me not against me, and that it is from Him alone that I receive the confidence to move forward in the calling that He has on my life.
How do you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus?
I have learned (and will continue to learn!) the benefit of silence and solitude as a spiritual discipline. This has radically changed my ability to stay fixed on Jesus and to not get swept away in the urgency or anxiety of what needs to get done. It changes my perspective and allows me to rest in His provision and plans. I also can’t recommend sabbath enough!!! Having a day that is devoted to rest, surrender, and intimacy with Jesus is just a game changer.
What would you like the next generation of Christian women to know?
Speak up and speak out. You have a voice that is valid and that should be heard, and that voice can represent the heart of the Father just like any other voice. I would love every woman to know their value and worth and image bearers of God, and that they are not excluded from ANY gift that the Holy Spirit may impart, including leadership.
What is the one thing you love about your local church?
So many things! But what I love the most is the individual stories of redemption and transformation that each person brings and shares. This creates such an atmosphere of acceptance for all, and a hope for all as people can identify with both the struggle and the breakthrough in Christ Jesus.
What did you learn about God at a time in your life you found hard?
I have learned that when we stumble and fall and fail, that God is always wanting and waiting for us to get back up. He is there when we are down, and His hand is always there to pick us back up. During a time when I thought certain failures in my life would disqualify me from walking forward in His plans, Luke 22: 31-32 was such an encouraging reminder for me. While I trusted God, I had always seen myself as very capable, particularly when it came to making good decisions. When I failed miserably at this, I could hear the Holy Spirit saying the same words to me as Jesus said to Peter, “Satan has obtained permission to come and sift you all like wheat and test your faith. But I have prayed for you..... that you would stay faithful to me no matter what comes. Remember this: after you have turned back to me and have been restored, make it your life mission to strengthen the faith of your brothers (and sisters!)”. God’s character of forgiveness and restoration was very tangible during that time and influences the way I approach ministry with others on a daily basis.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about equipping leaders with the inner life to sustain their outer life. We can often think to equip leaders with skills, development and resources (which are all great!) but believe that increasingly the soul health of leaders is under immense pressure with the demands that ministry can bring, particularly in a performance oriented society. I love to see leaders go deeper in their relationship with Jesus, to commune with Him deeply, to find more strength and revelation through the Word, and to increasingly develop their prayer life. I am also very passionate about men AND women representing the heart of God for this world as equal partners.
What do you enjoy doing when you rest?
Reading....lots of reading! And I love being out in nature, particularly on a good hike out into the wilderness. I also enjoy watching NRL with my boys (yes I actually enjoy it!) and taking camping trips with my family.