Writing a Gospel Story Through Life Coaching
What is your ministry story? Everyone has a purpose. This is the story of mine. My name is Dr. Dena Michele Rosko, and I reside in the Pacific Northwest of Western Washington, USA with my family. I received a PhD in Organizational Systems where I researched the story of compassionate community of a local faith-based cross-sector social partnership. This ecuministry provides human and social services to our region through collaborating with local churches and government agencies.
Previously, I researched my story of end-of-life caregiving with my maternal grandmother who was a matriarch of faith in our family. That was for my MA in Communication and Organizational Leadership Studies. Before that, I received a BA in English/Creative Writing and Communications/Intercultural Mass Media Studies.
I wrote and presented my senior thesis about Julian of Norwich, a medieval woman writer and anchoress in the Catholic church. My thesis shared how her writing style gave her agency and offered the church an opportunity to help others. These together gave her authority not often granted to women.
God Invited Me Into Prayer
Before all this, I spent one year at a Bible College where God invited me into prayer to develop my relationship with him as a young person away from home. However, my grades stunk and I didn’t feel that I fit into the rules until I made some older friends. I served at a local faith-based nursing home. Shortly after that first year, I dated who would become my husband after a long courtship. I often missed the spark of that year and had unfinished business to complete my ministry training.
My research projects served local churches or ministries. My heart is to minister to people across traditional group boundaries to include people who might feel ostracized. I then shared those stories through writing and photography. I knew what it felt like to be excluded.
In high school, I enjoyed reaching out to students and staff whom others had counted out. My heart went in this direction because of my childhood best friend whom I met in middle school. She was a new student and I invited her to sit with me. We were best friends until she moved away, but we maintained our friendship for 20 years writing letters. Around that time, I also began photography with a four series flash pink camera. I wrote stories and made journal entries at the young age of 12. Looking back, I can see God’s hand shaping my spiritual dream, hands, and heart.
As an adult, in-between the degree programs I worked briefly as a technical writer and a day camp counselor. I started a communication consultancy and provided caregiving for my family. While running a photography business as a freelance entrepreneur, I fulfilled assignments with a local magazine and regional business newspaper. I worked as a writing tutor for international students and English Language Learners (ELL) for a community college and in community relations for a university. These experiences contributed to my spiritual dream, especially to serving God’s church at the local level.
God Saved Me
God saved me at six years old through pulpit ministry of John 3:16 and my dad praying the “Romans Road” with me at home after church. I felt called by God to preach and teach since I was three. My mom says as a baby I challenged her to get her walk right with the Lord. My grandmother attended a Bible school and co-chartered the church of my childhood. I learned early on the importance of a gospel heritage.
However, this walk came with challenges of healing from lengthy attachment abuse and trauma from multiple individuals. For years I prayed God would save my life and let me be a blessing. The prayers were to restore my spark, except I lacked clarity of what I lost. 1 John 4:18-19 and 2 Timothy 4:14-16 guided me about the perfect love of God to cast out fear and the vocational calling to serve God wholly.
Recently, I learned that my childhood best friend died by suicide on Holy Saturday 2019. Heartbroken, I wondered how I could have better ministered to her. Now her mom and I encourage each other. God is reminding me 0f that ministering to others could save a life. That lifesaving work ultimately is his doing and our responsibility.
God is restoring the spark that as his call and anointing on my life to encourage others. I am reminded to always credit God and take time to explain the Gospel. It’s not for me to glorify myself, but to share how God walks with us by welcoming others to his spiritual family. “God sets the lonely in families” (Psa. 68:6).
My Spiritual Dream
My spiritual dream is to serve as an ordained Ecuminister at a co-housing retreat center to facilitate heritage circles for caregivers and dialogue retreats for churches to better bridge the divides of our times. As a bi-vocational minister, my dream is to direct a writing center and start an Ecuministry Center for Church Partnerships. I also plan to publish nine books I’ve written about heritage care, formation, and theology in different genres. Eventually I desire to teach what I’ve learned in online classes.
Finally as a mother, I hope to instill love of God in my son and use the training here to be a good example to him. We hope to co-write children’s books.
I’m grateful for my global and local network, mentors’, and loved ones’ support of me. I’m grateful for the high quality biblical ministry training that Christian Leaders Institute offers with tuition-funded Christian education programs in a flexible format, such as for working parents as myself. I’ve invested in higher education for years and am relieved at the opportunity to not shoulder debt. Additionally, this model removes barriers and dismantles the elitism of so many expensive programs whatever value they may be.
Time seems of the essence, and we’ve much work to do together until kingdom come. Most often that work seems to be resting in God’s love while yielding to his call. “Many are called, but few are chosen” (Matt. 22:14). I’m grateful for the love of a triune God who saved my life through Jesus and the spark of the Holy Spirit.
For years I’ve cherished the family style church of my childhood. With that disposition, I feel called as an ordained Ecuminister of a “We Story” for the gospel. Will you pray with me that God finish his good work in our callings at CLI?