Over the next two weeks, we’ll be highlighting Thrive Conference session speakers and their unique slant on small group ministry. Today we’re featuring Chrystal Hansen, who will be presenting a session entitled, Deal with It . . . Finding Peace of Mind.
TCN: Chrystal, we’re so glad you could join us today. As you know, we’re in the middle of a blog series featuring Thrive Conference speakers. Could you tell our readers a little about yourself and where you find yourself vocationally?
Chrystal: Absolutely! You know, God has been opening some amazing doors of opportunity for me. In recent years, I’ve been able to enter the political arena of Bolingbrook. I’m currently in my second term as School Board Member, influencing community leaders and reaching people who would never step inside a church.
This year, God surprised me with an open door I would have never dreamed of. I entered the corporate world by invitation into a Fortune 500 Company, serving as an Academy Supervisor responsible for training, coaching and mentoring in the Greater Chicago Region for Comcast. I love the thrill and surprises of God’s leading, along with the challenges of new places and opportunities to be a light in a dark and dying world.
Chrystal, that’s really exciting.
Well, life wasn’t always that glamorous. As a young wife, mother and leader, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was literally stopped in my tracks for many years. Through that experience I became acquainted with the pain of suffering, hopelessness and despair, but I was able to remain tethered to Christ, and thankfully experienced a miraculous transformation, which ultimately led to a medically documented healing. Praise God.
I’m sure this experience was fundamental in the shaping of your ministry.
Yes it was. We serve a God who is with us every moment of every day in the midst of our weakness, sin and pain. After 30 years of pastoring, I still see believers and leaders struggling to gain real peace, true joy and lasting transformation. The body of Christ should be thriving in freedom and vibrancy, attracting the world to herself and the One who IS peace and joy. But often she struggles deeply, lacking the ability to help transform the lost around her.
I believe it’s time for the Church to realize how biblically relevant and important it is to deal with our issues, struggles, emotions and weaknesses as believers. Christ announced that he came for those who were weak, sick, captive and lost. He came to meet us where we are, bringing us into peace, victory and freedom. It’s time to own our behaviors and take “Response-Ability”, so that we can fully thrive as the people God created us to be.
How do these values get fleshed out in the day-to-day life of your congregation?
I currently oversee Living Waters Community Church’s transformation classes. We have seen hundreds of people walk through these workshops, experiencing the power of prayer, and seeing Christ change their lives in ways they never imagined.
Small groups of youth, women, men, and families meet in a workshop setting for 6-8 weeks at a time. They study together, participate in activities that engage each other, and most importantly provide a setting that is safe to share deeply the matters of the heart.
What is the most challenging part of this ministry?
Getting people to see the necessity of living deeply engaged with Emmanuel. So many people settle for status quo. Mundane. Normal. Thus the church has lost her witness, her ability to impact this culture, its towns and communities, neighbors and families. The church must experience the God-with-her, to the point we see a wave of transformation that turns us into life giving believers impacting and reaching unbelievers in every sector of society.
Chrystal, what do you love most about this ministry?
Simply and plainly put, I love to see lives deeply impacted and changed forever.
We are so fortunate to have you as an inspiring presenter at this year’s Thrive Conference. Could you tell us briefly about your class?
The Deal With It ... Finding your Peace of Mind workshop is designed to bring people into an "Emmanuel Encounter." We will look at the why and how to bring change into your life. You won’t believe the difference it can make!
More About Chrsytal
Chrystal Hansen is an author, ordained minister, and teacher who is passionate about leading people to peace, life and purpose in Christ. She is the author of God Can You Love Me? and shares stories of hope and restoration at www.chrystalhansen.com.
Chrystal and her husband Ken, have been in full-time ministry for 30 years and have three grown children. She has a BA from Lewis University in Applied Sociology and Political Science, and coaching certification through Coach Approach Ministries.