By Leigh Pritchett
Correspondent, The Alabama Baptist
Judy McGuirk, of Fultondale, retired in her 50s after working 32 years for General Motors. Now at 73, the former training administrator volunteers 20–25 hours each week for her church. Her priority during those volunteer hours is to facilitate the church’s Next Steps Ministry, which connects guests and members with other people, ministries and opportunities for service.
Ministry: Team leader of Next Steps Ministry
Church name: Fultondale First Baptist Church, Birmingham Metro Baptist Association
Life verse: “Since my youth, God, You have taught me, and to this day I declare Your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare Your power to the next generation, Your mighty acts to all who are to come.”
Q: Describe where you focus your greatest ministry efforts.
A: Working in the Next Steps Ministry, I can follow up with guests and provide them with information about who we are as a church and how they can become involved. I also assist in the assimilation of new and current members into our church family through Life Groups, volunteering and other areas of service.
Q: Who was or is one of the most influential people in your faith life? Why?
A: I have had many influential people at different seasons in my life, both inside and outside the church — pastors and their wives, church members, teachers, women’s ministry leaders. One of the things that has remained constant is the influence of and accountability to my closest circle of friends and family.
Q: Tell about a “turning point” in your life and how God was involved.
A: I have had a desire to serve God since I was a teenager, but family life and working full time limited the amount of time I could devote to serving. God did bless me with allowing me to retire at a very young age, and I have tried to use this time to fulfill the work He has for me to do.
Q: Have you ever read a book or heard a song that changed the way you think about God and faith? What was it and what did you learn from it?
A: “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren had a big impact on my life. It’s not about me. Everything is about God and His purpose for creating me. Also, music has been a big part of my life. Different songs at different seasons in my life have played a big part in shaping me into the person I am today.
Q: What has God been teaching you lately?
A: Our pastor has introduced D-Groups (discipleship groups) to us and I have the privilege of being a part of one of these groups. I have learned so much about how to disciple others and live out the life God has called me to live.
Q: If there were one thing you could tell your younger self about faith, what would it be?
A: Faith produces faith. God is the source of our faith, and the more we act upon it, the stronger it becomes.