Name: Mirjam Bickel
Relationship Status: Single
Education: High school Graduate
1. What are your talents and strengths?
I am a very relationship-oriented person and a love to be surrounded with people. Because of this, it is important to me to approach others and to see things from their perspective. So empathy is not difficult for me, and I would describe myself as a good listener. In addition, I like to write and to express myself beautifully through words.
2. What career did you want to pursue before you became a believer? What were your passions?
I didn’t have a career plan before I became a Christian, but before I had the dream to enter service fulltime, I always wanted to go into journalism or study event-planning.
3. In what ways were you shaped by your parents and your home environment?
I come from a very sheltered Christian home, and even as a young child I was allowed to learn through my dad what the Father’s love of God means. My parents decidedly shaped my path with God, and without them I would not stand where I am today. They have always encouraged and supported me, even, and especially, in the decision towards fulltime service.
4. When and how did you become a believer? How did your change of heart to become a pastor come about? Was there a specific situation that acted as a catalyst?
I was born into Christian belief.
After a failed search for identity and worth as a teenager, during which I tried to find myself in other things, I finally was able to find my identity in Jesus in a new and deep way.
At age seventeen I finally made a conscious decision for a relationship with Jesus.
5. Aren’t you worried that a pastor’s life can be boring and stressful? Sacrifices, high moral requirements, continual interactions with annoying people or even unemployment?
Certainly these things can come up, and I am aware that I possibly won’t have, for example, the highest income. However, I am determined to live my life not just with, but, above all, for Jesus. And for me this life is worth more than all other factors.
I see it as a huge privilege to be allowed to make His calling my work, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
6. Couldn’t you build the Kingdom of Heaven just as effectively as an entrepreneur or politician?
It is certainly possible to build the Kingdom of Heaven from these areas, but I simply find it so exciting and valuable to organize my whole life around Jesus and to be able to be so close with other people: to be able to bring forward new leaders and to help them to find their calling, that for which they were created, and to develop that fully.
And so I believe there is no better calling than that of pastor, because one is in direct contact with people.
7. Through THS-Academy you receive realistic insights into the everyday life of a pastor – what does it look like? What do you especially like about this, and what don’t you like?
In the short time that I’ve been at THS Academy, I’ve actually only learned things about the everyday life of a pastor that I really like. I like that as a pastor one is constantly surrounded by people and that one has the opportunity to invest in these people actively and directly, to promote the growth of their strengths and to challenge their weaknesses in order to bring them to the next level of personal and spiritual growth.
8. What must a developing pastor absolutely learn?
First of all, a pastor must have God at the center of her life, live her life sacrificially for Him in all areas, and orient herself towards Him and His will. To put others before oneself and to see others as more important than oneself. To give everything for God and for people. And at the same time to know who one is as a person, through a healthy relationship with Jesus.
9. Many pastors dream of great breakthroughs and church growth and are ultimately disappointed. Some leave. Why do you think this is?
This area will definitely often be tough, but it is so important to keep one’s goal in mind and to trust God fully, unconditionally and patiently that He will bring what He started to completion.
If it is God’s will, then it is also His responsibility to make His plan a reality.
And it is my responsibility as a pastor to trust Him without making compromises, to give it my all to build His kingdom and to be patient.
10. Why did you decide to undertake your studies through THS-Academy, rather than through another theological college?
After holding the dream of studying theology in my heart for several years, I periodically searched for suitable Bible schools, but none of them ever felt right. When I found THS through coincidence, I realized that it was exactly what I had been searching for, without knowing that it actually existed.
I find the principle of pairing theoretical study with practical work in a church inspired. The theoretical material is applied practically, which leads to global understanding.
11. So far, what have you learned most? How have you changed through this program?
Even in my first trimester at THS I have been allowed to learn and understand in a new ways what it means to be completely in service to God and how many-facetted, exciting, and adventurous it is to go all-in for Jesus.
12. When you imagine a typical week in 10 years – you can dream big – what does it look like?
Together with my husband, I would build a church or serve full-time in a/our church. To invest ourselves in people together and to go full throttle for the Kingdom of Heaven by doing our best for Him. Most likely, after ten years we would have children and a house, and would hopefully have led many people to God and into becoming true believers.