Lynn Payne was an atheist for the first 16 years of her life. She had never been to church until a friend invited her to youth group at Lakeview Church in Marion, Indiana. As she attended youth group for the next several months the youth pastor and his wife (Brandon and Jennifer Bruce) invested in Lynn’s life and she hungered to know Jesus. She was saved at a youth group event. The Bruces mentored Lynn for several years. Lynn was a senior in high school when she felt the Lord calling her into full time ministry as a children's minister. Lynn came to IWU to get a degree in children's ministry. She knew how to work hard as a student and how to connect with professors as mentors. I was one of those professors who had the privilege of having Lynn in class.
Lynn is a can-do person. When she was flying for an interview at First Wesleyan Church in Tuscaloosa, Alabama her flight was cancelled half way there. Lynn didn’t whine or blame the airlines. She simply searched for and found another stranded flyer and rented a car together and showed up on time for her interview anyway! That’s the sort of can-do spirit one expects of a job applicant.
She got the job and has been in charge of Children’s ministries at the church for about a year and a half already. Four of the seven pastors are IWU grads so she gets to work with other IWU alums. Lynn always did “above and beyond” work in every class I had her in…and she is still doing that in her work at the Tuscaloosa. She’s doing a great job and I’m proud of her. She is my “joy and crown.”
For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? 1 Thessalonians 2:19 (NIV)