The Reade Center and the Glamour of Ministry
There is one building at Taylor that holds most of my best Taylor University moments. It isn’t the ugliest building on campus. That is reserved for the Union and its outdated 1960’s UFO shape. It isn’t the coolest, most glamorous building. That is reserved for the new science building. It is the overlooked Reade Center.
The Reade Center is a pretty boring building in the middle of campus. With a modern architecture in the shape of a rectangle, it is built to be functional. Even though it isn’t glamorous, most of my favorite Taylor moments happened in the Reade Center.
As a child I went to visit my dad at his office in the Reade Center. Growing up we didn’t have a television so we would watch movies with my dad on the second floor in the faculty lounge. I would walk the halls of the Reade Center as a kid and dream of someday being a student at Taylor.
As a Christian Education major, I spent a lot of time in the Reade Center. It is there that I felt called to devote my life to full-time church ministry. Sitting in my freshmen year Intro to Christian Education I forged relationships with people who are crazy enough to spend time with teenagers. On the second floor I sat in Dr. Heth’s Greek class which kicked my butt but made the Scriptures come alive in ways that I never imagined. In Dr. Lay’s class we sat outside the Reade Center and lived out what community looked like. I ate up every story that Dr. Phil Collins told about what real ministry and leadership was all about.
And it was in a senior CE class that the scales fell off my eyes and I saw the most beautiful, wise woman in the world. I thought I would never have a chance with Hillary Boss, but one of my band of brothers from that first Intro to CE class convinced me to ask her on a pick-a-date. The rest is history and that beautiful woman in that Reade Center classroom is now my wife!
There is no such thing as the glamour of church ministry. Serving Jesus Christ, especially in full-time church work, is not for those looking to make a lot of money or make a name for themselves. In a lot of ways serving in full-time church work is a lot like the Reade Center. When big donors think about where to donate money it isn’t the building that houses the Christian Education department. There aren’t huge grants for ministry development and research. And it’s probably a good thing. Like the towel that we were given at graduation from Taylor, serving Christ is meant to be in the background, not the center of attention.
I am proud of my Taylor education and the lifelong memories that it brought. I am most proud that my time at Taylor taught me to serve.