Last updated: September 25, 2019

God called Elley Fisk to live a life of faith and not fear. A year ago, God asked her to leave her home church and family and move to Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church (UMC) in Marietta, Ga., as the Director of Student Ministries. Elley followed that call and encourages her students to live an authentic faith, as well as teaches them to be bold leaders among their peers.

“Students just want to know that you are going to love them and listen to them no matter what is going on in their lives,” Elley said. “They don’t want to see you as perfect, they want to see you as real, trusting, and walking with God in the midst of whatever comes your way.”

In high school and college, Elley joined Fellowship of Christian Athletes, using her love of track and field to make an impact for Christ. As she learned ways to authentically share her faith with others, God sparked an interest in her heart to work with students fulltime.

“I sought to share the love of Jesus to my teammates because so many people don’t understand that Jesus’ love is for them,” Elley said. “I recognized that there were many who were lost and in need of Jesus and that the Lord was calling me to work with students. I wasn’t sure exactly what that meant or how God would use me, but He continues to give me passion, gifts, and opportunity to help teenagers follow Jesus.”

Elley worked with First UMC in Lexington, Ky., and the A&M UMC in College Station, Texas, before moving back to her home in Lakeside Park, Ky., to work at Immanuel UMC. Elley was comfortable in her home church and felt as though she was in the center of God’s will, until a friend told her about Mt. Bethel UMC.

“I felt like I was where God wanted me to be,” Elley said. “But I sent in my resume and went for a visit. God just began to stir in my heart the question of living in fear or living in faith.”

Although apprehensive about leaving family and friends, Elley chose to say yes to God and moved to Marietta, Ga., to serve as Director of Student Ministries.

“I think attempting something big is doing something that is outside of my own abilities or control,” she said. “Being led by the spirit and knowing that if this thing happens, its success is only by the work of God and not by my own hand.”

Since her transition, Elley has seen God use her in ways she never would have imagined. She oversees a staff of eight others and facilitates activities, such as mission trips and student life groups, for approximately 600 students.

While on a mission trip to the Bahamas, Elley encouraged her kids to lead, even though this was a new challenge for most. One girl had never stepped out of her box before, yet she volunteered to lead devotions at one of the local schools.

“It was so cool to see her step out in faith and to know that kind of experience is transformative,” Elley said, “It was very sweet and personal to see her sharing her favorite scripture and why with students she didn’t know.”

Mt. Bethel seeks to build a Christ-centered culture to encourage an intimate relationship with Jesus at all ages. When students return home, they have the opportunity to continue to demonstrate their faith to others. Mt. Bethel UMC recently started a new worship service called, The Well. At The Well, all the Life Groups come together for one night of student-led worship each month. At the most recent service, 400 students attended a service designed by their peers.

“I love doing ministry not just for students, but with them and equipping them to use their gifts and skills to do ministry,” Elley said.

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