Thursday, December 06, 2007

Teena M. Stewart...Kid Who Grew Up to Be Expert in Small Groups Ministries

This photo shows Teena with her siblings before her baby sister entered the scene. She's the skinny kid in the dress.

Teena remembers about the photo: "We had a neighborhood 4th of July parade and there was a contest for best theme. My dad chose To Market, To Market to Buy a Fat Pig or something about a farmer taking pigs to market. I was the farmer's wife and my older sister, Vicki, was the farmer. I really didn't wear glasses. I think those were an old pair of sunglasses. Dad made pigs out of Clorox bottles and stuck them on my brother's and sister's heads.

When Teena Stewart was growing up in Virginia, she never expected she would ever leave. But one day she met an exciting American-Scotsman and married him, and it was off on adventures with her pastor-husband from Virginia to Pennsylvania to Colorado to California to Scotland, and who knows where next? Moss doesn't grow under the Stewarts' feet, and certainly not under Teena's. No matter how long she stays in one place, she is moving. Her next move? To head up a coffee shop ministry on the East Coast! She and husband Jeff are pulling up stakes in California to follow God's calling once again.

Today Teena, a writer who has penned over 1000 articles, as well as short stories, fiction and ezines, and then finds time to head up ministries from one ocean to the other, still finds occasions to dress up. If we could get her three grown-up kids to talk to us, they'd tell us of the many funny skits and "dress-up" occasions, like posing for the famous Stewart Christmas cards, to be much like what Teena's dad instigated in a Fourth of July parade.

But Teena is shy and humble about what she does--even though her lifetime of work thus far speaks volumes about her talents. She has a B.A. degree in fine arts and paints portraits of pets, furniture that would make Mary Englebreit feature her if she only knew about her work, and she designs anything--from logos that appear on blogs, to web designs and web sites--well, Teena is an artist, too.

So what can we find out about Teena Stewart as a child that molded a woman so extremely talented who has a new book out--Successful Small Groups from Concept to Practice ? She's still shy, even though she can speak in front of groups with boldness about the God she serves, and topics that drive her passions.

Childhood Ambition: To be a ballerina

Fondest Memory (then): Riding my pony

Proudest Moment (now): Becoming a mom

Biggest Challenge as a child or teen: Extremely shy + severe asthma

My First Job: Clerical worker for the Department of the Navy in Arlington, VA

Childhood indulgence: Moravian Sugar Cake

Recipe from Chef Rick site:

Moravian Sugar Cake
1 package dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water

1 cup hot, unseasoned mashed potatoes

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup shortening

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, beaten

5-6 cups sifted flour

Brown sugar



Dissolve yeast in warm water. Mix together mashed potatoes, sugar, shortening, butter, and salt in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture and stir until blended. Cover mixing bowl and set aside to rise in a warm place until spongy. Stir in eggs and enough sifted flour to make a soft dough. Shape dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and allow to rise until double in bulk--about 2 hours.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Divide dough in half and spread out evenly in 2 greased baking pans, 13x9x2". Set aside to rise again. When double in bulk, use your fingers to make holes 1 1/2" to 2" apart all over the dough. Fill holes with brown sugar and generous pieces of butter. Sprinkle cinnamon over entire cake. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Because of the size of the cake, it is usually cut in halves to wrap for giving. Cakes can be frozen and reheated for serving. Makes 2 cakes, each 13x9".

Favorite Outfit as a child:Dress up clothes--my mom's open-toed black heels and white curtain sheers with red lipstick to match

[Crystal editor's note: Wish we had a photo of her in that! Scarlett O'Hara, move over!]

Favorite Childhood Movie: Pinocchio

Favorite Childhood Book: Little Black, a Pony

Childhood hero: My Dad

Childhood pastime: Playing Tin Can Hide

While growing up, I never expected to: move away from Virginia

Teena Stewart writes a monthly column for DreamBuilders Ministry in Motion's MIM Ezine, a place where those in ministry--whether pastor or other staff members in churches--can go to find solutions, support and materials and ideas and ministry resources. What she didn't include in her information for me is that she created and continues to develop this ministry, and she then was able to recruit others into keeping it going. Don't know what your spiritual gifts are? Teena has answers. If you need some help and support on raising your teen, Teena (alone and with her sometime co-author) covers that.

If you are interested in writing for Dreambuilders, check out the writers' guidelines.
She has published and written numerous suspenseful short stories and fiction, and started a blog covering the topic of suspense fiction called Whispers in the Darkness.

And look into Java Journey as Teena and husband, Jeff, are getting ready to embark on a coffee house ministry.

Whatever Teena turns her attention to, you can bet she will soon be an expert, and her blog explores the gamut on fiction books and within the genres of mystery and suspense. If you have an interest in this type of writing, check out this blog.

Here is just some of her work that is available in book form:

Soul Matters for Mothers

The World's Easiest Pocket Guide to Marriage and Moneywith Jeff Stewart and Larry Burkett

God's Way book series

Her publication credits also include but are not limited to: Discipleship Journal, Leadership Journal, Minister’s Family Magazine, Ministry Magazine, Woman Alive, Woman's Touch and many other publications.

Teena's passions have caused her to write so many articles, she seriously has lost track of the number, but now she is turning her writing to books and Successful Small Groups: From Concept to Practice(Beacon Hill) on small groups was released in November 2007.

Teena's latest book is for leading small groups in church and ministry:

Order this book now or leave a comment and enter a drawing for this book which I will draw on December 11th. The names will be drawn from this blog and also the When I Was Just a Kid blog. Sorry, you must have a U.S. address.

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