Discipling the Next Generations

Finding I’m exactly where God calls me to be

Kelly Skilton on the 2019 Walking on Ngarrindjeri Country trip ahead of the National Young Adult Leaders Conference

By Kelly Skilton

I would say that I have my absolute dream job — I work as a Uniting Church Youth and Young Adults Pastor and I also serve as a Chaplain at a University. I do not think that either of these are jobs for everyone, but I often feel like they are jobs made just for me.

I love creating spaces where people are able to think about what faith means for them, especially listening to people questioning, dreaming, and flourishing. It is a job that allows me to connect my love of community with my love of Jesus, and I often reflect how lucky I am that work is a place where I can talk about faith so freely.

Growing up, this didn’t seem like such an obvious vocation choice. But serving in the church was something that was a part of my family life. I was blessed to grow up in a Christian home, one that has three generations of quite prominent ministers and missionaries from Italy, Switzerland and Africa. My family only moved to Australia three years before I was born and so these stories of heritage and culture always filled the dinner table.

Even with this long family line of ministry agents, ‘ministry’ was not on my list of aspirations. My aim was to be a designer, and this wasn’t such a far-fetched idea either. After high school I became a qualified Product Designer, and even though I loved it, and I was good at it, it did not fulfil me.

I found, all of a sudden, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Though I knew that I loved Jesus. So with a desire to learn more about my faith I ended up at theological college.

So how did I end up working in the church and as a Chaplain?

The answer is people. People around me who could see something in me that I was yet to see. They encouraged and challenged me to create spaces where I was able to authentically live out my passion — building community and building faith.

I still listen to these same people who push and strengthen my faith and ministry, particularly as I discern what my vocation may look like in the future.

But for now, I know that my current job is exactly where God has called me to be.