Interview with Ashley Chesnut
Join the Conversation with Josh Jurkovich and Ashley Chesnut
In this episode of the Business of Ministry Podcast,
Josh Jurkovich talks with Ashley Chesnut about her new book, It’s Not Just You: Freeing Women to Talk About Sexual Sin and Fight It Well. As the Associate Young Adult Minister at The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama, Ashley has years of experience walking alongside young women dealing with sexual sin and trauma. After years of not being able to find enough in-depth resources on the topic of sexual sin, Ashley felt called to write a book. In It’s Not Just You: Freeing Women to Talk About Sexual Sin and Fight It Well, Ashley gives women the tools they need to battle sexual sin and she offers aid to those helping women fight the battle.
As far back as elementary school, Ashley knew that she was called to the ministry and had her sights set on one day attending seminary. Since childhood, she knew that her gift of writing and teaching came directly from the Lord. Her mother, a college minister set the example that a woman could work in the ministry and be paid for it. After graduating from seminary, Ashley started working with the young adult ministry at The Church at Brook Hills. She loves working in the local church and being in a spot where she can connect people to the greater body.
In today’s episode, Ashley discusses some of her personal experiences with young women in the church. She brings up the point that it takes more than one person to create a sense of safety for women dealing with sexual sin or trauma. Many pastors don’t address the topic of sin, mental health, trauma, and abuse from the pulpit but Ashley is blessed to work on a church staff where leadership isn’t afraid to address such hot-button topics. This in turn makes Ashley’s job easier as she walks alongside women in the church seeking help.
In this episode, Josh shares about a time he found a safe space to share his story and how important it is for people to realize they aren’t the only ones dealing with particular issues. He brings up the point that a lot of people are afraid to tell their stories and that fear holds people captive. He offers encouragement by reminding us that Jesus hung out with sinners and wanted to hear their stories.
Josh hopes to inspire those called to ministry or those currently in ministry by showing what’s possible when you follow through on the things that God is telling you to do. He says that Ashley is the perfect example of this.
In this episode, we discuss:
- [1:05] Ashely’s book It’s Not Just You: Freeing Women to Talk About Sexual Sin and Fight It Well
- [2:05] Why Ashley wrote the book
- [6:05] How stress took a toll on Ashley’s health
- [8:10] The Certificate of Biblical Counseling
- [9:11] How you can fulfill your calling
- [13:15] Why it’s important to listen well
- [14:27] The importance of having people walk alongside you during your struggles
- [15:30] Being scared to be judged by our stories
- [16:00] How The Church at Brook Hills is not afraid to tackle hard topics from the pulpit
- [17:20] How creating a safe space allows people to not feel alone
- [19:38] Ashley’s call to ministry as a child
- [24:06] Ashley’s desire to get a Doctorate
- [26:06] The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman
- [28:52] How Josh wants to inspire others in ministry
- [29:40] The importance of understanding how trauma affects people
- [31:27] Where to buy Ashley’s book
- [32:33] Encouragement for those struggling with sexual sin
People and Books Mentioned in this Episode:
- It’s Not Just You: Freeing Women to Talk About Sexual Sin and Fight It Well by Ashley Chesnut
- Unwanted by Jay Stringer
- Dallas Willard
- Renovated by Jim Wilder
- The Other Half of Church by Jim Wilder and Michel Hendricks
- The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman
- Diane Langberg
About Ashley Chesnut
Ashley serves as the Associate Young Adult Minister at The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama, and she’s the author of It’s Not Just You: Freeing Women to Talk about Sexual Sin and Fight It Well. She has a Master of Divinity from Beeson Divinity School and a Certificate of Biblical Counseling from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition to writing, Ashley enjoys speaking to women. She will be a speaker this fall at the Lifeway Women’s Forum. She will also be visiting a few college campuses to speak on the topic. To find out where you can hear Ashley speak, follow her on Instagram. In addition to Instagram, you can find Ashley on Facebook, Twitter, and on her book’s website.
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