Soorin Backer studied at Fuller Theological Seminary for a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and a Masters in Biblical Studies. Currently, she’s enrolled at Global Awakening Theological Seminary for a Doctorate of Theology degree.
Soorin recently planted a church in Eugene, Oregon, called OARS and continues to host Power and Hope Conferences, workshops and teachings through media. She’s the author of Women In Jesus’ Life that has been used by churches and groups for weekly study. Her ministry continues to be featured on multiple TV platforms and radio stations around the globe and is the Keynote Speaker for the upcoming 8th Annual Central Oregon Prayer Breakfast on May 12, 2023.
Speaker 1 0:00
What is really marinating in my heart for this prayer breakfast is a call for unity in the body of Christ and a call to pray together for a cause, and to acknowledge that we have a commission from Jesus about transforming the world.
Welcome to cascade views a discussion with Central Oregon leaders. Your host is Michael SIPE, founder of 10x catalyst groups and Crosspoint capital community leader and best selling out there. The purpose of these discussions is to share the views and insights of local leaders from a variety of community sectors on a range of timely and important regional and state issues. With that now, here's your host, Michael SIPE.
Michael Sipe 0:52
Thanks for joining us on cascade news. My name is Michael SIPE, and I'll be your host. My guest today is serene Bakker, serene studied at Fuller Theological Seminary for a PhD in Clinical Psychology and a master's in Biblical Studies. Currently, she's enrolled a global awakening Theological Seminary. For a Doctorate of theology degree, you can find out more about serene and serene bakker.com. Serene recently planted a church in Eugene, Oregon called oars and continues to host power and hope conferences, workshops and teachings through media. She's the author of women in Jesus life that has been used by churches and groups for weekly study. Her ministry continues to be featured on multiple TV platforms and radio stations around the globe. And she's the keynote speaker for the upcoming eighth annual Central Oregon Prayer Breakfast on May 12 2023. I invited her in here today to talk about her ministry, serene backer ministries and to give us a sneak preview about what she'll be speaking about at the prayer breakfast. So serene, welcome to the show.
Speaker 1 1:52
Thank you, Mike. I so appreciate your invitation. And I really, really loved your intro.
Michael Sipe 1:59
Well, to get started, tell us a little on your personal background and family.
Speaker 1 2:04
Um, my grandma have two lovely granddaughters and I'm a mom to four children. They're all in their 20s Three sons and a daughter, my oldest two are married. And I'm married to a wonderful man who's a dentist just bought his third practice, actually. And we're going into our 32 years of marriage together. So I would say those are my biggest priorities. And they are the reason why I do the things that I do.
Michael Sipe 2:33
Well, 32 years, that's amazing. And you know, as I've heard other times that you've spoken, your family really is a big priority for you.
Speaker 1 2:41
Yeah, my daughter and her husband live in Southern California, but my three sons, including my married one, with his with his wife and two daughters live with us on our property. And so it's really important for me that every night I actually cooked dinner for my family of eight that live under one roof. So I do all the grocery shopping, and I cook for my family pretty much every night. So they are the heart of who I am. And outside of my salvation, and my relationship with the Lord. They are the reason you know that i i Like I said, do all that I do. Yeah.
Michael Sipe 3:16
So wonderful. Well, you just mentioned your relationship with the Lord. Tell us a little bit about your faith journey.
Speaker 1 3:23
You know, I was born into a pastor's family. And I often say my maternal grandfather was a key player in a key pastor in planting Christianity in South Korea. And of course, my dad was a pastor and my mom married him. And so I would say I'm third generation on my mom's side, second generation on my dad's side, so ministry kinds of kind of runs in my blood. But I grew up in a denomination where women were not ordained. And obviously, you can see my pictures, you would know that I'm Asian, I'm Korean. And the Korean culture is also heavily patriarchal. So I grew up in a lot of legalism, and a culture and an environment that basically said that because I'm a girl, I'm not allowed to do whatever, you know, you can fill in the blanks, especially anything to do with ministry. But you know, when I went to fuller Theological Seminary in my 20s, I was exposed to amazing men and women of faith, amazing theologians who started to unpack the Bible for me. And I had one professor who's now in heaven, David Schuler amazing, brilliant theologian who taught New Testament and the women and he just kept empowering me kept giving me office hours, even invited me to speak at Fuller chapel, the seminary chapel, and would give me books about why women are allowed to preach as opposed to and just kept pouring out this belief in me and it ultimately led me to leaving that particular denomination with a blood Single my mom, by the way, before she passed away, she just told me to serve the Lord. You know, whatever you give to whoever you are wherever you need to go, just serve Jesus. So I have followed that advice and been as true to my calling as I need to be. And would that help? And obviously, you know, I can't do this without my husband. He is my number one champion number one supporter, he's the one that when I want to quit and go industries too hard. He's like, You were born for this, and I got you. So a few years ago, I went into public speaking and conference ministry established my ministry, and you know, it just kind of exploded from there, I had radio stations come and say, We want your voice and radio, I don't even know how they found me. So Wilkins broadcast network, CLM media, came and asked me to be, you know, one of the radio hosts for Christian shows. So I've done that. And I've done TV ministering, I had a TV station come and say, we just want you to teach, you don't have to pay, promote, or edit or do anything, just come and do what you do. And we'll do everything else. So I had a TV ministry for a short period. And now I'm back getting a doctorate in theology, because it's very important for me that if I had the responsibility of preaching the word of God, that I know how to correctly understand the best that I know. So at age 54, the Lord had me go back for another degree. So I'm in the process of getting my second second doctorate.
Michael Sipe 6:37
That's impressive. Tell us a little bit about your current focus of your ministry.
Speaker 1 6:43
You know, I really grew up not believing the Holy Spirit to be very important. It was, the Holy Spirit is there to make you live a good moral life, and read the Bible, go to church and do the right things, be a good moral person. I had done all of that. And by the time I was 40, I was starting to have a nervous breakdown. I had been the most religious person I knew I was leading out women's Bible studies, I was taking my kids to private school, our family had worship nights, every night, we have worship with our kids, and we tuck them into bed with prayer. I did everything that a Christian woman was supposed to do, I married my first boyfriend, you know, all the things that you're supposed to check off, except for a couple of huge mistakes that, you know, I'm happy to talk about another time, which I'm very public about as well. But I did what a good Christian woman was supposed to do. But I gotta be really honest, even though I saw my father as being super anointed and used by God. And I believe there's a gifting and a calling and everybody, regardless of our brokenness, our household was full of a lot of violence. You know, there was domestic violence, obviously, the children were also physically abused. We had a lot of emotional, verbal and spiritual abuse. So after 40 years of trying to serve this God, you know, that condone this in my mind, even though I had a degree in psychology, it you know, there's a lot of nuances to living a certain life and having been conditioned in a certain way and raised a certain way, and knowing what wholeness looks like. But there's a huge gap between the reality you've lived and the experiences you have, and the health and wholeness you can actually manifest and live out. So I had this huge collision with the love of the Lord. And it led me to spiritual movements, where the gifts of the Spirit in First Corinthians, 1213, and 14 are all in operation. So I come from a very evangelical training background. And that's the kind of sermons and Bible studies I lead out. And I come from clinical psychology, but I've done therapy, I've done inner healing sessions. And now I would say, I would love to see unity, where the Evangelicals and the charismatic or Pentecostals, whatever you name or label them, I would love to see the body of Christ, just unify under the love of God, at the cross of Jesus, and just just surrender to the power of who he is and the love that he wants to pour out. And maybe just put a pause button on our theological differences and our differences of worship styles, and just acknowledge who God is in our lives and that that is Jesus Christ, who is the only way so my heart now was going more and more towards unifying the body of Christ.
Michael Sipe 9:46
What a wonderful, wonderful goal and Sign me up. I'm all in on that. No, in addition to speaking and teaching, though, you've also written a book so give us an overview of the book and your inspiration for writing it.
Speaker 1 9:59
Well, You know, I didn't want to write a book. But I was encouraged by many people who knew my education saying you need to do this. And so originally, I sat down to just write a simple devotional type of book. But what ended up coming out was the story of the woman at the well, the Samaritan woman. And it came out in a narrative form. And after the narrative form, all of a sudden, I just had this inspiration of, you know, what was the emotional life of this woman? And what was Jesus addressing, not just spiritually, but in her heart, you know, because, as a psychologist, that's what I'm looking for is what motivates people to move or behave or choose certain things. So this whole story for me came out in this psychological spiritual analysis of the story came out. And I just heard an inner voice saying, why don't you make this into a book. And I resist it, because I've never really wanted to be an author. And I heard this title from some inside of me, I want to call it women in Jesus's life. And so that that grabbed my attention, because I've always said, I don't want Jesus in my life, I want to be a woman in his life, because his life is so much bigger than mine. And that's the life I want to be included in. And so I fell in love with a title. And I literally kind of made a bargain with the Holy Spirit and said, If you'll give me a chapter a day, I will write this book in 10 days. And I can honestly say to you that the Lord kept his promise. And I wrote 10 chapters in 10 days. Now, it was a rough copy, and we had to edit it. And then later a few years ago, a publisher who wanted me to add one more chapter so that they can, I don't know for some kind of qualification. But right now, this book, that is narrative, psychological and spiritual analysis, kind of in the form of Bible study, at the end of each chapter for working women or busy women, or, you know, moms, it's now being turned into a series much like the chosen. So we're in the pre production phase of it right now. And we're getting ready to write our script.
Michael Sipe 12:04
Well, that's exciting. What a wonderful story. And I can't wait to I can't wait to see how that plays out. I will do my bed. Isn't it amazing the journey that that you go on, I have a similar story for another conversation about the book that I wrote, but so I can really, I can really relate with, with your story on that. But let's turn to the prayer breakfast that's coming up, give us a sneak preview of your message. At the upcoming eighth Daniels Central Oregon prayer breakfast, it's the largest in the state, hundreds and hundreds of people will be in attendance and are looking forward to hearing your message for us, give us a sneak preview.
Speaker 1 12:42
Well, first, I just want to acknowledge Mike, what you've done, here is an amazing Kingdom work. I'm blown away, I had heard about Oregon prayer breakfast, a couple of times in the past, I live a bit of a distance away, but I'd never gone. So I am sorry for that I'm repenting right now. But um, hats off to you for taking the initiative and doing something that was so essential in our state. And what's really marinating in my heart for this prayer. Breakfast is a call for unity in the body of Christ, and a call to pray together for a cause, and to acknowledge that we have a commission from Jesus about transforming the world. And so I would say it's just let's go back to the Bible. And let's put away the filters of different denominations, and some of the paradigms of churchianity that's been passed down to us. Why don't we just go back straight to the Bible and that the Bible tell us what the commissioning and the purpose of us being on earth means right now. So I think that's the direction we're gonna go.
Michael Sipe 13:52
Sounds great to me. One last question. As we wrap up here. I think you'd agree we live in challenging times, maybe all times are challenging, but, but these are our times and they're challenging. Many people, regardless of faith are struggling mentally, emotionally relationally, spiritually, one of your Hallmark event titles is power and hope. So for people who might be struggling or know others who are, share some thoughts on power, share some thoughts on hope that might be an encouragement.
Speaker 1 14:25
You know, I think most of us are so inundated by news, that it's very easy to focus on all the things that are going wrong, because that's the speciality of the news media is to report on all the bad things that are happening. You really don't have, you know, news channels that are focused on the good things that are happening. And of course now it's I think we would all agree, News has become almost a propaganda machine for certain ideologies that really the vast majority of Americans are not for whether you're Christian or not. So, for me, power and hope is a reminder under that aren't God continues to work, his plans are still in play. And the Bible literally says, the increase of His government, there will be no end. So there's two concepts here his government is, first of all increasing. And first of all, it's a government. Second of all, it's a government. And I guess there's the there's the third point, it's never going to end. So I believe, regardless of politics, regardless of what we see our leaders doing, and what's reported in the news, there are things happening right now, where our God is doing things behind the scenes for the benefit of his children. And in order to say this world, I do not believe God is eager to pour out judgment. And we see the evidence of that at the cross, I believe the Lord wants to reconcile the world to himself, and that He desires that none shall perish. And that plan is still at play. So there's so many things happening with revival, so many things with happening with people being baptized, and the increase of Christianity and other nations outside of America, and that there's a huge wave of people coming into the bomb church, you know, in China and Iran in places where people are risking their lives. So sometimes we can have such an insular view of what is happening in America, we don't see the global perspective, and that our God is literally increasing his government. So usually in times of darkness, like our times, when we study revival history, that's when the Lord just pours out His Spirit and all flesh, and we begin to see the desperation and the hunger for salvation. And I believe our world is there. I believe that young people are out there confused, and needing answers and wanting answers. And they're desperate for hope. And the only true source of hope in the world is Jesus. And that comes through Christians, that comes to his followers, it's us, we have to be the bearers of hope in this in this world. And I really am so excited to be a part of this prayer breakfast, because that is what you're crying out for. That is exactly what you're positioning Oregon for is the hope of our Jesus in our state.
Michael Sipe 17:15
Wow, that's terrific. Well, before we wrap up here, any final thoughts you'd like to share?
Speaker 1 17:22
Well, you know, if anyone's on the fence, and you're listening, and you've been wondering if, if you should come, this is your confirmation, you should be there. There's nothing like corporate worship and corporate prayer to change a nation and change a state. It's a biblical model. It is a biblical model of people uniting not in theology, but in their heart, Christ towards God. And that's what our prayer is about. It's that things that we do not have the power to change or the authority to change. We know the one who does. And when his children gathered together, united in a heart cry for the salvation of our state and our nation, there is no way our father's going to ignore us. So if you're on the fence, I'd encourage you to come and if you can't come pray with us at that time, join with us, or you know, join in the prayer pick up petitions that are going up not requests, but petitions. And if you are on the fence because of personalities that are involved, I would really urge you to not look at people, because it's not about the people praying together, I would really urge you to look towards the Lord, because that's the focus of this prayer breakfast. It's not about me who gets to speak. It's not about Mike who's organizing it. It's not about the worship leader, those individuals will change. But what will not change? Is the body of Christ coming together in unity in unison, and petitioning the God Almighty to move on our behalf for righteousness to rain on Earth.
Michael Sipe 18:56
Yes, yes. And yes, again. Sir, it's been great having you on the show, you know, my main takeaway out of so many out of this short conversation, but the one I'm going to chew on is, is a little line that you kind of tossed out there as you were talking about your book where you said that you weren't just interested in having Jesus in your life, I'm paraphrasing anything but you were just interested in having Jesus in your life that you were interested in being in his life this is either so much bigger, and I you know, I'm gonna ponder that because obviously, we want to have Jesus in our life but, but I'd like to be just as you want to be a woman in Jesus life. I'd like to be a man in Jesus life. I think that's there's incredible richness in that concept for me to chew on. And so, thank you for that gift. I'm grateful. And then thank you for your time. Thank you for your message today. We look forward to having you in band on May 12. We're gonna have a great morning.
Unknown Speaker 19:56
Yeah, I believe so. Thank you, Mike.
Michael Sipe 19:59
My guest today Since you're in backer, you find out more about Serena and serene backer.com That soon backer.com Thanks for tuning in.
Thanks for listening to cascade views with Michael SIPE. To find out more about Mike 10x catalyst groups and to hear additional cascade views episodes visit 10x groups.com. That's 10x groups.com you can secure your own copy of Michael sites best selling book the Avada email@example.com. And finally, please continue to get informed and actively engaged in serving our Central Oregon Community. Your Voice Matters