I wish I had a dollar for every time I am asked that question, seriously. I would be able to take that dream trip to Tuscany!
Anyone who knows me knows that I have been in a sort of “amazing race” for the past 3 years and 4 months. I have been traveling like a mad woman since January 2009 and enjoying every second of it (other than being away from my family more than ever in my life)
It all started with my Bible Study published in 2008 Surrendering the Secret.
I knew when this study was embraced by Lifeway Christian Resources that my work had just begun.
Although statistics tell us that 43% of childbearing age women have had at least one past abortion, I knew that a transparent discussion about abortion was a new and risky thing in most churches. In order to open the doors for women to bravely step up and take this study, I had some work to do.
So I stepped hard and fast into the “calling” (the OPPORTUNITY) I felt God had set before me.
I have learned a few things along the way that I hope may help others who are stepping into a new ministry.
1) You go first.
I knew that sharing the heartbreak of abortion was going to be very tough for many women and men. As a rule, we often put our best foot forward in church and aren’t quick to share such dark and shameful secrets. I also know that in order for the church to take the lead and make a difference for LIFE in our Nation, we must get healed. I knew I would need to be ready to make some personal sacrifices and be ready to GO FIRST.
2) Share your redemption story whenever and wherever God opens the door.
When we say YES to God, He makes the way clear. I have lost count at the number of speaking engagements God has opened for me over the past 3 1/2 years. I have traveled from my home base in Tampa, Fl all the way across the nation to Alaska and pretty much hit every state in between. I have spoken to groups on 15 and groups of 1,000. I go where God says go and give everything I have inside to every event He sets up. Big and Small. Organized and Messy. Nice hotels and Not So Nice hotels 🙂
3) Take the time to learn and keep learning.
I have learned to be a lifelong learner. I NEVER feel I have mastered my “craft”. I am always trying to learn to be a better speaker, a better leader and a better SERVANT. It is important for us to take the time to invest in what we feel God is calling us to do. If it is speak–take time to learn how to speak publicly BEFORE stepping out. I have listened to many people stand at microphones and spew unhealed heartbreaks and all over the page outlines. (ooopps I think that may have been me 🙂 Thank God, He has shown me grace and allowed me to fall down and get back up, over and over again. He has allowed me to learn and keep learning.
4) Prepare your ministry infrastructure and keep tweaking it as you go.
The first year that my study was published my staff and I spent an entire year building our national office infrastructure for this new program. We built a new website, created a product supply system, invested in marketing materials and branding. Yet, we are always making changes and updating things to try to keep our ministry current and ready to serve others better.
The website we have now at www.surrenderingthesecret.com was just redone again this January. What do you think?
Infrastructure is a full time job and requires lots of flexibility and investment of both time, talent and money!
5) Share everything you have and everything you know. Give it all away!!
My desire is to get out and share post abortion recovery ministry with church leaders all across America. I want to teach others how to serve this MISSION FIELD OF MILLIONS. How to find them, how to help them, how to inspire them to BE A VOICE for LIFE! I have trained over 800 Leaders in the past 3 1/2 years and am thrilled with every group God gives me.
6) Build a Team.
Along with training ministry leaders to offer STS in churches and Pregnancy Resource Centers. I have begun to identify and train a team of National Trainers who started this year to offer the training I have been doing in their local communities and states. God wants us to expand our territory! This team is ready to go.
So…that’s a bit of “How I Do it”. I so don’t have anything mastered but I hope some of it helps you to think through the ministry God is calling you to embrace.
You can do it!
He is on your side!!
If you are one of the God Chasers I have met in travels, please say Hi in the comments and I’ll send you a wonderful PDF called “A Leader of No Reputation” that will rock your world!!