It was over a decade ago, but the memory keeps racing through my mind.
I was at a Women’s Ministry Leadership meeting. We were struggling with time management and goal setting, so I suggested we collectively read my favorite book on the subjects. The author happened to be a Mormon.
One of the other women was incensed at my recommendation. She threw the book on the ground, stomped on it, and accused me of letting the enemy into the ministry.
All these years later, I am much the same person. I love the Bible. I love to study it, learn it deeply, apply it to my life. I regularly attend Bible Studies, teach Bible Studies and go to church. BUT…sometimes my little brain needs outside sources to help figure out how to actually do the work of change in my life.
That help comes from a variety of different sources. Not all of them are “Christian”. I believe…stay with me here…that sometimes people who are not Christians can have amazing things to say. (Audible gasp.) These things can move me, stir me, make me think and feel deeply. SOMETIMES, that happens because I radically disagree–which is perfectly okay in my world. Sometimes it is because I have never looked at life through that lens or thought that way, and the perspective stretches me.
In the Old Testament God used Pagans to serve His purposes often. He is certainly capable of achieving His good through them today.
Lately I have been riveted by an author. I have only fully read one of her books, but I am beginning another and her insights ring true to my life. I believe her perspectives are transformational, and I can’t seem to contain my enthusiasm. While she is a Christian, Bible verses are not the focal point of her writing, her research is.
Brene Brown is a shame and vulnerability researcher. Hmmm. Didn’t originally grab me. I avoided her books for months because I was afraid they would be babble, academic, or worldly. But she is a popular speaker at Christian Leadership conferences, and she seemed to be chasing me through my life. She was mentioned at a training at my daughter’s school; she was mentioned in other books I was reading; there she was again in several blogs I follow; and finally a beloved pastor recommended her. I gave in and checked out her book, Daring Greatly, from the library.
After reading for an hour I ordered it on Amazon. I KNEW needed to highlight, scribble notes, and reread. I believe my family Christmas was more peaceful because of what I learned.
She speaks in her books about what she calls “Wholehearted Living.” I want that. I believe the concepts she teaches can be life changing for my family. I also believe that they can radically improve the ministry.
“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we will ever do,”
-The Gifts of Imperfection
That is the heart behind helping people. We are encouraging them: This is your story. Own it. Let us love you through that.
Brene also covers concepts that can be transformational for the volunteers. She talks about three key ingredients to wholehearted living, courage, compassion and connection. This is the heart behind this next season in Brighten A Corner.
We have raised and set aside up to $10,000 for mini projects. We want you to submit projects, then (if chosen) lead the project with our support. I love Brene Brown’s working definition of a leader: “Anyone who holds [themselves] accountable for finding potential in people and processes” (emphasis mine). We feel God calling us to help more people learn and grow in courage, compassion and connection, while serving others.
Do you feel called to DARE GREATLY in 2014?
Is there a desire in you to serve Him in new ways? Do you, like me, believe that God will grow you through stepping out in service in new and exciting ways? Is there a family or a cause that compels you? Make 2014 the year of lasting impact, and let us help you.
“He has shown you, O man, what is good and what the Lord requires of you. To do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8