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The deep knowing that I needed an updated vision for my personal speaking and writing ministry wasn’t a flash of insight or one defining moment. Instead, it was a growing realization.
I was chugging along in my ministry niche, and everything was okay. The key word here is “okay.” Dictionary.com defines the adjective this way: “Satisfactory but not exceptionally or especially good.”
It hadn’t always been just okay. For years after the release of my first book, Breaking Up with Perfect, I spoke and wrote about the journey from our own perfectionism into God’s perfecting work in us, focusing on the development of thriving relationships minus the choke-hold of unrealistic expectations. I was passionate about these messages because of the impact the lessons had had on my own relationships, and I connected with a community of like-minded women. It was invigorating!
But about a year ago, I noticed a shift. I wasn’t as excited about my messages anymore. I didn’t feel the passion I once felt. I was starting to slog through my messages, both written and spoken, and I couldn’t figure out why.
In the midst of this, God was stirring a new focus in my heart. I had a growing desire in my own life to learn how to enter into the culture-battles with peace, wisdom, and most-importantly, a strong biblical foundation. I had endured my own silence, cultivated to avoid the loud fray of the extremes, for long enough, and I wanted to bring others with me into using our voices in godly ways.
However, trepidation almost kept me stuck. My personality is change-resistant, and the path in a new direction seemed too hard. Also, I was doing fine. Okay. I could keep going in the current direction, couldn’t I?
But God is compelling, and the fresh stirring in my heart proved irresistible.
Have you been feeling the need for an updated vision? A revived dream? A change in direction? Here are some red-flag indicators that God may desire to shift the focus of your speaking and writing:
- You’re dealing with writer’s block on a regular basis. It seems impossible to find something new to say because all your best thoughts are already recorded.
- Procrastination has taken over. It’s hard to make yourself blog, write, or prepare for the next event.
- You’re feeling very average. Last week I heard a story about a magician with a hilarious name. His stage name was Alfonzo the Adequate. Lol! Have you gone from (fill in your name here) the Magnificent to __________ the Adequate? Might be time to seek God for a fresh take.
There are two big steps that I took to move into the new vision He had for me:
- Move forward with a little help from your friends. Two of my sweet friends, Cheri Gregory and Kathi Lipp, offered to get on the phone with me and hash it out. With the insight of personal ministry experience (key in those you consult), they listened and listened until they found clarity in my jumbled thoughts. Then they repeated back my own words to me with additional creative thoughts of their own. They didn’t determine my new direction, but I couldn’t have found it without them. Cheri and Kathi pointed out overlapping thoughts, ideas that resonated, and the strongest arguments, helping me find the key points for focus. I had to do lots more refining on my own, but those two gave me a great start!
- Create a new tagline (or your first if you don’t have one!). I know y’all are probably tired of hearing me talk about taglines, but I’m a fanatic for a reason. Taglines force us to wrestle with God until we identify and express our ministry niche in a way that we can remember and others can connect. Not only did a new tagline that I love, “Tender Hearts. Strong Voices.”, come out of this round of wrestling, I have a new working title for a book proposal too!
Where are you in your ministry journey? Are you happy with your current vision, or are you feeling the restlessness that often leads to change? What’s your current tagline? Are you happy with it? Share with us in the comments!
Amy Carroll makes sure every coaching client starts with a tagline she loves, developing them through proven steps with clients who don’t already have one in their back pocket. Amy knows a clear understanding of your ministry niche is the foundation of compelling spoken messages and irresistible written ones. Here’s what one of her clients said about the process:
“Next Step Coaching Services was the catalyst I needed to get things going. Amy’s expertise and encouragement helped turn my stagnant ideas into a dynamic reality. The tools she provided are resources I consistently rely upon as I continue to grow and sharpen my skills as an effective communicator of God’s Word.” ~Christy Williams