I remember my first time at She Speaks when Renee Swope told the group, “We’ve been praying for God to boil up all your insecurities and self-doubt so that He can heal them at this very moment.”
Thanks a lot! JK! The truth was that beginning to speak had boiled up all my insecurities like nothing else ever had. Creating marketing pieces like a bio sheet turned up the heat even more. It was excruciating to write about myself in third person, and since I didn’t have a lot of credentials, I struggled with feeling unaccomplished and under-prepared.
Our team training with Rob Eager started to turn all of that negative feeling about marketing around. He emphasized to us that people aren’t nearly as interested in our list of credentials as in what we will give them that’s of value.
Revising my bio sheet with value in mind was so much easier. Instead of feeling like I had to convince people of how wonderful I’d be at their event, I could focus on telling them about the messages that God has given me. I could focus on what I’d give.
It’s ministry defining to seek God about your ministry value. By starting with a foundation of your own personal value to God, you can begin to see that how He has created you brings value to your audiences. Defining your value, or ministry niche, also defines when you say “yes” to speaking and when to say “no”. For example, if I’m asked to speak at an event where the emphasis is marriage, I’ll most likely say “no” and refer them to my friend Melanie Chitwood. Melanie is called to teach on marriage. I have a very happy marriage, but marriage is not my defined ministry niche. I’m sure I could put a message together, but I’m also sure that my audience wouldn’t receive the value that they would with Melanie.
How do you start defining your value? I have heard that Mary DeMuth defines your niche as “the place where your experience and passions intersect.” Here are some great questions to start with:
- What are some of my defining life experiences?
- What topics really “light my fire”?
- What scripture do I cite as my life verse?
- When I ask others (friends, spouse, church leaders, audience members), what do they say is my passion?
If you haven’t defined your value in ministry, pray that God will guide you and then start with these questions. I’d love to hear what you find out about yourself and your calling!