by Sheryl Brady
In my vocation as a pastor, I’ve had the privilege of speaking to individuals and large groups at churches and at events across the country. In these off-line conversations a common theme emerges: people are growing increasingly dissatisfied with mere survival. They know intuitively that there’s more to life than the status quo.
Though society-at-large is struggling with our ever-changing world, I find that often pastors, ministers and lay leaders find themselves leading the way through the mire while not having a pillar to lean against, themselves.
What do you do when you are the one expected to hold it all together and “get it right” every time? The weight of leadership requires some silent tears and serious talks only between you and God, but gaining strategies and practical tools from other leaders will enhance your spiritual journey and refresh you for the journey ahead.
When you encounter hardship, you can’t continue down the same familiar, comfortable path, sticking with what you know, doing what you’ve always done. Mike Tyson famously mused “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.”
When things aren’t going according to plan, it’s time to head in another direction. It’s time to reinvent the dream.
More often than not, hard times are the catalyst that invariably sets you up to repurposed pursuits and reignite the vision.
I’ve learned to look for the opportunity within the adversity, which continuously helps me to fine tune my leadership. The fine tuning will always be a process, lovingly overseen by God.
More often than not, our struggles will invite us to develop new skills and to connect to that internal inkling that we were created for something greater.
When we pay close attention, we find that God is constantly revealing hidden talents and undiscovered passions that help nonstick and unlock our circumstances.
If we put one foot in front of the other even when the way seems uncertain, a path will emerge like an old Polaroid peeling away the darkness to reveal a clearly formed image right before our eyes.
So begins ‘the journey of transformation.’
As a high school dropout, I would never have imagined the turns that my own journey would take. I unknowingly set on a new course as a young pastor’s wife and mother when my world intersected with T.D. Jakes’.
Over time, Bishop Jakes became a mentor who helped me to realize my full potential as a preacher, pastor, and now first time author. Along this journey, I found my own voice and a purpose to encourage others. His guidance gave me the courage to feel that there was nothing that I couldn’t tackle.
That is until one late August afternoon when I received a call asking me to speak at his popular men’s-only conference, called ManPower. I knew that this was a truly historic, breakthrough moment. I would be the first woman ever to address this audience of 10,000 men, waiting expectantly to hear from the visionary himself. Insecurity set in and I asked him if he really wanted me to do this.
He told me that I was the perfect woman for the job. Nevertheless, I was scared. But, I caught my breath, dug deep and delivered the message I felt God wanted them to hear. Had I not listened to that little voice inside that said, “You can do this!” Bishop Jakes’ empowering, trust-filled words would have fallen on deaf ears.
I wrote my first book, “You Have It In You!: Empowered to do the Impossible,” out of my own scrapbook: a wife and mother in my teens, songwriter/worship leader in my 20s, pastor in my 30s, international conference speaker in my 40s and an author at the age of 52. Each decade brought with it new twists, challenges and achievements that I never imagined were within my reach… And because of these significant, ‘purpose discoveries’ in my personal life, I am passionate to see the people I come into contact with discover their hidden potential as well.
So now, when my Sunday morning comes, I speak to my audience from the volumes of my own living epistle.
A magnificent opportunity to become more aware your god given gifts would be to join me as I speak the Word of God at MegaFest, hosted by Bishop T.D. Jakes.
MegaFest is one of the most widely recognized events hosted by Bishop Jakes. The three-day, family-friendly, inspiration festival has broken attendance records around the globe. It was last held in South Africa with outreach missions, excursions, entrepreneurial exchanges and special HIV/AIDS awareness programs. MegaFest combines four of Jakes’ most popular conference series, ManPower, Woman Thou Art Loosed, MegaYouth and MegaKidz. This year, it will be held in Dallas, TX, August 29-31, 2013.
For me as a pastor, leader, wife, mother and grandmother, this is more than another conference or festival. This promises to be a destiny igniting moment for the entire family, both naturally and spiritually.
Leaders, while holding it all together for everyone around you, I tell you with conviction, You must take time to invest in yourself. The latitude and longitude of your destiny lie within. Your time is now. Reinvent your ministry. Reinvent you. You have it in you!’
About Sheryl Brady Pastor
Sheryl Brady is the campus pastor at The Potter’s House of North Dallas. Called by Bishop T.D. Jakes to lead this church, Brady has grown this church from only a few hundred congregants to a few thousands. She has also traveled the globe as a singer, pastor, lecturer and recording artist speaking and singing at conferences and churches. She was the first female speaker to ever address the all-male crowd for Bishop Jakes’ Manpower Conference in 2010. Brady is married to Bishop Joby Brady and they have three daughters and seven grandchildren.