Sometimes the best clarity comes from sitting down with someone over a cup of coffee — or 5 cups, as the case may be.
This morning I had that opportunity.
As you know, if you read this blog, I am in the midst of a discernment process… asking WHAT’S MY NEXT STEP?
This has been mostly (so far) about prayer, listening, writing… but then I find it really helpful to also share with others I trust and just see what their thoughts and reactions are. Often a simple conversation over coffee can produce greater clarity.
Today, the clarity I have is this:
First, if I go with one of the options, I feel like I have a much better sense as to what it would look like and how I could move forward. Sometimes clarity comes from some concrete discussions.
Second, I feel like I am getting some more clarity on what matters most in the decision. For me, three major factors are critical:
- The use of my primary spiritual gifts and overall SHAPE.
- The importance of TEAM.
- The centrality of KINGDOM.
- The reality of SEASONS.
In a nutshell, my SHAPE:
- Spiritual Gifts: Leadership (esp. Strategy & Vision), Speaking/Preaching/Communication, Administration, Wisdom & Evangelism
- Heart/Passion: the local church, lost people, people who feel rejected by God/church, hunger, poverty, mission, discipleship
- Abilities: strategic planning, organization, cooking, team building, speaking/preaching
- Personality: entrepeneurial, unstructured/task, team-building, creator/creative
- Experience: church planting, pastoring, parachurch ED, catering, cooking, restaurant, consulting, speaking, etc.
As for TEAM, I know that I thrive best in the context of TEAM. I am not really an individual performer. I love being part of a team, building a team, leading a team, etc. PARTNERSHIP is one of my CORE VALUES.
And for Kingdom, my heart beats for the pursuit of SHALOM and Kingdom principles. I tend to agree with Frederick Buechner, who says that calling is found at the intersection of OUR GREATEST PASSION and GOD’S GREATEST NEED.
Finally, as for seasons… I know I need to be thinking about the kind of LEGACY I want to leave over the next 30+ years… but I also only need to figure out what is NEXT for me. I am coming out of a 2-year healing/growing/reflecting/repenting season. My next season may last 6 months, 2 years or even 5 years… but probably not 30 years. It is okay to have a 30 year vision, but sometimes the path there is not a straight line. I need to trust God’s timing and leadership… it may turn out that several of the 4 possible paths may actually be in my future… all in their due season.
So while I do not have any clear answers yet as to WHAT IS NEXT, I have much better CLARITY today over the important questions to be considering.
PRAYERS, THOUGHTS, INSIGHTS… all welcomed!