True confession: I am incredibly jealous of professional basketball players.
My closest friends know this about me: I love all of the unique jerseys, athleisure, fancy shoes, and accessories that professional athletes get to wear. It’s not even about the salary (although that is an added benefit). Even all the free snacks and gatorade seem like a fantastic perk of the job.
What really gets me fired up is the pregame speeches. When cameras sneak behind the scenes to catch a coach’s motivational pregame speech, I can’t but help but want to put on my running shoes and sprint around my house. As you scan the room, you can see the players locked in on the coach, hanging on every single word to inspire the athletes to perform at the highest level.
Apps like Nike Run and Peloton have capitalized on our propensity to want this coaching and motivation. We like someone on our screen or in our ear telling us we can do it! We can take the next hill or go the extra mile because Shaun T told us that we could.
Maybe we’re drawn to these coaches because we’re looking for something or someone who can challenge us, inspire us, or help us achieve a goal we cannot achieve on our own. Perhaps you don’t look for this in a fitness coach, but in a pastor or thought leader; someone with a platform that we’re convinced has influence.
Yet we all have influence.
In Romans 12:1-2 in the Message, it reads:
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”
Empowering others begins in everyday, ordinary life (not the professional athlete sort of life, even though I am drawn to the perks). When we take our everyday lives and place them before God as an offering, we invite others to come along with us as we find and follow Jesus.
No competing. No comparing. When we live empowered lives–knowing who we are and who we aren’t–we empower others to do the same.
This past June, I had the opportunity to interview Noemi Chavez, Lead Pastor at Revive Church in Long Beach, California (she’s also an incredible empowerer of young women through co-founding Brave Global–www.braveglobal.org!). At the end of our podcast, Noemi shared how one of her main goals as a leader was to make other leaders around her better: better preachers, disciplers, and mentors. I have not been able to get this phrase out of my head. That’s empowerment. That’s influence.
That’s who I want to be! I want to be the kind of leader that makes others better in my own life because I am pursuing Jesus; because I am embracing what he has done for me and empowering others to do the same.
One of the greatest priorities for The Truth Republic is bridging the gap between calling and opportunity for women to fully reach their purpose and potential. This gap, for a lot of women, can feel seismic:
- I am called to preach, but I rarely have the chance to practice and improve.
- I am called to start a non-profit organization, but I don’t know where to begin.
- I am called to mentor younger women so they don’t make the same mistakes I did, but I don’t have anything valuable to share.
- I am called to help marriages thrive, but I can’t imagine what it would be like to go back to school.
Through the power of community, the answers to these questions or doubts can be explored. Maybe you don’t know the answer, but do you know someone who does? How can you use your own everyday sphere of influence to help empower others?
Here’s my challenge to you as we begin 2021 and reflect on this concept of empowering: grab a journal and think through the following questions:
- Who has empowered YOU? What were some tangible things that this person did to help you be or feel empowered in your own leadership journey?
- Are there any areas in your life where you are missing an opportunity to be empowered or empower others because you find yourself comparing or competing?
- Who might the Holy Spirit be placing on your mind and heart to specifically empower this year? How can you use your own sphere of influence to cheer someone else on along the way?
May the answers to these questions help us to find ways to thrive in 2021 and empower people to join us and do the same!
Written by Heidy Tandy
Director of Stadia’s Bloom, Church Planter, Wife, Mom