Sunday, September 26, 2010



She looked across the table as she confided in me. “I feel like I’m not enough,” she whispered.

“Not enough what?” I asked.

“Just not enough,” she answered.

I exhaled slowly. This accomplished woman felt like she was not enough? I couldn’t believe it. I had harbored the same feelings myself. But she was the only other person who had ever admitted her self-doubt to me. Because of her honesty, together we deconstructed where the feelings came from and how they hindered us. And we resolved to change the phrase from “not enough” to “enough” since the Bible clearly tells us that we are made in God’s image and that what he makes is plenty.

Why is it we doubt this so? Our “enoughness?” Is it the voice of a never-satisfied parent, a push-till-you-get-it-right teacher, a preacher who slipped into the severe too many times?

I’ve thought of that conversation many times since, usually when I’m experiencing fear or self-doubt. Leadership has its challenges and one of them is having the confidence to forge ahead even when we are uncertain. And believe me, I’ve been uncertain a lot! It’s comforting to know that others I admire experience the same feelings.

I heard a statement that addresses this very issue: God does not call the equipped. He equips the called. You may have heard this saying too. But just for a moment, let the words go beyond your ears into your being. If he thinks enough of you to set you in a certain spot of leadership, then he knows what you need to accomplish what he has in mind. Really.

If you’ve been called to an assignment that feels overwhelming, know that God will equip you. And because that equipping may come through the hands or skills of other people, be sure to look around you and reach out to those who may help you realize your vision or calling. Pride often keeps us from doing so. Leadership doesn’t require us to go it alone.

And when you still have days when you feel like you are not enough, remember that God is more than enough. Always.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Foot in the Door

By Elisa Morgan

I was one of six women in my seminary program. Even thirty years ago, God was clear to me: My job is to open the door. Yours is to go through it and once on the other side, to put your foot in the doorway to hold it open for the next woman coming after you.

Today that's it - my job description and calling: go through the door and keep my foot in the doorway for the next woman.

Are you that woman? I'm betting that you are.

"Who me?" comes your squeaky reply. Yep - you. For various reasons, we women pull back from open doors. Some suffer from a case of the "Not Me" syndrome. Not important. Not platform-gifted. Not experienced. Not educated. Not official. So when we see the door opening in front of us, we look around and over our shoulders assuming that the entrance couldn't possibly be intended for us.

Then there are those diagnosed with a "Really? Me?" condition. We believe we hold influence - even leadership skills - but we draw back at the timing, at the conditions, at the position involved in moving through an open door.

Others suffer from an "Only Me" posture. We've been all alone slugging out the "woman in leadership" battle and we're just plain tired. We don't want to go through one more door. We forget that sometimes that's the only thing required of us: entry. Entry so that others can follow.

Wherever you are on the pathway to leadership, (Do you suspect you have gifts that aren't being used or do you know you have influence but need a push to live it out?) There's a doorway in front of you. Everyone of us has influence that God intends we invest for his kingdom purposes.

Guess what? (This is a REALLY BIG DEAL!) God has opened a new door for us. I'm heading through and I want to invite you with me!

For a zillion years, CLA (Christian Leadership Alliance) has offered training in Christian nonprofit and church ministry management. (You know - teaching stuff like how to read a balance sheet, how to take care of yourself while leading others, how to stay relevant in order to connect with your audience.) New this year: an alliance with CLA and FullFill™! We take all the great CLA teachings and bring them home for women. Finally - training in a woman's first language, in our voice and from our unique instinctive perspective!

Paying attention? Chuck Swindoll, Crawford Lorritts, Andy Crouch AND Priscilla Shirer, Carolyn Custis James and myself. Deep and enriching teachings from amazing men as well as uniquely qualified women. Tailor-made offerings like Healing Waters' CFO Beth Flambures on "Changing Women's Seat at the Table: Moving from Bookkeeper to CFO" and Awana's Marie Guthrie on "Marketing Messages that Motivate Women" and Care Net's President Melinda Delahoyde on "Engaging Women as Executives and Board Members."

Seriously. For the first time ever, here is a conference that uniquely equips us to invest all of who we are as women - alongside our brothers in Christ. Here is a time to connect with other women like us - some just starting out on their journey, others seasoned and prepared to guide. Networking. Connecting. Challenging. Caring. Growing. Questioning. Hoping. Voicing.

God has opened a doorway for us - and after us, it's intended for us to stick our foot in the space and to prop it open for the women coming behind us.

You coming?

Click here for more information on the 2011 CLA - FullFill™ Conference. As a special offer to FF Fans, use the code: FFCLA11 when registering and you'll receive a copy of Elisa Morgan's best-selling book, She Did What She Could AND the Study Guide! Click here to access the complete syllabus of workshop offerings and look for the logo!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Other People's Gardens

By Suanne Camfield

I was flipping through this quarter’s issue of FullFill Magazine and was struck by the diversity of the author’s passions-justice, mentoring, spiritual formation, motherhood-and momentarily wondered why such worthwhile callings didn’t making my blood pump a little faster. Why my own passion meter didn’t skyrocket on issues I believe to be invaluable to the shaping of God’s kingdom. And then I figured out why. It’s because I hate to garden.

Honestly, I wish I didn’t because I like the idea of gardening (and I think gardeners have an artistic flair and whimsical charm that makes me want to be just like them). But each spring I trudge through Home Depot with a flat-bed cart optimistic that this will be the year I fall in love with shady groundcover, hearty annuals and organic fertilizer. And every year, without fail, I leave overwhelmed and frustrated, because the truth is, I just don’t like to garden.

Willing ourselves to be passionate about something doesn’t really work, does it? Mustering desire for work that doesn’t bring us joy or that we’re not inherently good at can leave us feeling inadequate and unfulfilled-no matter how much we want to like it. But rather than questioning why we don’t feel motivated to serve in specific areas, maybe we need to embrace the fact that our pulse doesn’t quicken-not because the work isn’t worthwhile-but because it’s not the work that God has uniquely equipped us to do.

Even though I don’t enjoy the intricacies of gardening, do you know what I do love? Other people’s gardens. By definition, I relish them. I have a “pleasurable appreciation” for them. And when I relish other people’s gardens-the kind of relishing that’s free from jealousy, comparison and self-doubt-I experience freedom in my passion because I finally accept that the work God has prepared in advance for someone else to do is not the same (exact) work he has prepared for me to do.

There are some areas in our lives that God gives us permission to stand back and nod in appreciation over the beautiful landscape someone has created. Cut yourself some slack and take in the view. But in those moments when something is different, when you read an article on HIV/AIDS orphans and your heart slams in your chest, or your church asks for volunteers to lead the next small group and your palms start to sweat, pay attention. After all, we don’t serve a God who asks us to--appreciate him. We serve a God who asks us to recognize our influence, be confident in who he’s created us to be, and then get on our hands and knees and start digging in the dirt.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Just Share It

by Wendy Hagen

Elisa Morgan recently spoke to the women's leadership team at my church. She posed these questions: "What keeps you from sharing your faith? How do you fill in the blank: I can't share my faith because ____________?" I came up blank on the blank. Not because my "I've had four babies in five years" postpartum brain had malfunctioned again, but because I genuinely love to share my faith. I don't have all the answers, I am no bible scholar, and I can hardly win an argument with my strong-willed four-year-old. But I love Jesus and I know what He has done in my life. I can share that. No problem. How about you?

Ever since I began my relationship with Jesus when I was in 6th grade I have been excited to tell the world about Him. And as I have grown and matured in my faith and experienced different seasons in my life, the way I have shared my faith has evolved. But there are a few things that I have realized about evangelism that will never change:

1. We are all called to share our faith.
I know that not everyone has the gift of evangelism and I know a lot of people have a hard time talking to others about Jesus. I understand that not everyone is a faith-sharing spaz like me who prays to sit next to a non-believer on an airplane. But whether it our spiritual gift or not, we are all called to share our faith.

I Timothy 4:2, I Peter 3:15, Matthew 28:19, 20
When is the last time you shared your faith with someone?

2. There are many different ways to share our faith.
We don't always have to be the person who prays with someone to become a Christian. Sharing your faith doesn't always mean breaking down the "Romans Road." Your role in someone's faith journey might be inviting to someone to church, telling a fellow mom about vacation bible school, telling a co-worker or employee about the marriage retreat you just attended, or giving someone a Christian book.

I love the quote by St. Francis of Assisi: "Preach the gospel at all times and when necessary use words." We must preach the gospel with the way we live our lives.
And then there are times we must speak up.

How are you sharing your faith with people? Is your life preaching the gospel? Do you ever speak up?

3. Relationships matter. A lot.
Yes, there is a place for drive-by evangelism. One can hear about Christ from a one-time encounter, an event, a book, a retreat, a crusade. God's word is powerful and effective whenever it is heard. However, I believe that nothing changes lives like God working through His people in relationships. God uses us to share the good news with people we know.
Are you building friendships with people who don't know Jesus? Are you loving them, serving them, and looking for opportunities to tell them about Jesus?

Now go and live out your influence. Share your faith.