living out your mission, NOW

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11, NIV

by Tami Heim

How different does life look when you’re living true to the mission God has planned for you? Several years ago a leader from Youth With A Mission (YWAM) addressed one of the EQUIP board meetings I was attending. He presented a worldwide strategy for evangelism and then went on to discuss the four questions every person desires to be answered:

Who am I?
Why am I here?
What’s going on in the world?
How do I make a difference in it?

As soon as he said it, I knew it was true. I also knew that when those questions are answered, everything about how you live your life changes. You begin to  live out the mission God planned for you.

We devote much of our time here @stickyJesus exploring the answers to these questions, especially as it relates to time spent online. We understand how the answers impact the way you know, love, and serve God wherever you are.

This weekend, April 15 -17, the Lifeway Threads team is hosting the NOW Conference at the Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood, TN. The focus of the conference is to unpack more about mission and how to live it out daily. They’ve assembled a diverse group of speakers and here’s what they’re promising:

Experiential and unconventional, the NOW Conference is an event for young adults designed to help them discover and live out the reality that they can live significantly in whatever context God has placed them in the present or calls them to in the future.


I’ll be there, sharing my thoughts on the topic: Leaders Need a Leader. It’s not too late if you want to come. Registration is a click away. Now don’t let the fact it’s targeted at young adults keep you from coming – I believe it will be relevant for anyone yearning to live on mission and center to God’s plan.

I’d love your input as I finalize my thoughts this week. Do you think leaders need a leader? What kind do they need?

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Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God. – William Carey #LiveSticky


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  • Mary

    There is an old saying….”To many leaders spoil the broth…..or is it cooks!” On a serious note even from what we are experiencing in America today, we have so many leaders and they are all moving in a different direction. Keeping the team focused with a Mission Statement that is kept in front of their noses during every step of the game is key. Countries, churches, families, organizations alike lose focus on what their mission is. So yes to great Mission Statements that are blasted everywhere, framed with the words their founders wrote and bring everyone back to the center of what they have come to accomplish.

  • Tami Heim

    I agree that a mission statement can keep people moving in the right direction. I’ve seen the value in them, especially when things get tough. If leaders are willing to stick to the vision, powerful outcomes can be achieved. Mary, what do you think about someone having a personal mission statement?

  • Anonymous

    Yes, I do think that leaders need a leader. Ultimately, in the realm of Christianity, that leader would be God. However, I don’t believe the fact that this is so should be a cop-out for people to go “solo.” There are far to many dangerous involved. We all need somebody.

    As an ordained minister, I have an overseer to whom I give an account. It keeps me in check and provides the opportunity for me to receive spiritual counsel, additional training, etc. This is important because as a leader, of any kind, we never actually arrive. We are still learning, growing, & remain vulnerable.

    It is important that all leaders have a clear mission. For me, one of the missions ever present as I lead, is to raise up other leaders. There are other missions but that is constantly in the forefront of my mind as I lead. I look to work myself out of every position possible so that others can discover & use their gifts.

    Over the years I have watched styles of leadership come and go. I’m glad that some have went. The days of effective leaders having a “what can you do for or to help me” mentality are drawing to an end. I’m excited to see leaders asking the question “what can I do to help you accomplish the goals or mission that God has placed inside of you.”

    Of course, no one has asked me that yet. :-) But I believe that day will come. In the meantime I continue to ponder the question.

    Praying all goes well with this conference.

  • Tami Heim

    Thanks Melinda – I respect your feedback and I’m honored you would share it here. I would love to know how you go about identifying the gifts of those you lead. Because of my past business leadership positions, I’m familiar with many of the tools that are used to help classify and profile strengths. How do you go about discerning gifts and what’s your process for unwrapping them in the life of someone you lead? An example would really help bring it home for me.

    I share your heart on helping others become all that God has designed them to be. It’s one of the greatest privileges of leading others.

    Your wisdom and prayers are always appreciated.

  • Anonymous

    Well, I’m unconventional. I don’t care much for the tools that help to identify gifts and personalitites. I know. I can feel people’s heads shaking at that statement. Especially since I’m a trained counselor.

    Over the years I’ve seen the failure of those tests. I’ve taken many of them, personally, and on any given day depending on how I interpret the question or am feeling the results vary quite drastically. I’ve seen many people who did not test out for gifts that they obviously had and test for things which they were clueless about. And I’ve seen people believe these “tools or tests” over what God was speaking to their heart. I just don’t think they are accurate enough.

    I am a people person. I watch what they do and don’t do. I listen to what they say and think about what they might not have said. It is hard to explain but over the years God has given me the ability to discern, by His Spirit, gifts and abilities in others. Much of the time they had a nagging awareness but on occasion they’ve been clueless. I don’t necessarily tell them what gifts they have, initially, but set about to make opportunities for them to use and develop them. I start with small things and build from there as their gifts unfold. And they do unfold because God means for them to.

    I think we’ve made it harder than it was meant to be. I also believe that sometimes leaders are so busy looking at their own gifts that they fail to look for the gifts in others. I also believe that given the right enviroment and adequate support leaders will emerge. Or at least they have throughout the 20+ years that we’ve been involved in ministry. These people are not typically the ones who tell you that they have gifts, either. They are often those who have been overlooked or generally have been afraid to try. Given the encouragement to TRY they grow and thrive and the next thing you know, I’m moving on to another position to do the same thing again.

    I do have real life examples of this. But I won’t share them here. It is typically in the training process (whenever I lead something I meet with people so that they know exactly what they can expect of me, and what I expect from them–as well as what God expects from us all) that hints of gifts begin to appear. Slowly I’ve done what I shared above and by the time it is all done there usually are several new leaders emerging. And I mean people with real leadership skills, humble spirits, and gifts to be used to further the kingdom. One of the greatest joys that I’ve had in ministry is helping people to discover & develop their gifts & callings!

  • Tami Heim

    Somehow I knew you would have a different approach. In my experience, multiple tests repeated over time do pick up personality and strength themes, but I’ve also learned that you can’t count any one of them as an absolute. It’s a lot like marketing research – it’s good information but should be considered ‘directional’ in nature.

    I see the biblical approach in what you do – let them be faithful with a little and add more as they grow and are ready for it. It’s wise you set expectations. It’s easy to do, but often forgotten by most.

    Clearly you have a gift for seeing the possibilities in others. This was great Melinda – you are a treasure. (P.S. Hurray for the ability to blog within a blog. THANKS for being our ‘guest’ here today. I.Love.It.)

  • Anonymous

    And to think, from my view, I appear to be anynomous. Who knew.

    My reply was so LONG. That is me “thinking out loud on purpose.” I didn’t know how to say it any shorter. This is a conversation that would be best had over coffee & dessert.

    The thing about tests & tools is that they do pick up trends. In new believers they can be helpful in gaining a basic understanding of “the gifts.” But most of the time when you are speaking of leadership you’re not raising up new believers. Spiritual gift tests in the hands of overzealous new believers can produce disaster. Oh the stories I could tell.

    There is a lot that comes into play but yes, following Jesus’ example works. Following the Spirit is key. Seeing (not just looking at) others for who they are & might be is essential.

    I promise to not be a “blog hog” in the future. Blush. Can’t think of a better place to be a guest, though. Just sayin!

  • Tami Heim

    YOU are always welcome here and I’m game to finish this over coffee and dessert – of course we may need to set aside at least 4 hours to get it done. Thanks again Melinda – this place is all about sharing ideas and equipping each other. You showed up big today. Good stuff. LYB.