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How You Know You Need an Updated Vision

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The deep knowing that I needed an updated vision for my personal speaking and writing ministry wasn’t a flash of insight or one defining moment. Instead, it was a growing realization.

I was chugging along in my ministry niche, and everything was okay. The key word here is “okay.” Dictionary.com defines the adjective this way: “Satisfactory but not exceptionally or especially good.”

It hadn’t always been just okay. For years after the release of my first book, Breaking Up with Perfect, I spoke and wrote about the journey from our own perfectionism into God’s perfecting work in us, focusing on the development of thriving relationships minus the choke-hold of unrealistic expectations. I was passionate about these messages because of the impact the lessons had had on my own relationships, and I connected with a community of like-minded women. It was invigorating!

But about a year ago, I noticed a shift. I wasn’t as excited about my messages anymore. I didn’t feel the passion I once felt. I was starting to slog through my messages, both written and spoken, and I couldn’t figure out why.

In the midst of this, God was stirring a new focus in my heart. I had a growing desire in my own life to learn how to enter into the culture-battles with peace, wisdom, and most-importantly, a strong biblical foundation. I had endured my own silence, cultivated to avoid the loud fray of the extremes, for long enough, and I wanted to bring others with me into using our voices in godly ways.

However, trepidation almost kept me stuck. My personality is change-resistant, and the path in a new direction seemed too hard. Also, I was doing fine. Okay. I could keep going in the current direction, couldn’t I?

But God is compelling, and the fresh stirring in my heart proved irresistible.

Have you been feeling the need for an updated vision? A revived dream? A change in direction? Here are some red-flag indicators that God may desire to shift the focus of your speaking and writing:

  • You’re dealing with writer’s block on a regular basis. It seems impossible to find something new to say because all your best thoughts are already recorded.
  • Procrastination has taken over. It’s hard to make yourself blog, write, or prepare for the next event.
  • You’re feeling very average. Last week I heard a story about a magician with a hilarious name. His stage name was Alfonzo the Adequate. Lol! Have you gone from (fill in your name here) the Magnificent to __________ the Adequate? Might be time to seek God for a fresh take.

There are two big steps that I took to move into the new vision He had for me:

  1. Move forward with a little help from your friends. Two of my sweet friends, Cheri Gregory and Kathi Lipp, offered to get on the phone with me and hash it out. With the insight of personal ministry experience (key in those you consult), they listened and listened until they found clarity in my jumbled thoughts. Then they repeated back my own words to me with additional creative thoughts of their own. They didn’t determine my new direction, but I couldn’t have found it without them. Cheri and Kathi pointed out overlapping thoughts, ideas that resonated, and the strongest arguments, helping me find the key points for focus. I had to do lots more refining on my own, but those two gave me a great start!
  2. Create a new tagline (or your first if you don’t have one!). I know y’all are probably tired of hearing me talk about taglines, but I’m a fanatic for a reason. Taglines force us to wrestle with God until we identify and express our ministry niche in a way that we can remember and others can connect. Not only did a new tagline that I love, “Tender Hearts. Strong Voices.”, come out of this round of wrestling, I have a new working title for a book proposal too!

Where are you in your ministry journey? Are you happy with your current vision, or are you feeling the restlessness that often leads to change? What’s your current tagline? Are you happy with it? Share with us in the comments!

~Amy

Amy Carroll makes sure every coaching client starts with a tagline she loves, developing them through proven steps with clients who don’t already have one in their back pocket. Amy knows a clear understanding of your ministry niche is the foundation of compelling spoken messages and irresistible written ones. Here’s what one of her clients said about the process:

“Next Step Coaching Services was the catalyst I needed to get things going. Amy’s expertise and encouragement helped turn my stagnant ideas into a dynamic reality. The tools she provided are resources I consistently rely upon as I continue to grow and sharpen my skills as an effective communicator of God’s Word.” ~Christy Williams

 

 

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11 Comments

  1. I just went through a time of searching for new vision and I’m not sure I’m completely where God wants me but I feel I’m moving in the right direction. My new tagline is: Gather Manna, Grow Deeper, Gain Intimacy

    Without me telling you what my ministry niche is, can you make sense of that or do I need to change it once again?

    1. Jane, you’ve got a great start! I only have one suggestion. Unless your only audience is church members well-versed in the Bible, I wouldn’t use a word like “manna” that an unchurched person or a new Christian might not know. I like your three “g”s, so maybe there’s a word you can substitute to broaden the scope of understanding.

  2. Julie Loos says:

    This was very timely for me. Glad I stopped to read it. Wrestling with new opportunities that may mean letting go of some old or better focusing on my own direction. Prayers appreciated for clarity. Thanks for your transparency.

    1. Julie, I just sat and prayed for clarity for you. Praying God fills you with a sense of confidence in your next step!

  3. Taglines leave me tangled. I revise and perfect and repeat the process. I think I finally have it down. Find rest close to His heart.

  4. Just what I needed to read this morning, Amy. Thank you! I think for me, coming through a particularly difficult season triggers the need to pray for fresh ministry vision. New priorities, new perspective, and new insight all come into play. That seems to be true in my life right now:) I’m sensing a direction change, but I feel like it’s going to shift slowly instead of all at once. Thank you for the ideas in your post today! I love anticipating all that God will do as we focus fully on His plan. <3

    1. Although I’m one to like clear and quick change (when I have to do it at all!), I’m learning to embrace slowly unveiled change when it’s from the Lord. Praying for your new season, Kristine!

  5. Your story is refreshing to read and contemplate, Amy. Even though my “published” journey is brand new, your guidance is needful. I spent many weeks of praying and wrangling through thoughts, words, and phrases before settling on what I believed was God’s direction for my blog. Now that I am writing for others to read, I realize the need to adjust my categories. Thank you for helping us move forward with joy 🙂

    1. I’m so glad you’re willing to adjust! So many times we stay stuck because we feel like the need to change is failure. I’m learning that it’s just an indication of growth.