Tami, we have known each other for years in ministry. You have been a blessing to me as a friend and business coach. For those who don’t know you, you are the cheerleader of cheerleaders and I am so thankful for you and your passion for the gospel. Tell our readers a little bit about your journey as a person of faith and leader.
You are the female in leadership with Christian Leadership Alliance (CLA) that interacts with ministries from all over the world. What are the greatest challenges to that role?
The biggest challenge for me is finding a way to effectively measure the transformational impact of CLA learning experiences on those who participate in them. There are many different metrics we monitor as a ministry, but none of them capture exactly where a leader is in his or her transformational journey and how CLA can serve to accelerate it.
We know, because our members tell us, that the work CLA does deeply influences their thinking, behavior and development as leaders. In multiple ways we gather feedback about what members believe they need and we respond. Because of the ministry leaders represented in the alliance, we are highly aware that their decisions often impact the lives of millions of people around the world. If we could unlock a way to measure leadership transformation, it would radically alter the way we secure resources for the ministry and how we design our lifelong learning programs.
Second, it is no secret I have a great love and respect for the difference the right technology can play in the creation and delivery of content. With a never-ending stream of ‘something new’ I have to be very intentional about the time I spend exploring what’s available. There are always tensions between what’s new, what effectively serves our purpose, and what our members will embrace. It requires wisdom to manage all three of them in the right balance.
And finally, I’m passionate and energized about CLA’s role in developing leaders who desire to reach the world for Christ. It’s easy for me to get totally immersed in the work at hand, lose track of time, and run longer than I should in any given day. I’d be delighted if the sun stood still at least once a week for about 12 hours. Seriously, it takes discipline for me to maintain the right daily balance and I’m grateful for those who hold me accountable and speak the truth in love when I need it most. I want to give God my best and this means making time to invest in rest.
You just got through CLA’s National Conference. What is new with CLA and what have you learned this year through the conference?
Our members consistently rank the annual conference among the top experiences we offer them. In 2014 the conference theme was Kingdom Outcomes and the feedback from the participants was extremely positive. Our added focus on soul care was greatly appreciated, as well.
You see, CLA conference attendees select from over 400 hours of learning experiences, organized into eight different topic tracks. We work diligently to ensure that every experience is consistently founded on biblical principle, practical in application, and transformational when executed.
This past year, CLA partnered with LifeWay’s Ministry Grid and live streamed all the general sessions. Then Ministry Grid captured the best of the best workshop leaders on video as they presented high-impact CLA-talks. During these presentations, conference faculty delivered the essence of their workshops and the critical take-a-ways. Ministry Grid edited and packaged the content so now anyone can have access to the content via a Digital Pass. People have loved this new approach.
For 2015, CLA has officially changed the name of the annual event to The Outcomes Conference. This name change aligns with the title of our quarterly Outcomes magazine and reinforces CLA’s intention to advance kingdom outcomes in the Christian ministries, churches, educational institutions and businesses we serve.
Our two newest initiatives launching the next 12 months are CLATV and the CLA Mentoring Network.
CLATV is an Internet TV station that offers viewers several channels of Christian video and radio programming. CLA will aggregate all the content appearing on the Leadership Channel. All programming will run 24/7.
CLA Mentoring Network is a platform where Christian leaders can mentor or be mentored by leaders in the CLA Christian community. We are in the final design stages after a year of development and testing. This new platform is scheduled to launch for the first round of matches in January 2015.
We’ve served in book publishing together. What do you love about book publishing?
I love seeing God-inspired messages overflow from the hearts of men and women who diligently seek Him. I find it a joy whenever I can be part of how God desires to deliver those messages to the hearts that need them. I celebrate that God can use imperfect vessels to reveal Himself to the world.
Publishing, in its purest sense, is about broadcasting a message and making it known. Even though the publishing industry has been rapidly changing, God’s plan to make Himself known never changes. I stand with all those dedicated to creating and delivering content that communicates boldly the Way, the Truth and the Life that is found only in Jesus Christ.
What or who currently inspires you most?
This one is easy. It’s my husband, Dale. We just celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary loving on 35 orphans and serving in an extremely poor community on a remote mountaintop in Haiti.
In 2010, we followed God’s call to go to Haiti after the earthquake. Now we go every single chance we get. It’s impossible to describe the love we have for this place and its people. Haiti has changed everything about how we think, love, and lead. And now I am watching God equip my husband for ministry and leadership in ways that are exceedingly and abundantly more than I could have ever imagined.
We find ourselves on an unexpected adventure we never believed possible in this season of our lives. We have a new sense of purpose and clarity about how we steward our time, talent and resources and how we will for the rest of life – on this side of heaven.
What are you reading right now?
I am reading, One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World by Tullian Tchividjian. It is one of those books where I could just about highlight every sentence. He’s been one of my favorite bloggers for quite awhile. I love the way he structures his sentences and uses unexpected words to communicate eternal truths. I don’t know of anyone more anointed right now than Pastor Tchividjian when it comes to preaching and writing on the topic of grace.
What is your favorite Bible verse and why?
So far this year, I find myself going back to this scripture often and feeling incredibly encouraged by what it means to live deeply in the unforced rhythms of God’s grace.
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me
and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.
Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms
of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me
and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. ~Matthew 11:28-32, The Message
It is easy for me to be overwhelmed when I witness and read about what’s happening in the world. This verse keeps me present to where God has me and what He has placed immediately before me. I can’t do anything without Him and all He requires is that I be faithful with the assignment at hand. Moments matter and in each one we are given countless opportunities to love well. I want to love, live and move with His purpose and at His pace.
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