In Luke 12:35-38 we’re told to “be dressed and ready for service” and to “keep our lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.” We’re also told in this passage that “it will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready.”
I get that the above passage has truth for being ready for Christ’s return, but it also has important truths for us in that we are supposed to be ready for action (i.e., service) or departure (i.e., Christ’s return). When Christ invites us to move, we need to be ready to move or to make a change.
I’m laying down growing LEAD Women for now, maybe forever, but I don’t have that confirmation yet. Why would I do such a thing when about 3 years ago I sensed to take this on? Because I’m a person waiting on Jesus’ knock and am willing to be redirected by the Spirit when it’s needed and necessary.
Am I still passionate about Empowering Christian Women to Lead with Confidence? 100%! That has not changed, but what has changed is that I have felt the Lord inviting and asking through other existing or growing ministries to continue equipping in the places and spaces their creating. I have felt the invitation come alongside and to serve. This has been such a joy!
I believe that we always need to loosely hold those things that do not belong to us while at the same time having a deep commitment to the Lord, our “Yes!”, that we will steward the gift(s) he’s placed within us in a way that makes him known to others. It’s about him. We are to be ready for service, in whatever spaces we feel him calling us to. Never be afraid to lay down a prestigious title or ministry – never! Our journey is about following Jesus into the places and spaces he leads us to.
I’m loving watching what God is doing through our Saskatchewan women and also across Canada. And I am humbled and absolutely love that there have been invitations extended to me to participate in some of these ministries. Let me name a few ministries that I’ve seen God touch peoples lives through. SisterhoodYXE. Women’s Journey of Faith. Gather Women. And so many others in our local churches.
To grow and steward a vision/mission is hard work. It takes many people willing to come together with their unique gifts. So what I’m saying is this: I’ve heard the knock of Jesus and I’m serving in existing and growing ministries, and until such time as I hear the call to pick up LEAD Women again, it’s laid down.
My passion is to stay studying, equipping, discerning, and listening for the knock of Jesus – all with a heart and mind ready for action when I hear his call. (Communal discernment has become an important practice for me.)
Is Jesus knocking on your door asking you to head in a new direction? Are you ready for action? Are you ready for service?
Much love to all my readers and to all those whom I’m crossing paths with, my heart is so full of excitement for what God has in store for you and me!
This is one of those types of posts where I’m sharing my heart. In part, likely because I know I’m already setting myself up for criticism, and if I could avoid it, I’d high tail it in the other direction. But I’m a pioneer for all those other women who feel the call to be ordained to Christian Ministry.
What does that ordained to Christian ministry mean? Well, I don’t know what that means for you, but here’s what it means/meant for me:
This was a several year journey, with two years directly focussed on a learning and assessment part. To which, at the end of it, the call was affirmed. The official ordination took place in my home church Westside Pentecostal in April 2018, and I received a beautiful gift that had something unique, something new to me, in my journey. The bestowed upon title of Reverend Carmen Kampman. (Yes for some of you grammarians, you may rightly argue that the proper address should be The Reverend Carmen Kampman, but let me just gently suggest we live in a different era now.)
So why on earth is this conversation coming up now? Why is this journey becoming so important now? Or a title, a name, for that matter? Why am I actually not able to let go and simply say, call me Carmen – which is how it is in most places.
I think it’s coming up for a couple of reasons. First, I’m teaching a class beginning Jan. 21, 2109, and I began to wonder what I should invite the students to call me. Carmen should be fine, I thought. Then I felt a flag – no, that’s not appropriate. Then I found myself seeking the council of others and reading blogs. Oh.my.gosh. It became overwhelming. I began to feel shame for even being on this journey, but yet I was unable to let the thought pass from my mind or heart.
Another reason it’s coming up, I think, is because my life is modeling a way for so many other women – my life is not my own, thought I’m responsible to steward it. My life is being laid down for the Body of Christ and how I long to serve my Saviour well!
I found myself troubled with some of the responses I received (read or spoken) and then thought perhaps I had made a mistake in asking others, but pooled wisdom is something I value. But, I mean honestly, who wants to set themself up for being perceived as arrogant or self-promoting or whatever thing you might want to call someone who uses a title.
So I walked into my office yesterday with this sense: Lord it’s up to you, what should I do? I’ll do it no matter what people think or how initially it might be perceived? I’ve committed my life to stewarding your call upon my life.
Here’s what happened directly following that conversation: There on my bookshelf was the plague given to me on my ordination to Christian Ministry. The PAOC family chose it and here’s how it read: Reverend Carmen Kampman.
So, as hard as it is for me to publically declare without feeling a sense that somehow I’m doing something wrong because I know that a few of you will cringe or think how dare she, I’m picking up the mantle that’s been given me. And I feel the right thing to do in this season with the students is to invite them to call me Reverend Carmen. I won’t demand it, it’s not about that, it’s an invitation.
And if they want to make it more inviting they can call me RC, or Rev. C, or RevMom…or whatever they deem appropriate once they get to know me and see my heart, it’s simply an invitation to call me by a name that’s been given to me and in which I’m bravely and courageously pushing through fear of what others might think to pick it up to steward it in the best way possible in this season.
With heartfelt gratitude for the communal journey of discernment and a commitment to steward the call well,
It’s going to sound ridiculous, I know. How could I possibly have the word Peace as my 2019 Word? And how on earth could I feel a sense of being invited to retreat in my soul while also saying “Yes!” to open doors and upcoming changes.
I’ve been wondering if I’m losing it! But the truth is, I think my heart response, my “Yes” to Jesus when I feel his nudging and invitation has grown in exponential ways in the last few years. Perhaps it’s a cumulative effect of a daily discipline to be in God’s presence (whether I felt God’s presence or not), to study the Living Word of God (whether I felt inspired or not), and to live my best life (whether I was messing up or being fruitful).
Or perhaps I’ve been shaped by the community of women who I gather together with regularly (I love pastoring this group!) and are seeking deeper connection and intimacy with Jesus. In our group we’re not afraid to ask the hard questions and to be vulnerable. We are learning about ancient practices like Lection Divina, and we practice Silence. We started learning about Silence by not only reading about it, but by setting a timer and just starting to still ourselves for shorter, then longer, periods of time. We’re a brave bunch! And we’re hungry for the Living God!
And as wonderful as the small group is, I’ve felt the Lord drawing me, inviting me, to go on a journey. A journey of discovering what it means to be in communion with the shepherd and guardian of my soul. To rest in his presence. To allow myself to retreat, not simply in the going away (which I will do), but to retreat into a place where it’s okay for me to just be quiet about the things I’m learning or experiencing because not everyone will understand.
I guess I could rightly say that I’m going on a retreat with Jesus this year – but I’m also going to be out and about in ways that are stewarding the call to minister which the Lord has placed on my life. It’s sounds like an oxymoron, but there you have it. I’ll be retreating into a journey of knowing Jesus more AND I’ll be seeing you around this year!
Jesus said this:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. Jn 14:27 NRSV
Here are my questions or curiousities that I hope will be answered in a personally transforming way this coming year:
p.s. I’m also a little afraid, but I will hold onto your invitation to not let my heart be troubled and afraid. I’m confident you’ve got this and you’ve got me.
Falling into Jesus’ invitation,
I know, it’s about to be 2019 and there are so many that will run out this month to buy gym memberships or to join a weight loss group, and most will not stick to this 2019 resolution. Why? Because it lacks the appropriate reflection and planning time.
So before you go out and buy yourself a membership somewhere or commit to joining a weekly group of some sort, why don’t you spend some time reflecting on 2018.
Here are some questions to assist you in your 2018 Reflection:
Here are some questions to assist you in your 2019 Planning?
I’m a person who thrives on clarity and planning. Some of the best years of my life have happened because I’ve taken myself through the above type of process. It’s worth it!
I’ve mentioned this before, but I use the bullet journal method. Plus I add a few spreads into either my paper or digital journal that are helpful to me. For example, I always monthly creat habit tracker for the things I’m committed to doing. So, at the end of each day, I will check off whether or not I’ve done the things I wanted to daily do. It works amazingly well! I also create a book reading log to track the books I’ve read and a Saving Log.
So before you go out and attempt to make 2019 New Year’s Resolutions that you will never stick to, give yourself the gift of reflection and planning. You’ll be much better set up for success in your life if you do!
I’d love to hear your reflection and planning process. If you’ve got a series of questions you lead yourself through, feel free to post them in the comment section below or email them to me, Carmen, at email@example.com.
A week or so ago, I posted the video to the song The Scandal of Grace by Hillsong. (If you’re curious about the song, it can be found here.) And it was just one more confirmation for me that the journey I’ve been on in 2018 has been to be more like Jesus and to follow Jesus wholeheartedly. But today, something from that song also hit me, it’s the line that says, “the cross has taught me to live.”
Is the cross teaching you to live like it’s teaching me to live? If so, in what ways? Let me share with you some of the ways the cross has taught me to live this last year and is teaching me to live in this current season.
Letting go of the opinions of others was a huge lesson for me this last year. Now that’s not to say that the words of others didn’t at time hurt because they did. But it does mean that I chose over and over again to follow the Way of the Cross which is to let Christ be my defender. I chose to leave people at the foot of the cross, trusting that the same God who was forgiving, loving, and changing me was able also to do that for others. I also learned how to ask for forgiveness when I blew it!
2018 also taught me to believe in God in new ways. You see the power of the cross is this: Jesus’ death and ressurection made a new way. It’s an entirely new way of living with supernatural resources available to us. It’s called forgiven and free and empowered. And in that forgiveness, freedom and empowerment, we are free to discover who we are and to live it fully – in every season. We are free to do things like share in another’s joy (Lk 1:58b); free to obey Christ and allow our heart to not harden (Heb 3:15); free to ask to for divine wisdom (Ja 1:5); free to make a decisive dedication of our bodies (Ro 12:1); free to accept Jesus’ invitation to follow him, allowing him to make us catchers of people (Mt 5:19 Msg).
The cross is teaching me to live. It’s teaching me about stewardship of call and gifting over title and position. It’s teaching me how to be present with God in the waiting, in the times when we don’t have clarity. (I’m writing a sermon on this very topic which will be preached December 30, 2018.) It’s teaching me about abiding in Jesus. This cross is also teaching me about love and pain and hope and joy.
The cross is teaching me how to live like Jesus, and friends, I long to be like Jesus. What about you?
I have read at least 40 books this last year, and there are a few books that will remain with me, but none have affected me more than Carla Harris’ book Strategize to Win: The New Way to Start Out, Step Up, or Start Over in Your Career. It can be found here on Amazon.
Are you stuck? Are you wondering what’s next? Are you looking to discover what you’re best life could look like? Are you confused about what job you’re best suited for? Are you trying to decide what to study next or what qualification you might need to get? If you are, then here’s a process that can help get you to get moving in the right directions!
If you’re a digital journaler like me, then open up your digital journal and on separate pages, write these questions down:
If you’re not a digital journaler, no worries. Just grab a paper journal or three pieces of paper and on separate pages write the above questions down.
Now comes the fun part, start dreaming! Start thinking about the content that could make up your day. Start thinking about what content your dream job would have and what types of jobs would have that content. Then, start discerning what professional degrees or classes or experience you might need to help you achieve your next goal(s).
Don’t rush this process, it could be a game changer for you. Here are a few important things that Carla A. Harris says in her book.
There is one person responsible for managing your career agenda, and that is YOU! (pg. 87)
You will find the answers to your career questions not in knowing the job itself, but in defining the content of your job. (pg. 6)
Your ultimate professional success is all about how you position yourself, and that starts with landing a position that engages you because you like doing it, are interested in it, and you want to learn it because you like the
content. (pg. 13)
Yes, and if you’re considering making a change, don’t forget to pray. Don’t forget to seek wise counsel. And, don’t rush! Make sure you’ve given yourself time to carefully discern your “What’s Next?” question.
Hope you enjoy this process, I highly recommend the book!
The ’sky is the limit’ is a phrase we hear often.
But what if the sky isn’t the limit? What if there’s more that God wants to do with our lives?
Just mere hours ago I was sitting in the Calgary, AB airport when I felt Holy Spirit nudge me. (I’m currently sitting on a plane to Winnipeg, MB as I write this blog post.)
The initial nudge came in the form of a question: Is the sky the limit of what I can do, Carmen?
Well that got my attention in a hurry! After quickly grabbing my bullet journal and pen because I knew, just knew, that God was going to teach me something that was meant to be shared, I sat quietly looking at the sky.
I felt God near. I felt the presense of the Divine lingering with me as a I processed the question that’d been asked of me. Is the sky the limit? Is there a limit for what God can do in and through my life? Through the life of others? It can’t be, I thought. There is so.much.more beyond this earthly sky. We can’t put a ceiling on God’s capacity in us. But we do, don’t we? I do. Sometimes fear grips me or words hurt me and I find myself wanting to turtle. To not show up.
But isn’t he the God of the exceedingly above? Isn’t the human mind limited in its capacity to conceive all the things of God? Don’t we see through a thin veil? Aren’t we invited to trust and follow thus allowing God to determine the limitations?
I was drawn to reread Job 38: 4-7. It says this: “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much. Who determined its dimensions and stretched out the surveying line? What supports its foundations, and who laid its cornerstone as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? Who kept the sea inside its boundaries as it burst from the womb, and as I clothed it with clouds and wrapped it in thick darkness? For I locked it behind barred gates, limiting its shores.
So, friends, let me ask you: Is the sky the limit in what God can do in and through you? Were you there when the Almighty laid the foundations of the earth? Who kept the sea inside its boundaries? Who limits the sky’s and the shores?
Let’s place our lives in the hands of The One who has capacity beyond what we can comprehend. Let’s let The One who determined the boundaries of the skies determine ours.
I’m not convinced the sky is the limit, are you?
As Christians, we know that we’re in a battle. We know that we’re genuinely interested in advancing God’s Kingdom and God’s love, grace, and truth here on earth. And we ought to know that how we do that matters. Thus, we out to know that aiming our slings at our brothers and sisters in Christ is absolutely NOT God’s heart for us as a community of believers.
I find it interesting that about a week after I wrote my last blog post, the Lord has continuously been reminding me of the power of words. Our words have power. They have the ability to hurt, to harm, to encourage, to inspire, to heal, to restore, to tear down, to build up, to transform, to be a catalyst for change, and the list could go on.
In the story of David and Goliath, we find David using a slingshot and carefully selected stones to defeat an enemy of God. Goliath was an enemy out to do God and God’s people harm. Did you know that a sling was not a “poor man’s” weapon? In fact, it was a very deadly weapon. Here’s how one reference describes the use of a slingshot:
The sling consisted of a leather swatch with straps attached on each end (e.g., 1 Chr 12:1). The warrior inserted a stone into the leather, held the ends of the two straps, and whirled it around over his head. Once he had achieved sufficient centrifugal speed, he would release it and send it soaring with great accuracy. The manner in which the story of David and Goliath has been told has led to the perception that the sling was nothing more than a poor shepherd’s substitute for a real weapon. In fact, ancient armies would have entire corps of sling operators. They were feared because of the deadly power of their projectiles and their exceptionally precise aim. Slingshots did not have the range of compound bows, but Yadin states, “The slingsmen were particularly effective in attacks on a city, for they could direct high-angled fire up steep slopes (Yadin, Art of Warfare, 297). 1
So friends, let me ask you, and hear me because I’m asking myself these very same questions because I’m absolutely committed to living a life of holiness and integrity and owning it when I blow it (which happens!):
If you got this far, I’d encourage you to spend some time over the next little while reading and reflecting through 1 John – all of it! And here’s why: the letter it is a powerful reminder that God has given us Spirit to keep his commandments, to live and love differently, and to know the truth and obey it… if we’re willing.
“If we love our brothers and sisters who are believers, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead. Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.” (1 John 3:14–15, NLT)
Aim your slings in the right direction, it really is a matter of life and death.
For years now I have struggled with hearing statements like, “The older generation should pass the baton to the younger generation” or “I see a generation rising to take their place.” Now some might argue that there is nothing wrong with these statements, but I think there is: God never asks us to stop running our race! And when we use the phrase “pass your baton” to imply that somehow God is finished with using us, we have done a disservice to each other.
I’m not done running my race and neither are you, so carry your baton and run your race!
I’ve often shared with people how I feel the best years of my life are yet to come. And for those wondering how old I am, I’ll be 49 in November.
So what if we took the “pass the baton” language and starting committing ourselves to aligning together where we can? To running with each other when we can? To championing for the picking up of another’s baton where we can? To serving together where we can? To distributing levels of responsibility where we can? To creating space for others where we can?
We can do that! But we should never stop living for Jesus and saying “yes” to the things we’ve been called to do!
This past weekend I had the opportunity to speak at the 19th annual Women’s Journey of Faith Conference. I am newer to the speaker platform, and I had the privilege of sharing the stage with women such as Sheila Walsh, Tressa Lemky, and Moira Brown. And you know what I gleaned from observing them, praying with them, and laughing with them? I learned this: They are carrying their baton until Jesus takes them home!
You see I think your baton is your call to follow Jesus and to let your good deeds be shown so others may come to know Jesus. There are purposes and plans for your life that Jesus has prepared in advance for you to do – it’s your baton. So can I plead with you to recognize that your life is worth living! Can I implore you to own the truth that your journey matters? Can I invite you to live deliberately by inviting you to commit yourself to stewarding wisely the opportunities you’re given? You need to engage in living as long as your living!
I felt nervous, excited, and empowered to be part of the speakers at the WJOF 2018 Conference. The Spirit affirmed over and over that my journey is only beginning.
So, friends, I’m not passing my baton but am committed to carrying it, are you committed to carrying yours?
Believing you matter and your life has a purpose.
p.s. I love that the WJOF of faith team could capture these photos!
Last night I attended a Town Hall meeting for a board I currently serve on. From those Town Halls, I find that I can always learn something from others and I value the platform whereby people can share their thoughts, ideas and dreams. And although I may offer some responses to questions in the group, it is not my teaching /discussion platform, so I am mindful to not use it in that way most of the time. Instead, I use my blog to share thoughts on board governance because it is an area that I have a passion for.
In last night’s discussion there was a suggestion that a board director should not take take on the responsibility of doing board development. Now granted I may have misunderstood what they were saying, and if I did, then that’s okay too, a good blog post still arose! But as I went to bed thinking about some of the discussion around that suggestion and then woke up thinking about it again, I new blogging about that as part of the Board Series was essential to me. It’s my way of sharing the journey and sharing what I’ve learned in my studies. The goal? Hopes that those searching for some answers can glean from the resources provided here.
In part it’s true, a board director should not take on the responsibility of board development, especially if it’s an area they are not competent in or have been asked by the board to do so. BUT, if a board director has growing competencies in board development, then absolutely utilize that person! It’s a unique strength they bring to the board. So what is board development, this article captures a few things:
“Board development is a cycle that includes:
The above is the board’s responsibility! Now whether they do all that work or appoint a director to work with a development team (the best practice and most productive sencario), it will always remain part of the board’s job to do board development. And any individual board member who invests deeply in learning in an area usually does so because they are passionate about that subject matter. It is a joy for any leader to serve in their areas of passion. When you have directors on a board who have strengths in areas that are board areas of responsibility, create space for that, drawing from the well of expertise or experience. Create pathways of learning for the board. I love learning from others who have strengths in areas I don’t.
Also, and this cannot be stressed enough, Board Development is one of the primary responsibilities of the whole board. Additionally, a Board Development Team should be formed and be led by a competent board member. It cannot and should not be neglected. Anyone who has ever served on a board in any capacity has witnessed what happens when the board fails to pay attention to their development piece.
Boards need, as part of their regular rhythm, to stay focused on its development. It’s too easy to lose their Why for existance. It’s too easy to wait until last minute to do a search for competent board members. It’s too easy to not know how a board should behave. It’s too easy to not attend to board business when a board doesn’t understand their role. It’s too easy to neglect your guiding documents. It’s too easy to allow personal agendas to overtake the board when the board lacks clarity on why there are there.
Board Development must be prioritized by the board – always! If it is a governance board, it should show up on every. single.regular agenda. And, every priority a board has must be managed through by someone. You need someone to give leadership to that particular area, so why not choose or recruite a the person who is passionate and qualified? When leaders show up in the room, they want to bring their absolute best to the team.
Board development, when done right, helps board thrive and become all they can be. A healthy board means a healthy organization.
For further reading on board development and what it is, see the articles linked below:
Happy learning everyone!
*Please note: I use director and board member interchangeably.
This is going to be a brief, but powerful post – at least that’s the goal! Right now I have the privilege of being on an strategic journey of learning tools to help boards refocus, get unstuck, or get back on track.
Sometimes boards get so derailed that they need to pause and have an intentional, carefully attended to, focussed restart. Sometimes we’ve no idea how far we’re off track until we invite other external experts in to do a scan and review, reporting back to the board their findings.
If you’re a board member, don’t ever shy away from recommending an external review. If you’re on a board and you have the opportunity to shape the board development process, make an external review part of your annual or bi-annual board health process. Find ways to monitor the health of the board – it’s vital to productivity and board success.
I serve primarily in Christian contexts so you’ll hear me speak from that identity. As a Christian board, here is the most important question you need to ask yourselves: What do we want our Christian board identity to be? 1 Make sure to leave ample time for a board to together discuss this, come up with a board identity statement.
This questions is foundational and should be answered by the collective board. A board, though comprised of individuals, is an entity. Answering the ‘we’ question influences the who, what, why, when, and how.
Powerful! Get it clear and then build upon that foundation, referencing it as often as needed to stay focussed and healthy.
If you have a varation on the above question or are willing to share a questions process you took a board through to help them get clarity around this question, I’d like to hear it! Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have an amazing day!
p.s. If you’re interested in other posts in the Board Series, here they are:
Perhaps like me you’ve been told “You’re Destined for Great Things” and you’ve struggled to know what that means.
Today’s blog is a short reflection on what that phrase doesn’t mean. And I’m sharing it with you today because I felt God’s Spirit this morning strongly reminding me not to be fooled or led astray by seeking after ungodly things. I was invited once again to not measure my life by the world’s standards of success. And to guard against hypocrisy in my life.
To be destined for great things should not – or ever be!- synonymous with popularity, platforms, wealth, a public ministry, material possessions, positional power, or anything which sets you up to bring honor to yourself or allows you to rely solely on your own strength or possessions.
As leaders, we do people a disservice if we lead them to believe that greatness is about making them popular, wealthy, or achieving a place of positional authority. It’s.so.not.about.that.
I’m convinced that great things, with I actually associate with living a fruitful life, will look different for all of us. True great things are birthed in and through loving God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and loving others as ourselves. Every life matters!
Keep your focus on Jesus’ invitation for your life. Love God and others deeply. Acknowledge Jesus’ goodness in your life and share him with others. Do this in ordinary time, on ordinary days, in ordinary places. You love an extraordinary God who loves you and all those who are either currently in your life or who you are yet to encounter in your day and journey.
Live each day in God’s presence. Seek and search for it daily. The greatest thing we have, the thing that matters above all else, is this: We are the forgiven, redeemed, loved sons and daughters of Almighty God. We have God’s Spirit now and will be with God for eternity. I can only imagine what eternity will be like!
What do understand the statement “you’re destined for great things” to mean? What are the things that I am currently seeking after? Are there things the Spirit is reminding me of today that I need to let go of or change?
Wherever the Spirit takes you while your heart is being searched, go there, and seek to understand what God would say to you or ask of you this day.