When Life Takes You Full Circle: PATHWAYS
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about pathways. Those paths that we trace for ourselves as well as those that just seem to appear in front of us without much notice. The past 10 months, I have reflected on my personal pathway: from leadership in the church as a young teen, to non profit executive leadership, to elected office, politics and government, to management consultant, to leadership in education, to management consulting again. And, we cannot forget the roles we play: mother, wife, friend, caregiver, mentor, supervisor, advisor, volunteer and so much more taking on whatever life brings.
I bet many of you have a similar list. And, doesn’t life seem to bring you full circle? In 2004 I opened my management consulting firm which gave me opportunity to work with faith-based organizations. Considering I had been estranged from organized religion for over a decade at that time; it was interesting that one of my first contracts as a consultant brought me back to my roots, the church. It was one of the best working experiences being able to support dedicated faith based leaders as they developed or began to formalize and/or expanded their volunteer children, youth, and adult ministries in order to better engage community and their members. I felt I had gone full circle in my career.
You see, as a young teen into early adult life I was a very active member of the Church of God Mission Board with my family. At the age of 13 I was the youth association president, planning activities for 25 young people older than me. At 15 I was given the opportunity to lead children’s ministry. As a young, married adult I was asked to lead women’s ministry and teach Sunday school. I often tell people: I learned everything I know about: community, planning, organizing and leadership as a kid from my church experiences.
Last September, I was blessed to return to full time consulting. One of our projects is exploring how best to support faith-based organizations that are eager, willing and able to further their capacity, in order to reach community by creating significant and strategic programs that serve, not just the church members, but also the community at large. Faith based organizations already do this to a large degree. The next step might be to formalize and strengthen partnerships with schools, other faith based organizations, colleges, and other community groups in order to advance the quality of life within neighborhoods.
Yes, my life and my career that began back when I was a young teen in my church are coming full circle. It is an exciting and blessed time for me.
Where has your path taken you? Do you feel good at the end of each day about your work? Is your day job paying for your passion? Are you working on your purpose? Those are questions I reflect on very frequently.
It is my hope and my passion to continue to make this world a better place for children, youth and families. What is yours?
Take time reflect: on your thoughts………your pathway……your purpose……..