What if you could rediscover your calling in life through three, clear revealing questions? Elisa Morgan would like to share them with you.
For 20 years, Elisa was the executive director of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International, which under her leadership, grew almost 12-fold from a grassroots U.S. volunteer organization to a thriving international movement of 4,000 groups with a vision: encouraging and equipping moms of young children to realize their potential as mothers, women and leaders, in relationship with Jesus, and in partnership with the local church.
Elisa’s own spiritual journey had a lot to do with inspirational leadership (one of the eight drivers of a flourishing culture that MOPS has demonstrated over the years).
Recently, she told me about a turning point moment in her life that led her to ask the three questions every leader needs to face.
“I was doing a 24/7 prayer commitment. One day in the grocery store, I found myself looking at all the other moms who had zero control over their toddlers, just like me. I felt God nudge me and say to me, ‘I’m not asking you to be up on the platform being a leader as a perfect mom. I’m asking you to minister to others, deficit-to-deficit. Take your deficits and make them an offering to Me.’”
“That day I created my offering and obediently placed it in the Lord’s hands. From that day forward, I began to learn that who I am as God’s child, can be as much a part of God’s plan as what I do as a leader of a ministry teamed with others to serve God’s people.”
With these words, Elisa articulated one of the top 10 issues that ministry CEOs and senior pastors told me they valued most: the need and desire of one’s spiritual formation in Christ.
Elisa puts it this way:
God cares just as much about what He’s creating in us as what He is doing through us.
“For leaders, this truth is challenging in itself, because we’re so focused on the what—what we’re working on, what we’re trying to get done, fulfill and achieve.”
Elisa then spoke to the opportunity that can inspire anyone’s spiritual formation in Christ. As she says so well, “It’s so tempting for a leader to focus on the outcomes of our ministry organization and forget about God’s mission in us. Each of us needs to do our own soul work and ask ourselves these questions:
- Where am I most excited in working and loving God?
- Conversely, where am I feeling bored and don’t know what to offer next?
- What are the issues in my heart that need to be forgiven? That have already been forgiven in Christ? That can become grounds for my future growth in Christ?
“As a leader, what I mainly have to give to others is the person I am—and am becoming—in Christ.”
Then, as if to put an exclamation mark on these words, Elisa offered the same prayer she had for every incoming employee at MOPS International—that each person’s work experience would be redemptive so that he or she would realize that God cares just as much about what He is creating in each of us, as what He is doing through each of us.
And therein is the heart of inspirational leadership that can beat in you.