A conversation with a friend sparked the idea for this post. She accepted an invitation to use her gift at an event, and saw quickly the drain of her time and contribution. She battled with giving the benefit of the doubt and “not judging.” But it was clearly not her best investment of time and talent.
I thought to address this post to the #20something sisters, but this is a general principle of how to value the God in us, the Gift of God in us, and understand our “five talent” responsibility (that’s coming in a #GiftedGirls post).
Let’s begin where we all begin: NAME YOUR PRICE. When we start the journey of sharing our God investment outside of our inner circle and local church, we generally do not know what we have and how to quantify it in cost. We are essentially “for sale.”
For example, I grossly underbid my first ghost writing project. My clients did not advise me either that I offered too much for the bid price. It was a tough and stressful lesson, but it yielded great fruit. On each subsequent contract, I was more clear — I do not typeset the manuscript. I only write the manuscript, or proofread the manuscript. And, I only edit on my terms. (See the Remnant Word Publishing site for more information.)
It may take one or two overwhelming experiences where the host pitches one idea, and we find ourselves on the program or at the event of another kind of bear. We may feel duped or tricked, but it is part of the path to value.
Then, we have a season of training. We dive into greater service commitment at our local church and start building strong character, interpersonal skills, and honing gifts and talents.
We receive correction……….. and if we serve under great leadership, receive special chances to grow our gifts in the local church setting. Through prayer and consecrated living, Holy Spirit distances us for a time from the shaping voices we read or watch on TV and He teaches us our brand. He brings us into our message, our song, and our voice.
In this training time, the invitations that come are a test. They are our chance to gauge how we value God in us, the Gift of God in us, and now… TIME. Our acceptance is not just a matter of availability anymore. We now have to consider the intention of God for the event, and if His intention includes us (credit: Bishop Iabrahim Iyamah).
It is this time that teaches us to kill our ambition, get on, and stay on the Lord’s side — for all He tasks us to do! So then, we stop accepting every invitation and we learn discipline and prudence. We learn to consult our schedules and our pastors. We learn humility and how God gives grace to the humble (Yes Lord!)…so we do not overshoot the honorarium price. Like my pastor says,
If you’re not in demand, you don’t make demands.
~ Pastor Brian R. Nelson, Sr.
Keep in mind that training never ends. We are lifelong learners. But the next phase is where we start to implement divine instruction to BUILD… the company, the nonprofit, the ministry, the initiative, etc. We put our time in — years and years — demonstrating faithfulness and obedience to the divine directives.
In this, Holy Spirit refines us more and more. We loose ourselves from the “false conviction” of giving your gift, and not charging. What God gives us is in part designed to give us life (as in, to live our lives). We remain at a loss with a God-gift growing in demand and we do not charge. for our time.
Charging for your time and preparation does not make you a hireling. It makes you wise, and it makes you considerate of your need to live! Selah. The value proposition is essentially this…
YOU tell the client/event host your worth for their demand
THEY believe you will deliver the experience and agree to your value
EXHORTATION: DO NOT SKIP ANY STEPS ON THE PATH TO VALUE
All these processes help us grow in GRACE — that is, be gracious in our acceptances and our declines — and grow in our knowledge of God. These processes help us to know how God favors us, and teach us to guard our favor with God and protect our favor with man.
Ultimately, we come full circle to learn that valuing the God in us, the Gift of God in us and the administration of the gift is all about the PRECIOUSNESS OF TIME. We will choose better when we understand the value of time!
- Is this event the TIME for my gift?
- I see what the host wants to accomplish, but does my participation mean a dumb-down for me?
- Will my name attached to this event bring the name of Jesus and His agenda the right attention and glory?
I know this is a lot to think about, but please, come back as often as you need to and review the principles on the path to value. Share what you learn in the comments section below. It is a blessing to learn more about our #GoodFather as He introduces us to our authentic selves.
I love you. I am proud of you. You are not a fool for pacing yourself in God. All that glitters truly is not gold. You will do well. You will BE well…if you stick with the Lord’s plans for you. Let HIS PEACE call the shots and you will watch wisdom work through you in choosing your engagements.
See well. Pray well. Hear well. Do well. REIGN WELL. Selah.