Culture & Leadership Coach
INTERVIEW // DANA BYERS
One of the most profound statements in all the Bible is spoken by Jesus when He tells us that we will do “even greater things” than He has done on this Earth (John 14:12). Indeed, the Church is filled with budding leaders, pioneers, and artists of many kinds anticipating these “greater things” that God has called us to pursue. But with such a big vision to fulfill, what we more often experience instead is potential left untapped, territory left unchartered, and resources of the human nature left feeling confused and not sure where to start.
Nancy Beach, a leadership coach with Slingshot Group and member of the teaching team at Soul City Church in Chicago, is a passionate champion and voice for leaders and artists in the local church. Her background includes helping plant Willow Creek Community Church, one of the nation’s most renowned megachurches, followed by 20 years of serving in various roles there, including that of a teaching pastor, programming director, and senior member of the management team. Nancy is using her experience, strategic mind, and intuitive heart to follow God’s call in giving back to emerging leaders. In an exclusive one-on-one Q&A session, she offers personal insight into the journey of finding and following your God-given mission.
Q: What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “engage your passion”?
A: Passion is a word that’s used a lot. What do I do that stirs up life in me, that I have energy for, and when I do it, I feel like I was born for this? Though most of us can do a lot of different things, there’s a few things God made us to do really well. Part of your goal and purpose in life is to figure out what those things are and create a role or accept an opportunity that lets you primarily work out of that sweet spot. When you do that, you don’t even have to try that hard to engage your passion. It comes naturally because you’re being congruent with who God made you to be.
Q: What conflicts have you had when pursuing your dreams for yourself rather than listening to God and His purpose for your life?
A: There’s many. I think that people who are wired like me–with an achieving bent—would like to think the dreams we’re pursuing are all God’s, but the truth is it’s a mix. I may think it’s Kingdom work and my motives might be good, but there’s always self-ambition in there and a desire to have an image others approve of. It has to be untangled. That’s why solitude and quiet are so important.
I may think it’s Kingdom work and my motives might be good, but there’s always self-ambition in there and a desire to have an image others approve of. It has to be untangled. That’s why solitude and quiet are so important.
Q: How are you engaging your passion in a way that multiplies God’s Kingdom?
A: God wired me to teach and inspire and encourage people. I’m thrilled that I still get to use my teaching gift periodically at churches and conferences. But I’m very much in a mentoring season now, and I feel like that’s part of the way of God’s work. You get to a place where it’s time to reach down to emerging leaders and build into them. I coach individuals, staff teams, and mentor through coaching circles. The circles are my favorite thing to do—bringing 12 or less people together to create safe places for them to grow and learn from each other.
Q: What is a big pioneering dream you have or have had?
A: The biggest pioneering dream God gave me was when I started at Willow Creek. Just prior to doing that, I’d earned a master’s degree and my plan was to go to LA and be a Christian producer of film and TV. God invited me into a new dream that I thought was a loser option because I felt that artistic people who are any good wouldn’t do that in a church. God lovingly reprimanded me and helped me trust Him to build a community of talented artists within the church who created unique moments where people encountered God. That started a 20-year process of seeing the dream fulfilled. We would use art forms like drama, music, a guided prayer, a time of confession, a dance, an original video—so many tools from artists who walked with God and created out of their heart and experience. It was so obvious the Holy Spirit was doing something powerful through this. These various mediums of art would cause people to double over in laughter in some cases or be choking back tears in others, as they would watch a drama scene unfold, for example, that completely identified with their human experience. Sometimes God uses you as a pioneer when you had no intention of being that for Him.
Join Nancy Nov 8-9 as she gives you key steps in building healthy culture within your organization. Nancy will also be leading a Women’s Only Leadership Breakout – Limited Space Available. Register now at multiply2018.com/registration.