This week we’re interviewing Friday afternoon’s keynote speaker at CALLED: Melissa Sharpe. Melissa is a writer, podcaster, and speaker. She will be sharing about how adversity can advance our calling.
Melissa, what can you tell us about yourself and your ministry?
Melissa: I am a wife and mother to two young daughters. They both look like my husband but act like me, so I often feel like I’m parenting myself. I’m also a writer. Writing can sometimes feel a bit isolating, but I’ve surrounded myself with a village of like-minded, in-the-trenches souls who help me to gain great insights. They are the best part of my ministry! I write from real-life experiences and share my most raw truths through various creative outlets in ministry in North America.
How did your leadership journey begin?
Melissa: I first sensed a call to leadership in my early twenties. It was a dawning of sorts in my soul. I didn’t know what that leadership role would look like (because leadership comes in many different forms), but it was plain and clear that God would use my specific gifts. I believe that God doesn’t hide His will for us. He gifts us specifically and uniquely from the onset of breath. Responding to the call is the hurdle. I responded to the call upon my life by simply surrendering because I failed at anything else I did outside of my gifting.
From your experience, what’s the number one struggle women face in leadership today?
Melissa: I believe the greatest struggle women face in leadership is fighting the beast of their own self-esteem. We exist in a world that attempts to drive home the ideal of being self-confident. I don’t believe as women in leadership we can be self-confident—we need to be God-confident , trusting He will accomplish all He set out to do within and around us.
You are a plenary speaker at the CALLED International Leadership Forum this October. Tell us a bit about your talk.
Melissa: During the Called Leadership Forum I will be speaking on the topic of challenge during the process of the leader’s journey. Every leader walks a journey fraught with adversity—my own included. The timing is perfect as well for I have just come out of a season of great challenge!
What excites you about CALLED? What are you hoping to take away from the conference?
Melissa: I am most excited about providing a sacred space for women to share their story. I believe every soul has a story and every soul deeply desires a safe place to tell their story. The truth is that we learn the most from the stories of others—the Scriptures are just that: story after story meant to encourage, challenge, and help us discover God on a deeper level. I know I will take away the precious stories of others who trusted us enough to share them.
A number of our readers are still “on the fence” about attending CALLED. What would you like to say to them?
Melissa: I would say that indifference can be just as great a spirit-crusher as fear. You will never regret the choice to push into God by opening yourself up to Him.