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Living Out Your Holy Ambition with Jennie Allen - Living Out Your Holy Ambition

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
May 18, 2022 6:00 am

Living Out Your Holy Ambition with Jennie Allen - Living Out Your Holy Ambition

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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May 18, 2022 6:00 am

What does it mean to have a ‘Holy Ambition’? I mean what does that look like in everyday life? In this special edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, Chip sits down with best-selling author, and speaker – Jennie Allen. She’ll share how Chip’s book Holy Ambition changed her life and helped jump-start her own ministry, that impacts countless lives.

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Today's a special day at Living on the Edge. You know, we've been talking about holy ambition, and I've got a friend who's become a best-selling author who speaks literally to over a million women in 140 countries, and it all grew out of her holy ambition. I'm going to push the pause button from our normal teaching, and I just want you to hear her story and get to know my friend, Jenny Allen.

You're going to love it. Stay with us. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip England. Chip's our Bible teacher for this daily discipleship program, Motivating Christians to Live Like Christians. I'm Dave Drewey, and as you just heard in this program, we'll share Chip's recent interview with author and speaker, Jenny Allen. You may recognize her name from her popular F-gathering events, which are attended by tens of thousands of women around the country every year. Today, you'll hear more about her ministry and her story. So, without any further delay, here's Chip to introduce his guest. Well, welcome.

Jenny Allen here. It's a special time that I get to interview you, and we have something in common in that almost 20 years ago I wrote a book called Holy Ambition. And actually, before I wrote that book, your husband told me I think it was on like those cassettes or something like that, you know, a million years ago. And, you know, part of our journey is kind of going back and hearing, you know, holy ambition is how God takes dreams that he puts in our heart and that process of turning them into reality. So, when did you first hear about holy ambition and maybe what kind of impact did it have on your life?

So, I look back, I'm going to back up just a little bit so that you hear the context of when I found holy ambition and what it did for me. I look back at my life and I was a good church girl. I pretty much obeyed my parents. I only tested that, you know, so far and largely was a good kid and would have said the whole time I was a child that I was a Christian, but really didn't come into saving knowledge of faith until I was 17. When I was 17 and I met Jesus, it was a zealot was born. Like I was Paul. I couldn't not talk about Jesus. I talked about him to everybody in my life and they were completely annoyed.

They were like, you really are out of control. And so, I actually, because it was so obnoxious, I just found, and I didn't have a model for this. I found some younger girls to teach the Bible to, and I taught the book of Revelation, which I don't recommend as a brand new believer as a 17 year old. I knew nothing. I don't think I knew how to use a commentary.

Didn't even know those existed. Just opened my Bible and started from the beginning and thought, I'm going to teach you girls what this is. And who knows what I said, but we had a ball. They loved God more because of it. And I went on from there to continue discipling girls and to teach the Bible.

Again, no models for this. Just, I had to talk about it and it wasn't going well, you know, in my sports teams and friends. So I was like, I just need to find somebody that wants to learn and wants to know God, like I know and love God.

So that was just me. I was just a zealot and, and I have teaching gifts and leadership gifts and I'm a visionary. So all of these very big gifts, big personality, big passion. And I'm a girl in a very conservative Southern church that was pretty healthy, but definitely didn't see women that had those gifts. So I didn't know what to do with those gifts. I certainly would have told you at that age that there probably wasn't anything else for me to do with those gifts than to just lead a room full of people and teaching the Bible, which was awesome. And I did for 15 years. That was really how I spent the next 15 years of my life. I always just had a living room full of people, different ages that I was discipling. And so, you know, but it kept growing and then, you know, that visionary part of me, I would have ideas. I would have really big ideas.

I hated how big they were because I didn't feel like women were supposed to do certain things. And, and I didn't know, you know, as a young mom who didn't work and felt convicted about that, I didn't think I could do those things part-time, you know, I just, I didn't have a context of what God was birthing in me, not to mention at the time, Zach was kind of in agreement. We were surviving. He was in ministry. He was in youth ministry.

I was supporting him. It was a hard job. We were having kids in our home all the time and we have young kids that needed to eat and, you know, grow up. So that's about the time that Holy Ambition came into both of our lives, but we're both visionaries.

We're both directional leaders and we both have a lot of capacity. And we were in a little bitty town in Cleburne, Texas. And, and we listened to your radio show. We loved your radio show. And, and so you were in large part discipling us and we heard about Holy Ambition in that way. And, and so we, we ordered it. I don't know how we got it, but again, I remember the box and it was this little thing you popped open with six cassette tapes or so. And so we were actually starting seminary around that time and we were driving into town and my husband was at a place where he was like, yes, you're like, you're teaching a lot.

I would love for you to take classes. We were prioritizing that. So we're doing seminary and we're listening to this when we would drive into class. Well, it blew my mind. It blew his mind too. But how it changed my mind was, wow, I have been terrified of the dreams God's put in me.

I have completely boxed in my gifts and how I think I should be using them. And even the series, the sermon series made me uncomfortable, Holy Ambition. I thought that word was evil. I was scared of it. I didn't want to, I didn't want to act like I was a big deal. I didn't want to seem presumptuous. We're in this little bitty Bible church and a little bitty town. And I was already too much for everybody. So, so I was so curious, but I was afraid to believe that God could do more with me because I was afraid of what that would mean and what that would cost. Well let me pause for a second because what I can tell you is for whoever and how many ever listened to what you just said, they're everywhere and they feel the same way. I was in a tiny little town in Texas myself in our first pastorate and I had these thoughts and these dreams and I would just, it was like I would wake up in a cold sweat thinking you're the most arrogant person in the world.

How could you ever think that Chip? And yet, you know, I pray and say, Oh, but God, I just, I see what could happen. And all of a sudden I started looking at, you know, most of these people in the Bible before they got in stained glass, they were like really regular, pretty broken, ordinary. And that was the turning point. And I just, you know, and, and me, same here, cause I've always been ambitious. God had to do something to get a holy ambition.

And, and there is a fine line there, isn't there? You know, it's easy to make it about yourself. I mean, while that sermon series was a turning point for me, all that, that gave me the permission to do is just obey God. So to hear what God was, was leading me to, or to see, you know, this is the direction he's, he's going and to submit to my elders and to submit to my husband.

Right? So I had these coverings that were protective, but I remember visualizing myself and I thought, when I get to heaven, I'm going to be that thoroughbred that finally got a field. I'm going to be the, cause I was kind of in a stall. I felt like I was like doing the rope thing and like walking the circle. And I was, I was fine. And I was like, you know what? I love what I do.

And I love people and I've got people to disciple and I'm just going to do that till Jesus comes or I go home. So I was fine. But I always had this feeling that if I, if the gate opened and I ran, I would be happy.

I would be full. I would be, and I didn't even know what that was. I didn't have some picture because still at that point when I'm that age, Beth Moore is not on the scene.

Like she's just barely like starting to publish. There wasn't a category for what I do now. So when I talk about Holy Ambition being a turning point for me, it wasn't like, and then I jotted down that I would have a podcast and I would speak to thousands of people.

Like I didn't, that was, those weren't options or categories. It was just the sense that I wouldn't always be holding myself back, but that I would be obeying God and running. And that sounds like obviously that would be Holy, right?

Obviously that would be what God wanted. But when you have so many expectations and so many fears and you're a people pleaser, which I was at the time got rid of that thankfully. But at that time it was debilitating. There's, that feels crazy and, and, and you're living out the expectations of the people around you. And you don't have a lot of strong women ahead of you that, that have modeled leading and teaching and, and using those gifts. So ambition for me was not cluttered then. Now today, fast forward.

Are you kidding me? If I'm not in check, I will be the greediest. I can, I can get paid whatever I want to go speak somewhere. I can like, I mean, it's not happened last night. A church was like, well, we don't care. We'll pay like, just tell us what.

And I told my assistant, I was like, no, like just, just tell them whatever they want to pay is great. Like there, there is, there is a mixed bag in this world of public Christianity that exists now. And you've been a part of it longer than me that, that it should terrify us.

Right. And I, and again, what I've done is I have built the most ridiculous accountability. I mean, it's embarrassing. We show our finances to a group of people. We show our tithing and giving to other organizations. They see the numbers, not just the percentages. They know how much I make it things. They are watching our hearts and guarding our hearts because yes, that ambition can turn dark fast.

And we see that everywhere right now. And, and I think that's where you know, but, but at that point in my life, I couldn't have even handled that because I couldn't have imagined the opportunities God's given me today, but he was preparing me to say yes. And that I had to get over my own fears, other people's expectations and really believe that he had a story for me to live and that I didn't want to miss it. And what, what was it about the content? I mean, for those who are thinking holy ambition, what are you all really talking about?

Maybe a quick review. It's really the, it's the profile of Nehemiah's life, who's basically a business guy living in the lap of luxury. And so God takes this leader into a situation that other people had tried.

Nothing happened. He dislocates his heart and then he recognizes he can't do it. He has this broken spirit and desperate dependency of prayer, takes a radical step of faith, the third thing where he risks his life.

And then, you know, it's not all mystical and spiritual. He comes up with a strategic plan and organizes people and makes a personal commitment of what's my role on the wall. And then, you know, the American version of that is then everything goes great.

The biblical version is he gets personally attacked from within and people are killing them from all sides. Yes. And that's my story. I think that's every leader's story. Yeah.

And so as you were kind of going through first, it's okay to be ambitious for God, holy ambition, and to dream and do what he wants you to do. Well, then there's kind of the process. First, what dislocated your heart? I mean, what was it that like this? I either get so mad because it's not happening, or when I think about it, I cry when I think of the need that is unmet. And you can't do everything, but it's just like my name's on this. God, if you would let me. But tell me how that happened, because to me, that's how it gets birthed.

A hundred percent. And my heart was dislocated the minute I was saved. And that's why I was so passionate was I wanted people to know Jesus. I saw hell and heaven felt real to me. The war felt I could just see it happening everywhere I look. So the bondage that I saw women specifically in and still to this day, that is, it haunts me.

I walk into a room to speak, regardless of the size. And there's a part of me that is going, I feel the darkness, right? Like I can sense that, that people are in bondage and stuff.

So I mean, I mean, I would use a stronger word than dislocated. I was haunted. Like I was just, I could not escape this burden and it is burning in my bones.

So while the positive is like, I can't believe I have a savior like this, the negative is I'm around people every single day that don't have that. And so that, I mean, I'm an evangelist at heart like that, that is where my heart was dislocated. It was it was everybody I met after I loved Jesus. It was just, I'm, I'm grieved by it. So, so I think what that was the first thing and it was just something I lived with. And yet I am strategic and I am creative and I'm, I'm 80D and I, I think out of the box and, and so how to reach people and how to bring the gospel to people, it was like technical or I had ideas and I had passions and creative ways to do that.

What you did and what the content did was like, Hey, take the lid off. Like where have you just put a lid on your passions, your gifts, your dreams, your your personality? Like where have you just limited what God could do?

And I remember just going, Oh, everywhere, everywhere. And, and I remember what got my husband though, because he wasn't as limited by that was, wow, I am, I'm really strategic and I could, I could serve God and help God in more unique ways than just pastoring because we were in seminary at the time. And he was thinking out of the box about, gosh, I'm a good leader. I would say that's his main thing is he's a coach at heart and he's just a really excellent executor and leader. And he does that now for lots of different companies. He is a serial entrepreneur. We call him as our loving title, which just means that, that he is strategically helping me, helping lots of different companies that does pay the bills usually. So praise God for that.

Sounds like it does wouldn't or doesn't, but it does. And so all that to say it's he, his story was, was different with the continent was just feeling valued of, gosh, I have a part to play on the wall. I have a place to contribute and it's okay that it's not, um, Nehemiah or it's okay that it's not, you know, whatever his picture of ministry was at the time. So I think it redeemed business for him, um, throughout his life. He is a, he is a thread of ministry business that is really powerful. So he, he actually sees himself still in ministry, but yet he is not vocationally paid to do ministry.

And I think all of that came from, from that time in his life. And so giving ourselves permission to think differently about our gifts and our calling and how we could play parts on the wall of building the kingdom was, was a huge part of it. Well, you can tell him that, uh, his early probing as we spent some time together and then, uh, I was pastoring for a number of years before it dawned on me. Uh, we developed the thing called prime movers where it's literally, we take high capacity people, get them in a room together and sorta clear away all the clutter of influence, affluence, all that and say, wow, you know, why don't you minister to one another and identify what that holy ambition is and not just talk about it or intended or do it later.

It can happen in and through your business in and through your life right now. And that's why we, you know, we want people to realize you don't have to be a pastor or speak to thousands of women and what, 140 some countries to have a holy ambition. I mean, my wife's holy ambition, I mean, she wrote hers out was an investment in our kids and what would happen in their life and through their life. And be honest, when I see my four kids, I'm glad what I've gotten to do, but their, their impact and their spheres of influence, I think will far outweigh mine. And, um, as a result of that, there's just tons of other moms that doesn't always have to be, I think sometimes people get the idea it's big or famous or a lot. No, it's your part on the wall, but it's outside of these invisible expectations that, well, only someone else could do this or do that.

I don't know if men struggle with this as much as women, but women do tend to go one way or the other. Right. And I think that's what we're talking about. Here's a tension of obedience to what God's called me to, to what is he telling me to do? And, and so for me, it would have been disobedient to push away the dreams and the visions that he was building up in me at the same time for your wife, it would have been disobedient to like seek book deals and try to join your radio show.

You know what I'm saying? So I think what people need to hear us say is God's story and his creativity is unique for each person. And what's ironic is so many people will ask me, like, I want to be you like, what do you, how did you, how did you get to do what you do? And I'm like, first of all, I always say, what, what do you think I do? And then the next thing I say is, well, I spent 15 years in a living room making disciples. And when I get to heaven, I believe that will be the thing that I'm probably most rewarded for and that the lives that, that, and I still, I just pulled back together a group of seven.

It's been like a year or two that I haven't been able to have that. And I kept that throughout my ministry growing. And I know without a doubt that stuff out there that, that I'm known for that will probably burn up right.

That I've already received reward for. So even when you're called to the big, it's not about the big and, and for me, it still is about that living room and, and they get my priority. It's about my office and my team. And I tell them all the time, I'm like, listen, I won't be held accountable for the million people we reached through this conference. I will be for y'all.

And if y'all are growing up in the faith and if y'all are loving Jesus more because of time with me. So I think it's even when it gets big and yet I think it's important. And especially now to back then that kind of ambition wasn't readily even thought of. Right. But now that is the first thing thought of with the generation coming, growing up on social media is I want to have a big influence. I want to have a big platform. And, and I think it'll be really powerful conversation because it's refining that ambition.

Right. I don't look at my daughters and think they don't have enough ambition. That's not, you know, people would have looked at me that way at that age, but, but now I'm looking at them and going, let's, let's turn that ambition into something Holy. And, and so I think it's, it's, yeah, it's just a lot of tension, which is what it is to follow God of just holding all those tensions and embracing it.

And I think the, you know, that second part that I have worked with a lot of business people, we have both men and women and you know, and people are very successful and they have a lot of gifts and usually when you have gifts and capacity and work really hard you end up in positions of leadership and often with, with wealth. I mean, those are some things and yet the turning point I've watched so often is that's what you can do with your energy and your gift and you make it happen. And often that missing moment of God's hand is that, that moment of the broken spirit where you come to the end of yourself. And, and often it happens as the ministry ministry starts growing and you have these private moments. It's just like, I'm overwhelmed.

I can't do this. And I think that gets largely reflected in our prayer life, in our personal time with God. And then, you know, maybe one, two or three of their closest, closest friends that you can absolutely be vulnerable with because there's this outside person at whatever stage. And then there's this very real coming to the grips of, God, if this is not about you, and he asked us it seems at incremental stages to take steps of faith, that if it doesn't work, you have way more than egg on your face. Sometimes it's relocating. Sometimes it's like trusting God for money.

What, what are some of the challenges as you have now walked through the journey? Your world has really changed. You know, I think one of the biggest misconceptions about anything that succeeds is that it was up and to the right, you know, that it just, it was just successful and trended up, you know, and, and I would say largely numerically and like just in every way, like that is true on paper. That is true behind the scenes. It has been horrific.

And I, and I don't use that word lightly because I know people listening know horrific things in their lives. But I remember when we launched If Gathering, the reason we did, I did not want to do it. I did not want to run an organization. I still struggled with wanting to be a stay at home mom and not wanting to have too much ambition. I still was fighting those battles. I just, I wanted to control it and keep it small.

Wanted to write a few books, which I've been asked to do and sign. And I wanted to build, I wanted the thing that I pictured that could reach this generation to exist, but I didn't want to be the one that built it. So I just kept giving it away.

I kept giving it to ministries that already had platforms and said, this is what I think you need to do for the next generation. But it became clear that I was, I was called to build it. And I remember before we're about to sign for the 501c3, I met with a mentor of mine who a lot of people would know and, and I was on my knees and she was praying over me and she said, I see a seed and the seed is doing this and the seed is doing this. And she was just praying this really prophetic, powerful prayer over me.

And I'm like, okay, like, you know, I guess I need to do this. And at the same time, my friend called me one of my best friends and said, Hey, I just had a vision and she's not super spiritual. And she said, I, I was, I was getting a massage. I was about to fall asleep. And she said, I pictured God picking you up and digging a hole and putting you in the ground and covering you up like you were a seed. And I pull over and I need it. You know, God rarely does this, but I pulled over my car and I pulled out my computer and I typed, I was like, God, I will like kind of like a contract. Like I will, I will do this.

I will bet you I'll start if gathering. So we get home, we file the paperwork, you know, I I'm in, she has a massive stroke within a week of that, like after a week after and can't speak. And she's my best friend that began for me, a dumpster fire that of five years. So those five years were when everything was being born, but, but everything in our life, it felt like was falling apart.

My husband is walking through depression and, and our family is going through so much hardship. A lot of which I can't share my, my my extended family was, it was the darkest season in our lives. It felt like I had signed something with God and said, I'll do what you call me to do. And in doing so we became like the bullseye of attack.

Right. And it's that picture of on the playground, we used to play a game where it's a horrible game where you grab hands and you twist each other's arms until somebody cried, cried, cried mercy. And I remember one day one night, I remember that's what I felt and I, and I cried mercy. And I was like, I'm out like, this is too bad.

Too many people I love that I'm this close to are under attack. Like I'm out. And, and I don't remember, like the answer to that moment of, well, how did you persevere is not clear to me. I don't remember.

I remember that moment. I don't remember how I got out of bed the next day, how I didn't stop the movement of God that was already happening. But I, I wanted to, and I can say that in those five years what God did, and I will, I will always thank him.

I remember when I started and I signed my first, before I would sign on the line of that book deal, I reached out to somebody I trust. And I said, I'm scared. I'm going to sign this paper and I sell my faith and I'll be successful on earth because of my love for Jesus. And I'll get to heaven and Jesus will be like, you literally do you, you do.

I don't know you like you, you lost your soul to this. And I was so scared of that. And I, and I remember praying and that sweet friend who I respect said, said, Jenny, you never lose that fear. Keep being afraid that, that this could corrupt you like power corrupts.

Right. And so keep being afraid of that. And I remember praying, God, I just want to please you.

I don't care if any of this succeeds. If I, if I am not walking with you and you, and my soul is kept by you. And I look at that and I think about that prayer and I'm like, that's how he kept my soul. I'm going to speak at one of the biggest conferences in the world.

This is like year one or two of my public ministry. And the night before I'm helping my friend Sarah clean out the pantry. She's drooling. She's in a wheelchair. We're putting away her pantry.

She's in the middle of a divorce, just so dark. You can't imagine. And, and then people are asking me, how do you not get a big head?

Like every succeeding. And I was like, this isn't hard. I mean, I, you don't feel like a big deal speaking at the big conference when you've been the night, but I mean, it makes me cry still, you know, when you're walking through that kind of darkness. And so I thank God for the darkness. And I know that I would have lost my soul. Like he knows how to persevere us and no, he does not want to torture the people we love. That is the enemy, right? Like God hates evil.

Like he does not want evil to win ever. But in the, the timing and the difficulty that we were facing, he used it to purify my, my motives and my heart. And, and I thank him for that because I, I just know I am prone to all the horrible things that would happen. Let me pause for a second because one of the predictable things that happens to people, and especially now is whether they read Holy Ambition or listen to it or whatever. God bursts things in people and they, they sign on the line, it gets clear, and they take those steps. And we have been so inundated and maybe, maybe not into some full prosperity, but this unconscious belief system that if you really obey God, I mean, if you're really all in, I mean, your, your future, your family, your whatever God, that the prediction in the subconscious is things are going to be good.

There's going to be blessing. And, and the fact of the matter is long-term, that is very, very true, but they get disillusioned and think either God let me down or what's wrong, or he doesn't care. And what you and I both from experience, and if we would read through scripture carefully, the journey is much more. And this is what I want people to hear.

If God is going to choose to use you greatly and a broad scope, then he has to deepen you so that when it happens, the roots of your life will be sunk in and it will not be getting caught up in it. And there's only one way to go there. Right. And it's pain.

It's a level of dependency when you trust when there's no payoff. In fact, it's, it's, it's negative. It's difficult. It's painful. And it's, and it is spiritual warfare. And thanks for sharing that. That's a side of your life. Not a whole lot of people necessarily will know. And yet as people begin to dream and think it's not, you know, I've had one person say, well, if it's like that, I don't really want to do that.

And I knew what it was like. I wouldn't have ever done it. And I, I would say, people say sometimes like, would you give it up today? And I'm like, are you kidding? I'll give it up. I'll give it up before I ever started. Me quitting is not, is more of a problem than it is, you know, something like, Oh, my identity's in it.

I'm like, Oh no. Like attached to this calling has been such grief and such difficulty and such pain that it's more likely to slip through my fingers than for me to grab it too tight. And, and I love that because that was my biggest fear. So God's protected me. And I think he honors, you know, Solomon prayed for wisdom and God gave it.

When you pray for something that you want a pure heart, a humble heart, you'll get it. And, and I think that I, I, and I don't regret that. Right. So while, when the day comes to close up if, or to retire or to be done I'll, I'll say yes and amen. But, but I, at the same time I'm like, gosh, so much fruit has come from it and obedience. It's his vision and his plan. I'm stewarding this thing.

Right. And, and I'll stay in because I told him I would, and he's kept his promise, right? He he's kept his promise to, to purify my heart and to, to make me more like him as I've gone. And he's used the thing I thought would, would crumble me and distract me and take me away from my family and away from God. And he's enriched our family and he has built up the faith of our family and he's built up my faith. And he, you know, I, again, I, I, I have weakness everywhere and we can talk about today, like my sin, but, but I, but I see in general, this, this God who has protected us and protected me only because it was his plan and we weren't chasing it and trying to make something happen.

Yeah. I think this idea that I've got to get a platform is the wrong place to start, but it's everywhere as opposed to, God, what do you want me to do? Lordship, I'll do whatever you want me to do. And here's the thing is always there's cost, but there is reward. You said that word fruit and you just see these ripple effects of the women that you've helped and what happens in their marriages. And guess what?

The, those kids get a different mom and those single people have a different hope. And so on the one hand, of course, there's, I mean, Jesus, it was for the joy set before him, but he endured the cross. And so we get, I mean, I want people to know, follow your holy ambition of, of, of course there's a price tag.

But I would not trade it. Right. If there is exceedingly great reward. It's good to walk with God.

That's the bottom line. It is good to walk with God. I don't want, I don't want to bear off from anything he has for me because the hardest parts have actually been the richest and the best part. You know, we adopted our youngest son out of obedience and that was one of the things God put in our heart as we pray, Lord, we'll do anything you want. And, and I mean, you talk about the greatest blessing to our family's life. He has kept us close. My college kids come home and we'll probably move back here because they feel responsible to help us like send him into the world. Like he has made our family. Has that been the hardest journey for him, for our kid and for us? Yes. But would we ever trade that storyline?

I mean, he has my heart, that boy, I love him so deep, cannot imagine our family without him. So it's kind of like, would I trade the hard for the good never and all the best parts were hard and are hard. And I think we just, we, we can do harder things than we think. And, and we need to be people who don't make life choices based on pros and cons and ease and comfort and, and hardship, but on obedience to God, whatever he calls us to do.

You remind me as we think about all of this is it is basic. Somehow this has gotten to be what superstars do or what really, really committed Christians. Jesus said, if anyone will follow me, anyone, you want to be a follower, let him deny himself, take up his cross, take up her cross and follow me. Cause if you seek to save your life, I want my way on my terms, my agenda, my way, you'll lose it. But if you give up your life, if you can be the seed that goes into the ground and dies, it'll bear forth much fruit. And I think on the journey, my, one of my, I don't know if I have a life first, but if there's one, I go back to Hebrews 10, 36 says you have need of endurance so that once you have done the will of God, you might receive what was promised. And so much of what I hear you saying is it's a calling of God.

Obedience is issue is very challenging. You endure. And as you endure, he's probably changed you more than anyone you've ever spoken to and all the people around you. And it's the resurrection fruit that has come out of your personal journey that gives the authority and the power to how God has used you as you speak and as you write. And it is, it's a, it's a beautiful thing. Yes. Yeah, it is.

And it's, it's fun. You know, I mean, even would any of my ambition and my best days ever dream up what God's doing right now? No way.

No, not possible. It's just only the Spirit of God could do the things he's done. Well, I want to, I want to wrap it up because I'm thinking I just, I want to make sure everyone hears this is what we do. And this is, this is me asking, so this isn't you telling. Yeah. We heard 15 years teaching in the living room. So here's your assignment. Are you ready? What is, what's the impact of if now to the glory of God?

Yeah. Second, how in the world could someone be involved? And what, what's your heart?

What do you long to see happen? I mean, everything I do is I build tools and experiences to make disciples who make disciples. There is no other goal in my life. Disciple generation is the thing hanging on my wall.

Like that is what I want to give my life to for the rest of it. And so, and we do that through the local church and probably your daughters who, who lead if gatherings, they do that through local churches. So we, we do that. We, we support, we exist as a ministry to support the local church. And, and so what I love is, is it is a group project.

I mean, out there, there's a lot of people like your daughters that have just said, I will host in my place and I'll have invite my neighbors and friends. And even our, our experience, our conference is still just a tool, right? It's a tool to help build great conversations around Jesus.

And, and so we keep things simple. We cross all denominations. I mean, it's absolutely wild. This last year we just had our event in March and we had over 6,500 people like your daughters that, that hosted events for us across the world, reached 144 countries. You know, we don't know the numbers of how many people are in those, but, but then, you know, hundreds of thousands of people watching individually too.

So it's pretty unbelievable. But what I love is that it's not me, it's not even our team, even though there's 20 of us in this office that give our lives to these, these tools and experiences, it is all of those women out there that have said, yes. And, and they do the brave thing.

We always say it, they're the heroes of this ministry because they brave, inviting their friends and their neighbors. And so anyway, it's, it's so fun. I love working with women because they do get after it and make things happen. And it's just been such a fun, fun journey. So if gathering.com is the place and then other tools are at Jenny Allen.com and say both of those just a little bit slower for our, for our visual learners like me, instead of the audio learners have it, but just say them both again, if, and it's if gathering.com.

Okay. And Jenny J E N N I E Allen, A-L-L-E-N.com and all my tools and resources are in those two places. And yeah, it's, it is an adventure and we love women to come of all ages that come alongside of us.

We had 1400 college students hosts this year, but then we also have women in their eighties that are if local leaders. So this is so fun because it does cross so many barriers and brings women together. Well, Jenny, thank you for taking the time and sharing your story for people that want to find out this we've piqued their interest. What is Holy Ambition? It's a, it's a book and part of this conversation I'm so grateful is, you know, I wrote that book 20 years ago and to be able to update for people to see the stories of people like yourself just brings me great joy. And so there's an app called Chip Ingram.

You just type my name in the app store or livingontheedge.org and we'll have someone get with you to either listen to the MP3s for free or get it in whatever format that you want. But could you pray for those people that find themselves? Yes. You know, I think God's speaking to me. God, I know you are.

I know you are. And I know that that you're doing it in the same way you've done it since the very beginning. You and your spirit are leading people to obey you. And, and I look at the scripture and it's ultimately a story about Jesus, but it's also a story about a lot of humans that needed Jesus and, and stumbled their way through life.

And, and yet they had something that, that marked almost all of them, which was faith. And so God, I pray for an increase of faith. God, we need it. There are mountains to climb in this generation. There are things that need to be built in this generation. There are ministries that need to be started in this generation. There are people that need to hear the gospel and cubicles and on college campuses and in classrooms, God, in this generation. So, so you know, all the people listening. And what I love is that we work with you. And so when we do something like this, God, your spirit is out there and in cars and on walks with people and, and you're leading people and you're stirring people and you're causing them to wonder and be restless.

Like, gosh, is this, this little idea I have, is this something you want me to do? And, and so God, I pray that those conversations would continue in the days and the weeks and the hours to come. God, would you, would you bring people around those listening that have a dream?

Would you give them team like you've done for me again and again for Chip? Would you, would you cause people to take the lid off, to imagine how to spend their life well in our short time here? Because we aren't here long. And God, would you help us kill the idols of our heart, whether that's approval or comfort or money or success, whatever it is, power or fear, God, whatever that thing is that keeps us from obeying you, would you, would you help it to die? Would we, would we turn and repent and run from it? And would you give us the power to do that, the strength to do that?

Thank you that you are the God who never sleeps and that you are accomplishing your purposes, God around us and, and over us or through us. And so would we be people that, that work with you, that we see our purpose is to submit and obey. I think of the great hymn, trust and obey for there is no other way.

God, there is no other way. And even if that leads us into valleys, God, you will be with us in those valleys and there is no other place I would rather be than with you, even in the darkness. God, thank you that you will spark lots of acts of obedience because of this conversation. And we pray that you would fan into existence the things that are from you and that need to exist in Jesus' name. Amen.

Amen. Jenny, what a blast. So good to be with you. You too, Chip.

Thank you. You've been listening to Chip's interview with author and speaker, Jenny Allen, here on Living on the Edge. Now, to learn more about Jenny's ministry or her many published works, go to her website, JennyAllen.com.

That's JennyAllen.com. Well, before we wrap up, Chip's back with me to talk about our next series and why you should join us. Chip? Thanks so much, Dave. Those of you who've been around Living on the Edge very long know that one of our key premises of life change is the renewing of our mind, Romans 12 2. And Jenny wrote a book called Get Out of Your Head where she talks about seven toxic things that literally ruin our mind. And I think she's got some things to say to all of us, but especially to some young women and some young moms who would say, Chip, thanks for inviting someone who really understands my world. And memo to you men, as I listen to it, as I read the book, I got to say, it helped me too. So next program, get ready.

Jenny Allen. Looking forward to it. Thanks, Chip. As we wrap up, I want to thank those of you who make this program possible through your generous financial support. Your gifts help us create programs, purchase airtime, and develop additional resources to help Christians live like Christians. If you've been blessed by the Ministry of Living on the Edge, would you consider sending a gift today? Call us at 888-333-6003, or go to livingontheedge.org. App listeners, tap donate. Your support is greatly appreciated. Well, until next time, this is Dave Drewy saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-16 23:22:08 / 2023-04-16 23:40:05 / 18

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