This week I have the distinct honor of sharing someone with you all that not only exemplifies Matthew 5:16, and helps others shine bright, but is also someone who has become a friend and mentor since moving to Nashville. Her name is Paula Michelle, the Bounce Back Coach, and she is dedicated to helping women take ownership of who they are, and empowering them to achieve various life goals.
Through consulting, speaking, and coaching, she does this by imparting confidence, holding clients accountable, and helping them carve out stretch goals-- goals that may be uncomfortable, yet attainable, and will push them to make decisions for the long run. Most often, Paula works with professional women who are seeking guidance in the areas of personal identity, finances, and spirituality.
In fact, I chose to speak with Paula Michelle in honor of National Pastoral Care Week. National Pastoral Care Week provides an opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge various forms of ministry. In the case of Paula, she is a woman who greatly demonstrates how to navigate both ministry and the marketplace. In addition to owning and operating PM Faith Consulting, she is also an ordained minister at Mt. Zion Baptist Church-Nashville, where she serves as Overseer of Protocol. She also serves in various capacities within the women’s ministry, prayer ministry, and Christian education department.
Paula’s journey into ministry began in her mid-20’s, with a heart to minister to children through Scripture and song. She progressed in ministry with a strong desire to teach, and developed this gift by serving others as a means to gain training and mentorship. Paula now describes her call to teach as one where God gives her complicated things to study, break down, research, then teach simplistically.
Being a woman in ministry that I admire, I asked Paula to share some practical ways to minister and care for others in the world we live today. She shared that her formula for pastoring consists of transparency, faith (in best and worst times), and exhortation. This creates a pathway to do the following:
Feed people gently,
Allow people time to gain spiritual understanding (remember that it took you time to understand),
Meet people where they are at, and
Leave religion/church protocol to the side.
While speaking on ways to practically minister, I also asked Paula to share some words of wisdom to millennial women in ministry. Her advice to myself and others, is to maintain fire and passion while being intentional about gaining experience and wisdom in order to be sharpened, and nullify the flesh. “The passion, drive, and connectivity of millennials is FIRE,” she said. Yet, the importance of protocol must be learned.
For those in ministry and the marketplace, she stressed how important it is to show up as the same person whether you’re in a corporate, non-profit, or church setting. She believes that if everyone showed up as their natural, authentic, unapologetic selves, acknowledging that they are not perfect, the world would be a better place. Rather than trying to be what others expect, she believes we can take the pressure off by allowing ourselves to figure things out with the help of those around us.
To learn more about Paula Michelle, visit her website or follow her on Facebook and Instagram for daily bounce back inspiration.
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Chicago native, Brandi Nicole Williams is an author, speaker, faith leader, and entrepreneur. Since completing her BA Sociology at DePaul University in 2004, Brandi has been speaking, facilitating workshops, and leading small groups for women and youth. Through this work she has demonstrated a commitment to equipping and empowering individuals to discover their purpose in life. Brandi obtained her Master’s in Theological Studies in 2012 and often lends her voice to matters such as self-worth, body image, and self-esteem. She also loves intertwining biblical principles with fashion, beauty, and pop culture. Over the past year, Brandi has expanded her reach as a personal development coach and consultant to communities, and organizations, seeking to enhance confidence in clients and staff. Brandi currently resides in Nashville, TN. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and proudly stands 6’3".