Since the age of 18 years old, I have been involved in Ministry in some shape or form. As a very young adult, I held leadership roles, led teams, spoke and keynoted church/religious events, etc. I was great at it—and I gave it my all. My very first “big” event had me shaking in my boots as I organized a large Sunday evening service for young women from a local group home to come hear about the gospel of Jesus Christ.
During that service, we fed them, gave them cribs for their babies, play pens, diapers, clothes, and so much more! The cost of that particular event was well over $7,000. I was young (only about 23 years old when this particular event took place), a newly married mother of two who just simply wanted to share how God had changed my life. Granted, I had lots of help; hence, why we were able to bless these young women well beyond what I was able to do on my own.
That night, over 20 young teen moms gave their life to Christ after I shared a sermon and my personal testimony with them. That evening was the beginning of my “public” sharing and speaking—and I can vividly remember wanting to run and hide somewhere as I was so afraid to get up to speak that night! I remember calling my then leader to say, “I changed my mind…I’m not doing it anymore.” Prior to facing my fears and speaking that night in front of a packed Church, I did not know or fully understand the power of my voice. But after that night…God revealed it to me.
While I was great at hosting events, conferences, and speaking/preaching, it was not my comfort zone. Believe it or not...I prefer to be alone, with family, reading a book, and not talking. But, when it's "GO" time, I do what I have to do! Thus, I always found myself doing just that. As time and years went by, I hosted countless events, and was asked to share and speak at multiple events.
Over time, I soon began to realize that there was more in me than I had realized. I was passionate about advocating for healthy youth and families. I was passionate about education and effective communication. I was passionate about making a difference in all areas of life. However, deep down, I knew that I could not make a greater impact just by speaking and hosting church events. God began to show me that I was “MORE” than a Preacher. But I was unsure of how to effectively merge all of these very real truths about me together.
In 2017, I was invited to speak in Washington, D.C., to share at a Congressional Staff Briefing: Rethinking Sex Ed: Because There’s More to Sex than Sex. During this briefing, I shared my story and journey to sexual health and how risk avoidance (from a health perspective) literally changed my life. A couple of years later in the summer of 2019, I was invited by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as the closing keynote speaker to yet again share my story and journey in front of over 750 people, representing over 150 organizations. On that stage, I shared how “Risk Avoidance” and healing from my childhood trauma were the game changers for me.
Over the course of the past 20 plus years…I have discovered that I am MORE than a Preacher. Granted, I am still a Preacher! I am a mother; a wife, a healthy youth and family relationship advocate, a business owner, and more. All throughout scripture, some of the greatest leaders were not limited to preaching—but they each had skillsets that extended beyond their call to preach.
There is so much more that I would like to share regarding this topic, but I will save that for the short eBook/future blogs on my experience regarding this topic. But, until then, I would encourage my fellow sisters and brothers in Christ to expand your faith, thinking, and perspectives. You are not just a preacher…you are a woman (and/or man) of many God-given talents. Do not allow anyone to place limits on what God has called you to do. Thus, GO FORTH! There is MORE in YOU!
Canena Adams, LLBSW, MA, SRAS
Wife | Mother | Writer | Author | Public Speaker | Social Worker | Business Owner | Nonprofit Founder & Director | Sexual Risk Avoidance Specialist | Healthy Family & Relationship Advocate | Adjunct College Prof. | PhD Student (Public & Social Policies)