Author, You Have It In You (2012)
Pastor, The Potter’s House of North Dallas
First female speaker to the all-male crowd for Bishop T.D. Jakes Manpower Conference in 2010
Has traveled the globe as a singer, pastor, lecturer, and recording artist at various conferences and churches
Married to Bishop Joby Brady
3 daughters, 5 grandchildren (with 2 on the way)
Developing Character in the Face of Challenges
A DIVINE CONNECTION
Pastor Sheryl Brady says, “Believe [in God] for the impossible, the unimaginable, the unobtainable, and the incurable. Each time we trust Him with another layer of our lives, we discover more of the buried treasure of our true identities.” Sheryl never dreamed she would be a pastor of a large church or an author. At 15, she was a shy and quiet high school dropout. She never really knew what she was going to do in life. Sheryl only knew that she loved God and she was a worshipper. She says, “God blindsided her,” with all the gifts and talents He drew out of her. Years ago, Sheryl and her husband, Joby, were elders in a West Virginia church. Sheryl had been in church all her life and was “finally getting it.” She was in her 30s when God woke up the preaching gift in her through Bishop T.D. Jakes’ teaching. It was over 20 years ago when she had listened to one of his tapes. Then, on a hot and humid day she drove many miles to Cleveland, OH to hear him. He was still an up and coming preacher at this point. She almost missed this life changing opportunity because when she arrived at the location, it was crowded and she couldn't find a seat. Something told her to tough it out and stay. Sheryl remembers while she heard Bishop Jakes preaching she thought (not in an arrogant way), “I can do this…” She could see herself speaking in front of large groups of people; however, this thought terrified her also. Sheryl says the message and the ministry time was life changing. She also was able to meet Bishop Jakes after the service. This would be the first of many times their paths would cross. Sheryl was a praise and worship leader during this time. When she was on the road ministering through music, she would often see Bishop Jakes ministering and they became friends. Sheryl was content in being the mother of three daughters and supporting Joby in their ministry together. After many years of this, they joined the Jakes’ ministry when he was still in West Virginia. They were part of the few families to move with him to Dallas in the 90s to begin The Potter’s House, which now has over 30,000 members.
Sheryl says following God opens up opportunities for a life you could never think possible. “Most of us have no idea of what we are truly capable of accomplishing – or perhaps more accurately, what God has created us to achieve, with Him as our power source,” she says. “It usually takes a crisis moment or unexpected opportunity to crystallize the core substance of our true identity.” The Bradys eventually left The Potter’s House for Raleigh, NC, where they built a thriving church that is still flourishing today. But when Bishop Jakes called her to pastor the new Potter’s House Church plant in North Dallas, the whole family moved back. It wasn’t easy.
After ten years of watching the Raleigh church grow, it was difficult to break close ties, move from their comfortable home, uproot their children and grandchildren, etc., and move back to Texas. But God gives the grace to go through the challenges and the changes. She never thought she would be someone chosen to lead Jake’s new church plant in Dallas.
OPPORTUNITY AT MANPOWER 2010
On the night before the last day of ManPower 2010, a death in the church family pulled Bishop Jakes away. He told the 10, 000+ men that he had to leave but he would have a surprise guest to speak to them on the last day. At 1:00am when Sheryl picked up her phone to receive Bishop Jakes’ emergency request to be the closing keynote speaker at ManPower 2010, she asked him if he had the right person. He assured her she was the right person. No woman had ever spoken at his annual men’s event before. Sheryl says this was either sovereign or suicidal. After hanging up the phone she poured out her heart to the Lord and got His peace. The next day God moved mightily and at the end many men came forward for prayer, getting right with God. “But these mind-bending, heart wrenching, faith –stretching moments often become the crucible in which our talents are forged into a tool that would never have existed otherwise,” she says. Sheryl knew the result of this overwhelming response had nothing to do with her but had everything to do with her willingness to be available to be God's messenger. She didn't know she had those gifts in her, but God knew and delighted in surprising her with another glimpse of who He made her to be.
For fifty years of Sheryl's life she didn’t know what her purpose was. She was a high school dropout at 15. She never thought there was a speaker, pastor, or author in her. Sheryl says gifts evolve over a lifetime and destiny is time released. She was just coming out of her 30s she was made a pastor. In her 40s, she was doing conferences and speaking. Now, in her 50s, she wrote her first book. We need to be open and willing to let God draw out of us what He has placed in us. They were established before the foundation of the world. Within earthen vessels there is treasure. God is taking off layers and we see the treasure. The seed is under the layers. We need to trust God with the seed and the harvest.
Sheryl hopes people will read You Have It in You! and have the courage to dream again and fulfill everything God has for them. She encourages people to look 3, 4, 5 times for the treasure within themselves because we are filled with treasure. Sheryl prays “God will you breathe out of me what you will?” Much of the book came out of scripture. The Bible has a lot of examples. God has set these things on the earth. He brooded over earth and called things out of it. For example, He called forth the seas, animals, etc. God reached out and from the dirt came Adam, out of Adam came Eve, out of Eve came family, and out of families came nations. Other examples of men and women in the scriptures are: God making Gideon a great warrior; Rahab was a prostitute and now she is in the lineage of Jesus; and Jacob became Israel.
FINDING CLUES TO YOUR DESTINY
If you don’t know what God is drawing out of you, Sheryl says success leaves clues. Upon further study of the Bible passage, “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart (Psalms 37:4 NIV),” Sheryl realized that scripture meant we are led by the desires He gave us. God puts in our heart what we will desire. Sometimes it starts as a frustration that can be a part of a person’s gift. The little things are keys and hints. Sheryl says reflect on your desires and train you ears to hear God. Sometimes we must turn down the noise and listen to the still small voice of God. This is a vital part of the process. God takes everything we go through and works it together for good. As it says in Romans 8, He works all together for good to those who 1.) love the Lord and 2.) are called according to His purpose. Sheryl says in the process, you are going to have pain, tears, and failure. It is important to remember that you can make a mistake but not be a mistake.
When Sheryl began to step out, God told her not to be anxious. He told her that He was the gentleman in her life. He would open doors for her and get the door for her. Sheryl started walking through the doors God opened. She went through the doors scared, but she walked through. Like Solomon in the Bible, she was open to the opportunities God had given and asked Him for His help. However, Sheryl also exercised wisdom. Sheryl asked God to please not put her in something big, something she didn't have the grace to go through yet. She says that is important when you’re stepping out: Don't be somewhere you don't have the grace for yet.
Like David in the Bible, quiet times with God are a time of preparing. When we are faithful over the small things, God will raise us up when the time is right. David killed a bear and a lion when no one was looking. Things we “kill” when no one is looking, like fear or timidity, prepare us to overcome the bigger things. David overcame Goliath, which led to his destiny in becoming the king of Israel. Sheryl says God was faithful to show up for her. Little by little, line by line. When God shows who you are you don’t owe anyone else. There are layers of dimension God has placed in us. We should not limit ourselves and we don’t have time to waste.
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