I’m so excited about this series and introducing you to ten ladies who have inspired me so much in my own walk with God.
My first interview is with a woman I have the privilege of calling a friend, Wendy Mann. She has been a real inspiration to me in so many ways and when I considered the ladies who have inspired me, she came straight to mind.
One of the many things I find exciting is that she was a PE teacher and is now a leader at the Kings Arms Church in Bedford, preaching regularly, overseeing a Supernatural Ministry School, travelling around the world on ministry trips and sharing what she carries freely, with churches she visits and events she speaks at, as a pioneering woman of God. She has helped and supported other churches to step into all God has for them and has fitted in writing a bestselling book called Naturally Supernatural with another book in the pipe line.
So, how do you go from being a PE teacher to a world changing, culture shifting, spiritual mother to so many, woman of God?
Be inspired by…Wendy Mann
What prophetic words have shaped your life/ministry?
The main one was in 2005 when I was a youth leader at Newday. I was wrestling with God about my calling and the outworking of it as a woman. I went to a Julian Adams seminar and got picked out (this was before I even knew him). It was the first time I had a full on prophetic word and it was about miracles, signs and wonders, incredible breakthrough, anointing for the miraculous and he talked about the nations, which until that point I hadn’t had a passion for. I didn’t like flying and I liked being in the UK but it woke something up in me. It turned out to be a launch pad for all the stuff that God had put in my heart.
Have there been any pivotal/tipping point moments in your life/ministry that have changed your direction?
I had a significant encounter with God when I was spending time with Him one day wrestling with where I fit in the church. I didn’t have a specific title for my role. I was asking God, ‘who am I?’ God clearly spoke to me in that moment. He said to me, “you are my daughter. That is the only label you need and everything you do needs to flow out of that.” My main priority in life needs to be learning to be His daughter. When I get to heaven that will be the only label I still have. So that is what I’m learning to do. I still don’t have a specific title even now and I think it’s God’s kind way of reminding me that my daughter hood trumps every other title I could be given.
Julian’s prophetic word about the nations was also pivotal. He talked about invitations coming from other churches, so when the emails started coming in I knew what to do. I perhaps wouldn’t have taken travelling opportunities without the prophetic word because I felt afraid of flying, but I ended up going on a Newday Global trip to Ireland. Then I went out to South Africa (link with friends) and then this was God’s sense of humour I think, but I got invited to New Zealand!! There has been a breakthrough in the flying thing, not that I’m excited about flying but I can do it. I’ve also had opportunities for ministry trips to Oklahoma, Sweden and Switzerland.
We all hear from God differently. How do you hear from God?
Relationship: I am increasingly aware that my ability to recognise God’s voice is first and foremost rooted in my relationship with Him. Just like when you are in a relationship with a friend you pick up on their little nuances. That’s primarily how it is with God and me.
Pictures: These are usually very vague and I could easily dismiss them as me making them up. If I asked a room full of people if they ever doubted they hear Gods voice, about 90% of hands would go up. I think it’s the enemies scheme to stop us sharing what God is saying. My top tip when it comes to the prophetic: say what you see!
Scripture: If I’m reading scripture and I feel God draw close and what I’ve read really jumps out at me, I know God is trying to get my attention.
Just thoughts: Often one of the fun things I like to do is go walking because it gives me quiet and peace with Him. I just have different thoughts that pop into my head and often that is God speaking to me. Again, they can often just feel like my own thoughts.
Dreams: I’ve had dreams occasionally, not loads but I’d love to have more.
Everyday stuff: God also speaks through the stuff I see in everyday life: words, flowers, pictures etc
Word of Knowledge: In ministry times I sometimes get words of knowledge for healing, through subtle pain in my own body. The key thing I’ve had to learn is acting on what I feel God is saying. In public ministry it can often feel riskier but it’s the same as hearing from God in private.
Learning to hear God through your relationship with him is the most important thing. Then you can use what you’ve learnt wherever you are. It’s been a journey of hearing and I still have so much to learn, but I have grown loads over the years. Early on I was petrified I would get it wrong and did get it wrong, a lot! But, I’ve realised that God is bigger than us getting it wrong and the way you learn is through taking risks and learning from your mistakes.
Who has been an inspiration in your life or a spiritual parent to you?
It hasn’t been one particular person. I remember years ago talking with Simon Holley (the senior pastor at Kings Arms) about wanting to have spiritual parents. He gave me a great piece of advice: to be the best spiritual parent I could be, even though I hadn’t had it modelled to me very much, so that the next generation don’t have the same experience lack in the same way. I’ve been trying to do that ever since and it’s been an amazing journey. Being a spiritual parent is evidence of God’s grace in my life. I don’t have kids of my own, but by His grace it’s something I love doing and I’m good at it. I think it’s part of the redemption of God.
There are definitely good people who have inspired my life. One lady called Megan, who used to be in King’s Arms, who is now in South Africa, was the first person ever to cry with me when I was expressing pain. It sounds small but it had a massive impact on my life. I remember talking to her about stuff and crying and she started crying and I remember being so surprised because I had never experienced it before. That was really massive for me. My friend Sandra, who lost her husband and son in a tragic accident and seeing her worship Jesus was a massive inspiration to me and such a provocation.
Also, Simon Holley has hugely inspired me in the whole area of pursuing authenticity and leading without a mask. Seeing him model it has given me permission to deal with stuff that would otherwise hold me back, it’s much of the reason why I enjoy the freedom I do because of what Simon and his wife Caroline, have modelled. I think it’s probably healthier to have many inspirations rather than just one.
What do you do whilst waiting for promises to be fulfilled?
I know the right thing to do although I don’t always do it: lean in, hold the prophetic word in front of you, pray and intercede. Honestly, I feel there are two sides to waiting well. Firstly, leaning in, praying, seeking God and crying out for stuff. At the same time resting in God’s faithfulness: trusting that He is a good, good father. He doesn’t promise us stuff He’s not going to do. I probably lean more towards resting in Him and trusting His goodness as my Father, probably because of being way down the other end of the spectrum earlier in my life, trying really hard to make stuff happen. I hold on to a place of rest and trust in God. He’s taken me on a journey recently of trusting Him and that I don’t have to make stuff happen. Having said that, your question has freshly provoked me to be asking God and going after stuff again. Thank you Sarah!
How have you coped with any disappointments in your life/ministry?
The main thing I’ve learnt is to be real about it, authentic. I’m so grateful for teaching from Bill Johnson about how to handle disappointment. We often think we just need to hold it together and trust God because He’s good, so I’m just going to keep believing. It’s hard to keep believing when you’re upset and disappointed. The key is to express it. There are always layers with disappointment, you don’t deal with it once and it’s done. You have to be real and process the pain, get it out of your system and cry and get angry if you need to. Then, hold on to what the truth is about God- this is who You are and You never change and I can trust You, but it’s got to be that way round. It’s also about not getting offended, laying down your right to understand what has or hasn’t happened. He’s ultimately in charge and is good and that will never change. You’ve got to process and BE HONEST!
What has been the key to breakthrough in your life/ministry?
God’s faithfulness and grace. He does it all, He’s very good, He changes people and brings breakthrough and sets people free, it’s all about Him. Also, being passionate about living a life where I respond to Him and I do what He asks me to do. I take risks when He provokes me to. I think it’s obedience that’s been key and I haven’t always been good at this. God’s grace covers that as well. There’s a determination in me to be all that God has called me to be and to get hold of everything He’s got for me. I am keen to please Him and honour Him by being authentic and dealing with stuff. I was a mess and have spent years processing lies and shame. I can now be free and operate in freedom which makes a big difference.
What do you want to see God do in your life?
The dream I am currently living with is to see men and women empowered to lead together in church and I know stuff is shifting. The guys here at Kings Arms are amazing and we are learning what it means for us to lead together. I feel blessed to be here. I feel it’s important to go after it and believe it’s on Gods agenda and that it will help churches flourish in new ways. I want to see the questions women ask themselves; Should I say this? Should I do this? not even be questions they have to ask anymore because they know who they are and they’ve got permission. It’s a healthy position to be in where women are championing the men and vice versa, they are for each other, together.
I also want to see incredible miracles, especially cancer dealt with and defeated when I pray. Not just once but on many occasions. I also want to see others raised up who know who they are and who understand that God has such a good call for them. I want to see the church woken up and people who are just there, realising, hang on a minute God promised me life in all its fullness, let’s go for it.
What have been your biggest obstacles and how have you overcome them?
Fear of what people think, making mistakes, overstepping the mark. I have to continually work on it and when I’m leading I have to push through the fear, particularly of what guys in authority will think.
Also, the fear of sickness. Phil Wilthew (senior leader at Kings Arms) said to me, “the enemy wants you to fear in the area where you are called to have most influence.”
I’m called to see miraculous breakthrough in healing and to see men and women increasingly work together in the church. If the enemy can get me to fear, then I’m not going to step into it. I’m still overcoming this. The key is to be honest, to say it out loud to break its power and that’s why authenticity is so important. Having times to receive God’s love and the journey of knowing who God is and how much He loves me has been significant. Perfect love drives out fear. Getting God to a place where He’s bigger than anything that I’m fearful of makes a difference for me and worship is really helpful for this. Ultimately it comes down to choices to go for stuff, feeling the fear and doing it anyway! Sometimes I do well and sometimes not. It’s really helpful to have friends around you who can be honest with you and who you can be honest with. Telling them the things God has asked you to do means they can be there to challenge you if you give into fear but also cheer you on as you make courageous choices.
Do you have a daily routine with God and what does that look like?
No, not really. I’m currently reading BIOY (Bible in One Year), the New Testament part. I try to do this in the morning. But, it may look different in different seasons. I talk to God throughout the day, just chatting. I have found walking clears my head and gives me a better perspective. I love to just hang out with Jesus, worship and pray. I have put a reminder on my phone to pray for different things on different days on my drive to work so that it’s not dead time. All in all, it’s not super structured.
We met through TSM but how did TSM come about?
Simon (Holley) and PJ (Paul Johnson) went out to Bethel Church in Redding, California and saw their BSSM (Bethel Supernatural Ministry School) that runs 4 days a week. The Kings Arms had been prophesied over about being an apostolic resource base to train and send people out so they felt that God wanted us to start a similar school. They asked me out of the blue if I would lead it and I felt really excited. I’d been leading the youth work for 7 years, but I am a pioneer by nature so I was ready for a new challenge.
We spent some time together looking at the key things we wanted to teach students, what outreach we’d like to do and how we could create a safe culture for people to access freedom. TSM ended up being two days a week on a Thursday and Friday because I taught on a Tuesday and Wednesday. We looked at what Bethel were doing and went for a meal and came up with a schedule and curriculum that included topics like: Growing in the prophetic, Knowing God as Father and Knowing our Identity in Christ. For the first year, it was Philbe Kellett and I on the team and we had 22 students.
I love TSM, its awesome. I have grown in leadership through it as God has done stuff in me during it. You can learn skills till you’re blue in the face but if you don’t have internal change then it won’t have a knock-on effect. God has done so much in me in terms of me knowing who I am and who He is. I’ve become more chilled out in my leadership. I used to be uptight because my identity was in my performance. Now I feel chilled. I love giving away what God has given to me, because when you give away in the Kingdom, God gives back to you. It’s such a privilege.
I hope you found hearing from Wendy as inspiring as I did and having completed TSM myself I can honestly say it has changed my life for the better.
If you fancy a life changing year, where you will grow in your identity and your understanding of God as your father, where you will have excellent teaching on discovering and using the giftings God has given you… then why not sign up for next year’s TSM ? You can do the evening school or the evening and day school option.
There are currently still places available. What’s stopping you? Take a step of courage today and you will never look back!
If you would like to win a copy of Wendy’s book-Naturally Supernatural (the normal Christian life), please leave a comment and tell me why. I have two copies available.
The giveaway is open from Saturday 15th July until Sunday 30th July at 5pm. I will pick names out of the proverbial hat on Sunday 30th July 2017. I will contact you if you are a winner. I am happy to post internationally.
There are 10 inspiring ladies in this series so if you have missed one you can link to it from here:
Inspired By Ladies