Amy Dinning’s career path includes working in a variety of industries–pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, banking, non-profits and telecommunications. In each industry, she has designed training and learning development programs to help organizations succeed with their human resources. She was good at her job, but there was something missing. The direction was foggy. Then during a job transition, she began to wonder how to match her training skills with her heart to serve those in need.
It was during this season of transition when Amy attended her first Global Leadership Summit. The fog began to clear when she heard two questions that changed the trajectory of her journey, and clarified her leadership direction:
What breaks your heart?
What’s already in your hands?
“I still haven’t forgotten those first two talks at my first Summit,” says Amy. “Bill Hybels spoke about paying attention to what breaks your heart, and the next speaker spoke about paying attention to what’s already in your hands to meet what God put on your heart to do. And I thought, am I doing that?”
A path of discovery
It was an opportune season, actually. Through her layoff and job transition, God would lay an idea on her heart that exactly matched up with her skills and passion. “I came up with a concept to run a workshop at my church for people in job transition,” says Amy. “I called it Jump Start Your Job Search. The first one was held nine years ago. It was a full-day workshop, and 115 people attended. I had people asking me when I would hold another one. I hadn’t even planned on it, but I felt like God was working on my heart and this was becoming my ministry.
“So I said ok, I’ll do this as long as it is needed. Here I am nine years later, running it twice a year. I don’t get anything from it monetarily. I keep the costs low for the church and get sponsors for lunches. This is now my ministry!”
The power of influence
Through the workshop, Amy is using all her gifts—leadership, mercy and facilitation—to serve those in need during a time of transition in their lives. “The tag line for the workshop is to provide help and hope for those in job transition,” says Amy. “I want them to feel the care from the church, myself, the volunteers and the elders, and ultimately find hope during this season of their lives.”
The gift of matching your skills with your passion for God’s glory
“Even though I feel like God has given me this ministry, he’s still the one who’s doing it,” says Amy. He gave it to me, and gave me the idea; I need to remind myself not to go off and do it without him. I’m just a vessel. I do all the work I can and then I leave it in his hands, and it’s amazing how he pulls it all together into this incredible day that provides hope and help for people. I do my best, but it’s just remembering that it’s in his hands, and he makes it all work. Every time I speak at the workshop, I’ll lay it out before God. I say, I need you to give me my topic and he does, every time. Each time he impresses on me what I need to address. It’s always fun.
“There were times when obstacles along the way made me question whether to go on, but this isn’t something that God wants me to stop. Satan puts up road blocks. If it weren’t a good thing, God wouldn’t have given it to me!”
Reflecting on influence of the Summit
“I was reflecting back on that first Summit, and I realized that while I didn’t recognize it then, I received the answer to my prayers during my transition nine years ago at the Summit! God used all my gifts, and it took me three years to realize God started to answer my prayers at the Summit!
“The Summit impacts not just you, but everything you influence—your work, ministry, church and family. It is critical to develop yourself. People are looking to you. I made a pact with myself to make attending the Summit a priority every year. It’s worth the time, effort and money. When you see the stories, you realize you’re impacting that many more people’s lives. It’s not just making an impact on you. It’s making an impact on the kingdom through your leadership.
“Through the Summit, God may give you a ministry idea. Don’t be afraid to go for it! And remember you won’t ever do it alone. He will always give you what you need. He will bless you 100-fold because you’re being obedient. Sometimes we put roadblocks in our own way, but God will help you get around them. If he gives you the heart for it and the hands to do it, then do it.”