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7 Questions for Thursday: b.Marcell Williams

What does Jesus mean for you?
LIFE!  — I could go deep, but that is who Jesus is to me …. He is Life and Love and my entire being!

Name your favorite 3 Christian music artists?
Tasha Cobbs
Smokey Norful
Colier McNair 🙂   — Madison’s own!!!  His new CD, Intimacy is out on i-Tunes and is sooooooooooooooooooooooooo GOOD! It’s the only thing I listen to in the car!
… I have soooo many more –  In my DC days I worked on BET’s Bobby Jones Gospel for 7 years!

What is the church body doing well and what could we improve on?
I believe the church could improve on the way they connect with the community.  I have had the opportunity to work in the Faith world for over 5 years in various markets and many of the churches I have encountered 1) Love God, but 2) don’t truly understand how to serve the current needs of God’s people.  

My opinion is that the churches are completely comfortable in their annual events producing the same activities, outings, special concerts that they have done for decades and that is honestly stale and causing churches to lose members.  Please hear my heart on this … the youth, millennials, young adults, grown adults, seasoned adults, basically everyone needs constant and consistent growth and development in every aspect of life.

As a church we should be trying our best to evolve with the times, to hear what the community is saying they are in need of and LISTEN to the Holy Spirit to guide us in the direction that captures as many souls for Jesus as possible.  It is our #1 responsibility as a church to capture the eyes and the ears of those that believe and don’t believe in Christ by showing His light through our lives and our ministries.

If we continue to hide behind the doors of the church then we will continue to lose our youth and community.  But here is the thing that has to be realized…. PASTORS ARE NOT THE CHURCH!  It is not up to the Pastor to serve in every capacity of the church.  The church is a body, every church member is a part of that body and it is up to them to listen and discern what the Holy Spirit is challenging them to do with what God has equipped them for in this season.  

If we all tuned in to God every morning just as we do the news when we wake up or the radio when we are driving into work then we can be led by Him to navigate us through our purpose.  God has gifted us to pour into our churches.  If we all poured into our churches just imagine the overflow that would hit the streets of our community!

In 2018, Christians have got to be intentional about how we are spending our time and where we are investing our energy.  If it isn’t a purpose project for this season then we must #SayNo.  We have to act in obedience to what God is calling us to do for His people.  There are souls tied to our purpose projects.  If we say no to God, then we may be causing a delay on someone else’s blessing, breakthrough, recovery.  

Let’s all do our best to walk in obedience to Yahweh and hold one another accountable in brotherly and sisterly love.

What scripture really defines where you are today in life and why?
The scripture that defines me today in life is Matthew 6:26-27:

26 “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?  27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”  

Growing up, I was the only one of my mother’s children who did not attend a faith-based school so the only true knowledge that I had of God was that we believed, I didn’t know what it was that I believed, I just knew I was to believe in Him.  

In High School, I joined a Gospel Choi. No, I cannot sing, but all of my friends were in it so I followed and that was the best peer pressure I could ever wish for!  During that time I got to experience the Holy Spirit.  I had no idea that is what I was experiencing, but every time I sang unto the Lord my soul was full of an unspeakable peace.

I stayed in Gospel Choir for a couple of years and by the time I was able to drive I was hungry for a church.  My mother and grandma were casually talking about a funeral they attended where the Pastor was on fire!  I told them I wanted to attend.  That Sunday, I drove myself 35 minutes from my home to sit for a church service at St. James A.M.E. in the inner city of St. Louis, MO.  The next week, I made my mother and grandmother attend the St. James with me and I joined the church in my personal pursuit of Jesus!!!  

At some point while attending the services until I graduated from high school, I came across the Matthew 6:26-27 Bible Verse and ever since that has been my “life verse”.  No matter what season I am in I know that God will provide for me because I am His beautiful jewel that He created specifically for a purpose here on this Earth for such a time as this!  This scripture has brought me through so many low points in my life and has given me the opportunity to pivot out of depression several times and get focused knowing that I am extremely valuable to my Father and that Yahweh has a plan for me.

How did you decide to create brunch & Bible and why?
Let’s be clear, I DID NOT WANT TO CREATE brunch & Bible!!!   I didn’t even want to venture out into a new “platform”, organization anything.  I am the proud founder of a national mentoring organization called Jewels, Inc., that I started my senior year at Howard University in Washington, DC back in 2007.  

Jewels, Inc., was birthed out of my depression of my dad being killed in a car accident my sophomore year in college.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but Jewels ended up being my “Mask” for so long covering up the brokenness that broke my heart when my Father was killed.  I created Jewels, because I wanted youth in Washington, DC to understand their value, their self worth and that they could do anything just like my dad had raised me to believe.  I wanted to pour confidence into my mentees and mentors.  I wanted them to have what I no longer had and that was self identity, knowledge of self worth and confidence to boot.  

My confidence would slowly evaporate over the years.  In 2011, I got married to my husband and we became an “instant family” having had one child apiece already and then giving birth to our unity baby a year later and our second daughter a year after that (2013). I had no idea what I was doing and immediately crashing from any form of understanding of what it meant to be a wife (what’s that?) and a mother of four (oh Lord)!  Oh My Word…. it was sooo much and I had no idea what I was doing.  I was in complete need of guidance on how to be somebodies wife, somebody’s mama and how to find myself in the Lord.  

During the Fall/Winter of 2014, God gave me this really big project to work on for Jewels, Inc.  Shortly after putting all of my time and energy into this project I specifically asked God NOT to give me any more demanding tasks until I successfully completed the one He had before me.  That’s me telling God what to do right?!  And of course, He goes by His plan not ours (Thank GOD).  

Later that day, a friend of mine posted on my Facebook wall stating that she notices that I post about God a lot and asked what resources do I use to study from.  I began typing out all of my resources, Bibles, etc., and then I completely blanked.  When I kind of shook my head to snap out of this “trance” I had fallen into I went back and re-read my post.  I kept repeating to myself, “I did not write that.  I did not write that!  I did not write that!!!”  

This is going to sound crazy to some, but God literally took over my fingertips and said to my friend, “I am going to start a weekly women’s Bible Study, is this something you would be interested in?” I think I rolled my eyes at God only 1,000 times!  If you have ever experienced the Lord you know that telling Him, “NO”, does not work!  He will get His mission accomplished.  

Of course my friend said she would be so excited to join my Bible study, so that meant I HAD TO DO IT!  A couple hours later I finally submitted to God and what He was calling me to do in that season.  I posted a question to Facebook asking women if they would be interested in meeting over brunch to discuss Bible stories and how to do this thing called life and keep Jesus at the center of it all.  brunch & Bible was born.  We are strategically designed to bring women of all ages to the table to share in their wisdom so that each brunch & Bible Beauty (the term “Beauty” refers to the members of brunch & Bible) can learn from one another’s shared experience in this thing called Life.  

I must say that I am beyond happy that I submitted to God’s will and His plan to be his vessel here on Earth to give birth to brunch & Bible.  brunch & Bible has a Beauty Bunch (small group) in St. Louis, MO and Madison, WI.  We are expanding to Howard University in Washington, DC and Houston, TX in the Spring of 2018.  The brunch & Bible team is working really hard to remodel our current website (www.brunchandBible.com) and to deliver a number of new Bible Studies for 2018.   

If the Madison Christian community could put one event together in 2018. What type of event would it be?
After reading this question over and over again and asking God to guide my thoughts on this … I would say that in 2018 the Madison Christ followers should do an informal mixer.  An event where churches unite and invite people that may or may not attend a church here in Madison to the mixer.  The mixer would consist of people from all walks of life simply getting to know one another …. meeting each other … so I guess it would kind of be somewhat of a mass “Meet Up.” – where people can interact with each other and connect.  I was thinking all of these big ideas to type up for this question …. and then the Holy Spirit said to me, “I just want them to unite.  To meet one another on a heart level.” So, that’s our answer 🙂

When your kids grow up what are three things you want them to know about you and your life?
This is truly a hard question to answer because I never really thought about it!  I guess the main things I would want my children to understand about my life is my foundation in which I was formed in my childhood and youth stages that have helped carry me through the years.

I would want my children to know that their mother is a lover of people.  My mother said that when I was 2+ years of age she would take me to the grocery store and I would tell random strangers, “I Love You”.  She said I would tell everyone that!  I believe I still hold true to that statement for any and everyone that I meet.  I simply love people.  I do what I can to love on them and if the love isn’t returned, I don’t get upset … I continue to love them from a distance by praying for them.

The second thing that I would want my babies to know about me is that I am very focused on leaving a legacy behind for my great-great grandchildren.  When I was in middle school I used to dream of having so much money that my great-greats wouldn’t need to work, that all they would need to do for their entire life is serve others through community service.  I find it funny that God would have me at the tender age of 21 give birth to a national non-profit geared towards mentoring and enriching the lives of young girls.

The third thing I would want my kids to know is that it is ok to build at every stage of their life.  No matter how many countless times I thought I have failed my own plans and goals I have always found a way to “start over” or pick back up where I left off before the distraction.  I want them to know that I have had many storms shake and disrupt my world, yet I am still standing because God isn’t finished with me yet!  I want them to know that they too are relentless that there is nothing under the sun that can ever come against them, that no weapon shall prosper, that they are more than enough, that God made them in His perfect image of them for the life that He has chosen for them.  I want my kids to know that every time I feel weak, that I feel like giving up, that I feel as if I am not worthy, that I feel that I am not good enough, that I feel like I am not equipped … I do as Matthew 6:26 says and I “look at the birds” … if God will provide for them, why wouldn’t He do it for me.  

God has specifically placed my husband, Brandon Williams, and me in this city called Madison, WI.  Lord knows this was not my dream final destination and wasn’t even on my radar (no offense to anyone from Madison – it is a great city and I love it here) but He has us here to do His will!  I want my kids to know that when God ask you to go, you go.  There is no need to second guess your steps when God orders them!  That is the biggest life lesson I have learned.  I want my kids to understand that their mommy is not perfect, I never will be but I ask God daily to guide my time and to have me work on tasks that only He has purposed for me during this season.  I want them to truly understand and grasp that concept.

Ultimately, I want my children: Jadyn, Peter, Brielle, Blake and Baby BMW5 that is in my womb that their mother and father absolutely love and adore them….but our love for them doesn’t even compare to the love that God has for them!  

More importantly than understanding my life foundation, I want them to understand theirs.  I want, well pray my kiddos seek to find themselves in God.

I pray my kids wake up daily yearning to know Jesus.

I pray that my children constantly seek God and His purpose for their life in every season.

I pray that my children understand that as their Earth parent that they are only on loan to me and that I will do my very best each day to be the mother that God needs me to be for each of them and that ultimately they are to put all of their faith and trust in God and God alone … not in any human, not even me.