Cornelius Williams (Atlanta 2014) had himself fooled. He juggled his ministry, part-time work at a church, and taking classes at Richmont Graduate University, which added to his responsibilities at home as a husband and father of three. On top of that, he was still running the nonprofit organization he launched (Metro Atlanta Leadership Foundation). He was overwhelmed and fatigued.
“I was operating under the illusion that everything was working,” admitted the former city coordinator referred to as “Corn.” “How did I get this far in ministry and have so many issues? If I didn’t change my mode of operation, I was going to end up shutting down the ministry and hurting the people I love.”
The DVULI training revealed that his greatest challenge was balance. He didn't have the language, tools, or self-awareness to determine that the reason for this deficiency was a lack of personal accountability. After spending some time on his knees and pouring out his heart in his reflective journal, it became abundantly clear to Williams that he needed to seek help. He started weekly accountability meetings and set out to simplify his life.
What initially started with breakfasts and meetings later became less formal, fluid, and organic as the “rich relationships” with his three key mentors at his church developed while they worked side-by-side on projects. This gave Williams many opportunities to observe his mentors model leadership and have one-on-one time to share openly in a safe place. They cover many personal subjects, especially encouraging Williams to spend time with his wife. He keeps in close contact with them by talking on the phone several times a week.
To “create margin in his life,” Williams made the difficult choices to decline leading a team that would oversee a $11 million grant, closed a mentor program and hired a part-time staff person. He believes wholeheartedly that working to simplify and establish clear boundaries helped, and continues to help, him prevent succumbing to what he viewed as a personal Elijah complex—serving God passionately while battling insecurities. Williams was finally “freed to be the person I was designed to be.” He strives to keep Jesus first and then his wife, family, and others.
A month after making these changes, as if on divine cue, his pastor offered him a full-time position at church with the agreement that he could also run the Metro Atlanta Leadership Foundation (now Resurgence Leadership Foundation) from the church. “This enabled me to start collecting a full-time salary after five years of working odd jobs, which gave me the margin to dream again,” Williams said.
However, God wasn’t done with the shift. More breakthroughs happened in Williams’s life that will be shared in part two of his breakthrough. Stay tuned!