I was so blessed to interview Pastor Sheryl Brady, pastor of The Potter’s House of North Dallas, about her new book Don’t Miss the Moment: How God Uses the Insignificant to Create the Extraordinary which is out TODAY!!! The foreword was written by Bishop T. D. Jakes, pastor of The Potter’s House of Dallas. Below is a synopsis followed by my interview:
Everyone experiences God moments, times when God pulls back the curtain and gives a glimpse of his active presence in their lives. Most of us operate under the misapprehension that these moments are rare occurrences that reveal themselves in grand fashion. We expect bells ringing, lights flashing, and neon signs that point to earthshaking revelations.
But God often speaks in whispers, strategically and incrementally unveiling his plans, preparations, and purposes through the most unassuming circumstances. The key is to learn how to prepare for, recognize, and be faithful in these moments.
In Don’t Miss the Moment, Pastor Sheryl Brady reminds Christians that God is real and unwaveringly present in our daily lives. Through biblical teaching and personal stories of God showing up in times of need, she shows how to pursue deeper relationship with the Faithful One so that we can learn to hear his voice and feel his leading, discern when we are in a defining moment, and redirect our hearts and lives toward his plans and purposes.
1. What inspired you to write Don’t Miss the Moment: How God Uses the Insignificant to Create the Extraordinary? A moment is simply a second of time. Why is a moment extraordinary?
Well, one of the reasons I decided to write this book is because I think that we often underestimate or even undervalue the gifts of a moment, and moments surely are a gift from God. Every breath we breathe is a gift from Him. But moments are so valuable, but they’re small enough that you could miss them and yet they are big enough that if you tap into the right one, it can change your entire life forever. There is a moment, there is an email, there is a text message, there’s a conversation, there’s just meeting somebody at the right place at the right time. Those are bridges in our lives that could actually lead us from where we are to where we want to be.
And sometimes, especially today’s generation, we can get so busy looking for grand moments that we miss God moments. And the truth of the matter is that it’s those God moments that lead us to those grand moments. And when God leads us to those grand moments and we take it according to His pace, then we’ve built an infrastructure on the way up or on the way there that will help sustain us at that place or the place we want to be at. And it’s all built moment by moment. I always say that big moments really come to us because of the small moments that we’ve acknowledged along the way.
2. In the beginning of your book, you write about getting married at 17 years old and roughly two years later, going into full-time evangelistic ministry after your husband Bishop Brady quit his job. What moments stand out for you during that time?
I probably can’t tell you that because it would not be pretty. (Laughter) The moments of shock I guess. Moments of, ‘Are you serious?’ He was ahead of the game, spiritually, and I was just trying to learn how to be a wife. I was trying to learn to be a mother. I had my oldest daughter Lana. So when he told me, ‘I’m going to quit my job cold turkey and we’re going full-time in ministry, I was like, ‘Are you kidding me? Are we in ministry? That’s something an evangelist does. Are you telling me that’s who we are?’ It took a little bit, but God’s grace was sufficient.
And I really felt at that moment, I felt like I was supposed to really learn how to support him in ministry, not so much me being in ministry. I mean you’re talking about in the late ’70s so you didn’t have the ministry of helps, you didn’t have support groups so in my mind, I’m thinking I’m just going to support him, and I’m going to be a good mother, keep the house clean, do what I can to help him. I didn’t realize that ministry was supposed to be something that I did too, that I was called to do. One of the reasons is that I was very quiet. I was very shy. I hardly liked to speak even in front of a handful of people, let alone like what I do today. It was so opposite of my nature so I assumed for years that I was just supposed to be his support, his cheerleader. And it wasn’t until I was really 32 that God really woke up the gift of preaching inside of me. And I lived with that preacher in me all of those years and never knew she was there at all. I mean I didn’t have an inkling that a preacher was there. And yet, God put the gift there.
And I really want to emphasize that because many people don’t know who they are or all what they have in them. Don’t count yourself out because God, at the right moment, will put the right person, the right voice in your life and He will wake up those sleeping things that have been sleeping possibly before the foundation of the world, before He brought you onto the earth. Adam had Eve locked up inside of him, but he didn’t know it. But God said, ‘Lay down because I’m about to show you what you have in you.’ Someone today in your audience may read this, and I want them to be encouraged today because God has something for you. Your eyes haven’t seen it, and your ears haven’t heard it, but you’re never too old to get it.
You said you were 32 years old when you realized that you could be a minister as well, so what was that moment?
That moment was, I will never forget it, we were at a revival. My husband was speaking. I was the singer, and I played a little bit of keyboard so I would sing before he would preach. So I was talking and setting up a song. And finally, one night, my husband was like, ‘Babe, you’re talking too much for it to be a song,’ but I was like,’But it’s not enough to be a sermon.’ So I was stuck in the middle there. And he would say, ‘Well, now I have to shift and put it back into my zone.’ And I did understand that because every person carries their own weight, their own atmosphere. And it got to the point where he was like, ‘I don’t want to shift it. I want you to go, and I want you to keep going.’
But it really took a lot of faith. So I remember I was somewhere in Alabama, and I was there for a revival. And it just hit me one night as I was getting ready for service, I said, ‘I’m going to preach tonight. If you’re cool with that, I can do it.’ I remember I walked out there and I opened my mouth and pretty much the rest is history. But it did take faith and and it did take acknowledging the fact that I believe that God has given me something to say.
3. In Chapter 2, you write about preparing for a moment although you may not know what moment is coming in the future. In your case, you developed a grand website that cost thousands of dollars and two months passed before you realized that your website was in preparation for a TBN appearance. How did you step out on faith in a big way without knowing when or if your moment is coming?
I don’t know if it’s clear, but I’m not suggesting that you take leaps of faith. I’m suggesting that you take steps of faith. That website was also a result of that first night that I walked out there and said there’s a gift inside of me that somebody needs to hear. And it was every little step along the way. It was not that I had thousands of dollars to spend on a website. That was a result, but there were a whole of lot of steps that led up to that moment. And this is really why I wrote this book is because we have a tendency to be so concerned about what’s next. What’s next in your life? What’s next in my life? I think we’re so consumed and concerned about what’s next that we miss what’s now. Had I not made a thousand little steps, it looks like it was a leap. But the reality of it is that I made little steps along the way.
And that’s what I want your audience and those that hear me speak to know is that you can’t jump over level A, B, C, D and jump over all of those levels and go to an E and expect to be sustained up there. It’s the journey that really, really matters. I guess what I’m saying is slow down a little bit. You know people, I know people who you’ve seen blow up over night. It’s like God put their name in the atmosphere. And it’s just everywhere and the next thing you know, we don’t hear it anymore. And I think one of the reasons for that is because we didn’t really appreciate the journey. The journey is what builds the infrastructure to hold you up. I call it the long road. I had to take the long road in so many aspects of my life, and I think that’s what gives us the grace to stay in that place when God lifts us up to that place. So don’t be so consumed about what’s next, that we miss what’s now. And it’s only when we’re faithful over a few things that God makes us a ruler over many.
4. In Chapter 7, you write about how comparing yourself to others can distort your view of success and how that message helped a young man who became your first son-in-law. Has comparing yourself to others ever distorted your view of success? And if so, provide an example and how that impacted God moments in your life?
Sure. I think we have all done it at one time or another because we look to pattern. And it’s okay to do that, look at someone who blesses you, something about what they say connects with you. And that’s good and can very well be a God thing. For me and my bishop, Bishop T.D. Jakes, when he spoke, there was something in me that connected. But comparison is something that takes it to another level, and you start comparing what you’re doing with what somebody else is doing. And if you’re not careful, you find yourself discouraged. Or you find yourself outpacing somebody rather than allowing the model of their life to inspire you. Inspiration is okay, but comparison is not healthy. You really only have the grace to run your race. I don’t have the grace to run your race, and you don’t have the grace to run my race. We can’t make people the benchmark in our lives.
That’s a really subtle thing to grasp. Someone can inspire you but you can’t compare yourselves to that person. It’s hard to be inspired by someone and yet not compare.
I think it all goes back to, ‘God, why am I in this? Is that what you’ve called me to?’ And if it is, there is a niche that fits me. There’s something that I can do that nobody else can do and we have to tap into that. Otherwise, we find ourselves setting benchmarks that may be too high or we set them too low. It all goes back to having that relationship with God. That thing that says, ‘God, I’m in this for You. I’m not in this to try to be the next anybody. I just want to be me, and I want to fill that spot. And I don’t want ambition to cause me to miss the mark or miss the moment in my life.
5. Throughout the book, you write about your older sister Kay who battled cancer for five years before the moment she asked you to change how you prayed for her. Why was that moment significant for you, and how do you encourage people when they experience moments like this when they not get what they want in a certain situation?
It was one of the most difficult moments in my journey because I was continuing to fight on, to fight with her and fight for her. And she knew something I didn’t know, and yet all I did know to do was to stand on faith and declare the Word. I continued to do that, but she was tired and she had fought a good fight. The way I worded it was, ‘God, I’m asking you to give Kay the desires of her heart,’ which really meant that this is not my desire, but this ain’t about me. It was about her. And it was painful. It was hurtful. And if that wasn’t enough, every time someone would come into the house, she would tell me, ‘Tell them, Sheryl. Tell them how we’re praying now.’ Because she wanted us all on the same page. I think she knew she was going home to be with the Lord, and she was giving us a heads up about it. It was hard because when you love people, you want to fight hard for people. I had been praying for her healing, but that’s what I wanted. But there are times when it’s not about us. So I began to pray, ‘God, give Kay the desires of her heart. Have Your way.’
And there are things in our lives that ultimately when we face them, we do have to turn them over to God and say, ‘This is Yours, but this is how I feel.’ I’m 100 percent about being real with God. I’ve seen many great things happen in my life and even as a leader, you may have a ton of leaders who are your readers, but as a leader, there are moments when you have to say, ‘I’ve done everything I can. I’ve done what I’ve known to do. I’ve been faithful over a few things, now you God, You take it from here.’ We have to get to the point where we trust in the sovereignty of God. God, I’ve done everything to build this business. God, I’ve done everything to get this degree. I’ve done everything I know to do to make this family work, this marriage work. But at this point, having done everything I know how to do, I have to put it in Your hands and trust in Your sovereignty. And there’s a rest in God that we have to get into. And the Scripture says we labor to get into the rest. How crazy does that sound? But it’s true. You’re not God. I’m not God so we put the final result in His hands.
6. You’ve moved a lot for ministry. You’ve lived in West Virginia, Florida, North Carolina and Texas from what I can tell. What has been the most memorable moment along the way?
I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. I lived there in the same house until I got married when I was 17 years old. After that, we moved to Georgia. That’s where we started pastoring our first church. We stayed there a while, but we traveled a lot. We did a lot of evangelism type of work. Then we moved to West Virginia to be a part of Bishop Jakes’ church there in Charleston. We stayed there until he moved to Dallas and then we came with him. We were here for two years I believe and then we moved to Florida for about two years. Then, we moved to North Carolina where we built our church called The River in Raleigh, and that church is still going today. We were there for 10 years. And that’s when Bishop Jakes called us, and we moved back and we’ve been here for 10 years. We’re about to celebrate our tenth anniversary at The Potter’s House of North Dallas!
There have been so many moments so there’s not one moment that stands out in particular. But when we started The River, it was a moment of growth for me because I was learning how to pastor. I was learning how to lead. I had the safety net of my husband as I learned. During that time, my daughters got married. Several of my grandchildren were born. There were good family moments and good leadership moments.
Also, coming back here and establishing The Potter’s House of North Dallas and being able to work with Bishop Jakes and his staff and see this thing that was just an idea and just a vision and now flourishing 10 years later is memorable as well.
7. What is the most memorable God moment that happened as you were writing this book?
I lost my mother and my sister during the time that I wrote this book. My sister first and then seven months later, my mother. This was in 2017 and in 2018. My sister died in October 2017, and the loss hit me so profoundly because we were very close. To be very honest with you, it left me in a place where my faith was shaken. And one of the greatest lessons I learned through all of that is that there will be fluctuations of your faith. That doesn’t mean your faith is absent, but when it’s fluctuating it makes you feel like your faith absent. And I will never remember feeling like, ‘God, how will I continue going? How do I stand before a crowd and talk faith and faithfulness when I don’t feel like I have any of it?’ I’ve never been a good faker because my face tells it all. I remember one night in particular. It was our ‘Night of Hope.’ It was a concert and night that we encourage people. This was in December, and my sister passed away in October. The feelings were still very strong and raw and painful. I remember I was going to walk on the stage that night, and I found myself frightened to walk on the stage. It was like I was shaking in my shoes because I didn’t know what I was going to say.
I said to everyone, ‘I don’t know if me and God are even on speaking terms.’ But just being honest in that moment, telling them about my doubt and fear, it shocked people. But then they began clapping their hands. And it was a big relief for them to know that you’re a pastor and you struggle. Maybe I’m not as bad as I think I am. And so many great testimonies came out of that night.
Here’s what memorable about that night. I was standing on that stage, and I was being brutally honest. But then I said, out all the things I don’t know, I do know that I will let nothing separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus. In that moment, that Scripture came to me, and He did it in a public moment. From that moment forward, the healing process began. All of this was in the midst of writing this book.
Happy Launch Day to Pastor Brady!!! Here’s a video of Pastor Brady talking about her book Don’t Miss the Moment!
Sheryl Brady serves as the pastor of The Potter’s House of North Dallas. She has been a featured speaker at some of the nation’s largest conferences, including MegaFest, Woman Thou Art Loosed, and the iconic Women of Faith tours. She also holds the distinct honor of being the first and only female speaker at ManPower, the men’s conference hosted by Bishop T. D. Jakes. Pastor Brady is a staple on faith-based television networks, and she has been featured in the Washington Post, Fox News, and other nationally recognized publications. Pastor Brady and her husband, Bishop Joby Brady, make their home in Dallas, Texas.
For more information, go to sherylbrady.com.