From Knowing Christ to Living for Him
Hello all! I’m Shawndra Echols. I am a 40+-year-old, wife (for 11+ years), mother of one son (college freshman), business owner, nonprofit organization founder, youth ministry leader, certified life coach, and when I have a moment, also a friend to some incredible people! I am studying at the Christian Leaders Institute for ministry and Life Coach ministry courses (Learn more about online Bible classes, Click Here).
Born in Minneapolis, MN, I currently reside south of Atlanta, Georgia, USA. I have an insatiable love for studying and researching the Word of God. In addition, I love reading, writing, candy, baking, learning, family vacations, romantic getaways, eating great meals, and sharing and growing with like-minded individuals.
My Early Years
I was blessed to grow up in a Christian family. Baptized when I was eight, I genuinely don’t remember a time when I didn’t know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I remember around the age of 5 and being desperate to have my own Bible. My tears and petitions to my mother were so sincere that it prompted a godly family at my church to purchase a hardcover “big girl” Bible for me.
However, when my grandmother died when I was 13, I spiraled in rebellion against God. I still attended church and believed in Jesus. But, I spent the next ten years living and serving God on my terms while God was still working on me and dealing with me. But I wasn’t giving Him my whole heart or allowing Him to move in and through me. I wasn’t following the leading of the Holy Spirit in my everyday life.
At the age of 25, a single mother desperate for the hand of God to move, I got serious about my walk with God. I made a decision that I wanted the life God created me to live. I was willing to lay down the life I created for myself. My journey wasn’t without pitfalls and detours as I learned to listen to the still small voice of the Spirit. While my journey has been arduous and blessed, the revelation of who God is and who I am in Him has been priceless. My journey led me from Minnesota to New Orleans, Louisiana, to Atlanta, Georgia. It led me to my best-est friend, my husband. He gave my son a strong role model and father figure. It prompted me to start my business, my nonprofit, and a million other endeavors.
Desire to Know God and His Word
Yet, as I write this, I have a burning desire to go deeper. I want to know God more! I want His Word imprinted on the tablet of my heart! This desire has led me to boldly go into the world loving others with the love Christ keeps pouring into me. For the last two years, I have struggled with knowing God was calling me into ministry. Initially, I took leadership classes within my local church and attended several conferences and ministry education programs. I was torn because I was in the process of continuing my education for my career. But there didn’t seem to be a way to afford to pursue my degrees in both areas (career and ministry) at this time.
Then I found Christian Leaders Institute (Learn more about online Bible classes, Click Here). CLI is the answer to my prayers. It makes way for me to go forward with my education in my career path AND pursue my ordination and higher learning in ministry. This type of quality education and training allows me to move forward as a Christian leader. It also offers me life coach ministry courses. It gives me the confidence and knowledge to reach lost souls for Christ. CLI is a real-life example of believers acting as a training ground to effect change in the earth. I am so blessed to have found CLI!
Update on My Journey
As I update my profile almost precisely a year after finding CLI, I am even more ecstatic about learning here! I currently have 62 credit hours, several awards, and most importantly, a more personal relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! As a lifelong Christian, CLI has filled in holes in my foundational understanding and approach to Christianity that I didn’t realize I had. As a result, I have suggested CLI to every Spirit-led individual I have come in contact with since completing ministry 101.
My deacon minister ordination has been the single greatest joy outside of my family. CLI has complemented my previous education, answered my questions, and helped me explore the areas the Holy Spirit has placed on my heart. This training has truly changed my life! It has opened doors to partner with God and the greater Christian community in ways I only dreamed of! As a result, I am pursuing licensed minister credentials. I want to further the gospel message in community ceremonies and outreach to connect individuals to the Kingdom of God.
Life Coach Ministry Courses at CLI
I have now completed the life coach minister certification and commission. I had a life coach certification already. However, as my ministry Included life coaching, I knew I wanted to complete life coach ministry courses. As a result, I feel more prepared to address the needs of clients and fulfill my purpose! Once again, CLI has provided me the opportunity to live out my purpose and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Ordination in life coach ministry gives me the training and practical tools. Then, I can walk alongside my clients as the Holy Spirit leads us. The life coach certification, ministry ordination, and badge specialization are manifestations of the dream God gave me for my ministry! The Restoring Relationship: Transforming Justice classes have changed how I live my life and are a foundation of how my ministry engages with others. These classes outline the community aspect of Christianity not often explored enough.