Tembi Secrist always thought she would be a missionary in an impoverished country. But instead, God took her into a career in government where she continued to advance into leadership roles… until one day when everything shifted, and she sensed God calling her to leave it all behind.

When God Shifts Your Path Into the Unknown with Tembi Secrist

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In this episode, Holly and I talk with Tembi Secrist about her incredible 14-month journey through Southeast Asia and Africa. She shares with us about her leadership experiences that led up to this trip, as well as the pivotal moment when everything shifted for her. 

She also shares the leadership lessons she learned during her volunteer trip around the world, often through hard to believe as well as hilarious stories.

Our conversation with Tembi is so good, but it was quite long, so we are breaking it into 2 episodes. This is part 1, and next week we will be sharing part 2.

Key Points Discussed:

  • Tembi’s leadership journey [5:05]
  • When God shifted Tembi’s path from her government career to leaving everything behind [10:21]
  • Leadership lessons Tembi learned during her 14 month trip
    • When the why becomes the Y [11:43]
    • Sometimes you have to just take the first step [14:30]
      • Even when you step out, it doesn’t always come together [16:00]
      • You never “make it” with faith [19:20]
    • Understand what your biggest value is [20:00}
      • Look at where your best return on investment is – what are you created to do?
      • You are the only you who can do what you do
    • The greatest adventure sometimes starts with the unknown [24:00]
      • Things will probably fall apart in the middle of it, and that’s okay
    • God puts people in your path at the right time when you need them [29:30]
    • God will use your experience as preparation for the next thing [34:00]
  • How Tembi balances the tension between confidence in God’s gifting vs. arrogance [36:20]


Key Quotes from the Episode:

“Clarity comes in movement.”

“When things fall apart, it still can be part of God’s plan.”

“God is going to use every experience as preparation for the next thing.”

Clarity comes in movement. Tembi Secrist on the Christian Woman Leadership Podcast


Connect with Tembi Secrist:

September Secrist is a management consultant, writer, and speaker, based in Seattle, Washington.  She recently returned from a 14-month solo trip through 22 countries in SE Asia and Africa, volunteering her professional expertise with 45 NGOs and mission-based projects.  


Previously, September was the Director of Global Healthcare Initiatives with the U.S. Commercial Service, the export promotion agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. She led a global team of 200 responsible for national and international events, education, and healthcare sales.  She was with the agency for 16 years, and served details as the Deputy National Director and Advisor for Congressional Outreach. 


She served as Board Chair and advisory member of the Center for International Business Education and Research at the University of Washington and has done volunteer service projects in Mexico, Russia, Poland, Haiti, Armenia, Turkey, and Greece.


September received her Bachelor of Arts from Northwest University in Business Administration and her Master of Arts from the Naval War College in National Security and Strategic Studies.


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When God Shifts Your Path into the Unknown - Tembi Secrist