Interview by: Kyaire Burt
I recently had the esteemed pleasure of interviewing Karri Turner. Karri Turner, M.Div., is one of the nation’s most vibrant, promising and emerging leaders. Karri is passionate about women and girls and her life’s pursuit is to use every single part of who she is to love, inspire, motivate and draw women to Christ! Karri desires to aid women in finding a deep and meaningful relationship with the creator so that they live life according the God’s purpose and design in ministry + marketplace! Karri is a national and international award-winning speaker with a specific focus on women in ministry + marketplace. She also shares her expertise in the following areas: Leadership in Ministry + Marketplace, Vision Cultivation + Execution, Spiritual Capacity Building, Strategic Planning + Focus, Signature Program Design + Development, Personal Advocacy + Agency + Accountability, Transformational Leadership, Self-Branding + Publishing, Entrepreneurship. Karri’s signature projects are; “Life Behind the Collar” for women navigating the pitfalls of ministry + marketplace. The NUDGE Mentorship Initiative where Karri personally walks with a select group of women to help challenge, cultivate and grow them spiritually, personally and professionally. Lastly, Karri hosts “The Lit Life” Bible Study + Worship Series where believers come together to worship radically, cultivate community and share in God’s word. Karri holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the legendary Morris Brown College and a Master of Divinity Degree from The Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Karri is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Ministry with a concentration in Leadership + Christian Renewal. Karri is a published author, marketplace leader and ordained clergywoman.
KISH: What is your brand?
KT: I am a preacher, a speaker, a philanthropist, an author, and a business woman. Much of my focus is helping to reach women who move in the spirts of ministry and the market place so, its merging both of those together in many ways. Part of what I am hopefully able to do through my work is able to do is inspire women to know that they don’t have to be restricted to one area of life. That they are able to move strong in their business and through the love of god and they can also merge those things together to be able to do exceptional work as they become who god created them to be.
KISH: How did you know that ministry was your calling?
KT: I think for a long time I did not know. I accepted Christ when I was very young I was about 6 or 7 years old when I accepted Christ I did that all on my own. My mother took me to church and I decided that I wanted to to get saved on my own and shortly after I was baptized, I knew I had a connection with god at a very young age, however I didn’t know that I would formally be doing ministry and I didn’t know that I was fully called to ministry. However, I do remember speaking at a very young age, I use to do the announcements at church and after the announcements I started to kind of started to do the small sermonettes on Sundays and we had a youth group called youth on the move so we would do speaking. So it’s through those experiences that I began to understand that speaking was a part of what my calling was and that began to grow and elevate of course through life experiences and trials and tribulations. Eventually I came to understand that while I just thought that I would be in church, my plan was to run for office I thought that I was going to be the next congress woman while I thought that that was the path that I would take I began to realize that god had called me to a different path a that path was ministry. I didn’t really think that I expected my calling until I was an adult as I reflect back on my life its very clear that dots connected and that very early god was doing work that I had no idea until later in life. I don’t event know if I still fully grasp it. But I do have a better understanding of what it is and knowing that this is the direction that I’m going.
KISH: How did you respond to set backs while perusing your dream?
KT: I come from a mom who is just very strong, I was raised by a single mother and one of the things hat she has always taught me was hard work and grit one of the things I admire about my mother is that she has this ability to preserver through pain unlike anything I’ve ever seen before and I learned very early that things don’t always go the way that you want them to go, you can’t just fall apart you don’t have to luxury to just be weak you can have moments of weakness but you just can’t be weak and just fall apart and give up you have to be able to just preserver. I always tell people that I feel like I’m a boots strap kind of girl I don’t come from an ideal background. I come from a background where dysfunction was loud, I come from a background where my father was absent, I come from a background where sexual abuse was prevalent, I saw drugs, I saw alcohol and physical abuse. There were so many different dysfunctional things that I came out of but I had to make a decision to figure out if those things were going to define who I am, and where I would go or if the vision that god had given me for my life would super stead my circumstance and I think that that’s what happened. You choose to preserver everyday, I make a choice every single day. Still, things don’t always go the way I desire so I may not be exactly where I feel like I should be at this stage or doing exactly what I want to do but the option to quit and give up is never a full option for me ever. I chose to press through, I chose to remember the things that god has spoken over my life and I choose to stay focused on those things and remain hopeful that eventually everything that he said will pass, everything that he promised will me manifested and unveil itself. For me I think that those were some of the things to help push through for times of difficulty.
KISH: What is the girl bible?
KT: The girl bible is about love, life and God. One of the reasons why I wanted to write it was because thinking about my experiences as a woman in my 20’s there was a time where didn’t have someone to sit down and talk to me about love, and life and what that looks like and how God played a role in that. So as I was trying to get over and really navigate through a divorce, and figuring out what my call and my purpose was figuring out what I wanted life to look like and how and how god played a role in the mist of all of this I really I really just wanted to take the opportunity to compile those thoughts and experiences and share them with other women who may have had the same experiences or may have been thinking the same thing and that didn’t have anyone to answer those questions so in the girl bible I talk a lot about love and what that looks like as it relates to Christ as the center and what that looks like as we are in relationships with other women or even relationships with other men. I talk about life and the power of exposer between ambition and purpose and how as women of god we are called to move in purpose we are not governed by the spirit of ambition. Purpose is selfless as where ambition is very self centered. I think the girl bible is a really good resource for women who are growing and the contemporary Christian woman.
KISH: What advice would you give someone who is in the beginning stages of self branding?
KT: I Think the one thing that I am learning is that a brand is not birthed overnight. It isn’t something that you just wake up tomorrow and it’s this huge thing. If you want a brand that is something lasting then its something that I believe will take time, I think that we live in very much of a microwave generation apart of what we are accustom to is popping something in and wanting it back and done right away in seconds and a brand doesn’t work like that because a brand is growing with you as you are growing as an individual, you are your brand you are growing you are evolving and you are processing overtime and so will your brand. I would encourage people to understand that a part of the process is you growing and evolving and as you grow and evolve as a person your brand evolves and grows. You have to leave room for success and failures. If it rises quickly it will die quickly. Be open to growth, be open to excellence and be honest and authentic about who you are and confidently share that with the world.
KISH: What advice could you give to women around the ages of 20-35 if they feel that when listening to the word / going to church consistently or trying to study the word but they just can’t get an understanding no matter how much they may want to or try?
KT: The word is complex but it is simple enough that even children can understand and so I think that sometimes we feel overwhelmed because we might be reading a version of the word that is to difficult for one to understand. The king James version might be a difficult version to understand I would encourage those to read versions that break the bible down in a way that you can understand and comprehend it, He never designed the word in a way for you to not be able to process because if we can’t process it we wont be able to transform it and our lives wont really be able to reflect his light. My advice would be to try out the message bible, when I study I typically read about six to seven versions of the text because they may all read very differently and give you something that you have not seen before. I’d say the message bible is one version that makes the verse as plain as possible so it gives you a way of how to read it and understand it. What’s going to help you the most is having the right type of pulls when you are reading and studying the word, use google, take out a thesaurus when there is a word you are unsure of. All of these things help s you are learning and growing.
I’d like to thank Ms. Karri Turner for conducting this interview with K.I.S.H Magazine and on behalf of our editor in chief Dr. Kishma George.
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