What does it mean to truly live and walk by faith in the Lord? In our latest episode, we talk to Jill Monaco of Jill Monaco Ministries who shares her journey pursuing a life of faith shaped by profound encounters with God and strengthened in its core despite the traumatic experiences she suffered. Jill's story is a testament to the transformative power of faith.
Join us as we delve into Jill’s life story - from leaving her career in musical theater to traveling around the country to do ministry work to starting a ministry to help people find freedom in Christ. Jill's life experiences give us insight into what it means to live and walk by faith in God.
Key Points From This Episode:
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
Jill Monaco Ministries website
Miranda's Mirror by Jill Monaco
Single Matters Online Magazine
The Kingdom Investor Podcast on LinkedIn
About Jill Monaco
Jill Monaco is the founder and CEO of Jill Monaco Ministries™, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that has a passion to encourage people to pursue the presence of God and find freedom in Christ. She is a speaker, best-selling author, and Professional Christian Coach (PCC) with the International Coach Federation (ICF). She serves on the Board of Reference for the International Christian Coaching Institute (ICCI) as a Mentor Coach for new coaches and is certified in several coaching assessment tools.
Jill Monaco developed Freedom Coaching®, a coaching model that blends hearing God, prayer, and coaching tools. Her first book The Freedom Coach Model® went to #1 on the Amazon bestseller list. Jill Monaco Ministries also serves singles by publishing the online magazine, SingleMatters.com.
Jill hosts the podcast The Jill Monaco Show™ and she has been featured on LIFE Today with James and Betty Robison, the Boundless Podcast (Focus on the Family), and has taught webinars for singles with Christian Mingle. She has spoken on stage at Disney Night of Joy, Creation Fest, and the Experience Conference about the need for Bible translation.
ANNOUNCER: Imagine taking your generosity to the next level, impacting more lives, and leaving a godly legacy for generations to come. Get ideas and strategies to do just that when you listen to these personal stories from high-level Kingdom champions.
The Kingdom Investor Podcast showcases business leaders who have moved from success to significance, sharing how they use worldly wealth for kingdom impact. Discover how they grew in generosity, impacted more lives, and built godly legacies. You'll find motivation, inspiration, and practical steps to grow as a Kingdom Investor.
Daniel White (DW): Hello, and welcome to The Kingdom Investor Podcast. This is your host Daniel White. Today we interview Jill Monaco. Jill is the CEO of Jill Monaco Ministries. Jill is an author, speaker, and a life coach. She started her ministry with a passion to encourage people to pursue the presence of God and find freedom in Christ.
If you've enjoyed the show, help us reach more listeners by sharing with your friends. And without further ado, let's jump right into the show.
DW: Jill, welcome to The Kingdom Investor Podcast. How are you doing today?
Jill Monaco (JM): I'm good. Thanks for having me.
DW: Absolutely. Yeah, I'm excited to get into your story and hear a little bit more about you. Would you share with our audience just a little bit about who you are and where you're coming to us from? Give us a little detail.
JM: Yeah, sure. Well, my name is Jill Monaco. And I am the president of a nonprofit that I started called Jill Monaco Ministries. And it's my name because I wasn't creative enough to find one that wasn't already taken. And I'm also the CEO of the Monaco Group, which is a coaching consulting boutique agency. And I am coming to you right now from Chicago, but I bounce back and forth between Chicago and Dallas. And, yeah, that's me.
DW: Awesome. So what is one thing that, one highlight from the week or an exciting project that you're working on, something that you're really passionate about right now?
JM: Gosh, right now, I'm really passionate about a new kids' book that I just released. So, as an author, and as a previous author, and a coach, I just saw this need as adults, that most of our, I don't want to call them issues, but most of our, you know, belief system is, you know, a mixture of our thoughts and our emotions. And those are formed so much in early childhood. And so I was just, I mean, the story, it just kind of downloaded to me. I was on a plane and I had this idea of this story. And it was like a movie that played out. And then I opened my iPhone, and I just typed it in. It's like those night flights that are so quiet. And I wrote this book out and then showed my literary agent, and they were like, nah, I don't think so.
JM: But anyway, this last summer, I felt like, in prayer, the Lord is like, now, release it now. And it's called “Miranda's Mirror”. And it's about a little girl who discovers her identity in Christ. So she loves her mirror, she's playing in front of it. And then eventually she sees her friend in the mirror and thinks - does different mean beautiful? And I think that question is happening for kids right now, does different mean I'm okay? And the questions of how did God make us and so then sticky notes start showing up on her mirror like you are fearfully and wonderfully made, or you are loved with an everlasting love. And so you see her countenance change. And eventually, I won't ruin the mystery of who's posting these sticky notes on her mirror. But it makes a profound impact on her life. And then I have activities in the back of the book for parents to engage with their daughters and have these conversations not just about outward beauty, but inward beauty.
DW: Yeah, that's beautiful. I'm gonna have to check that out. That's really cool.
JM: Yeah. It's been a fun project.
DW: I have a three-year-old daughter, so I think that would be very fitting.
JM: Well, I've been hearing from, I've been getting videos from friends of little girls, and also my nieces who are 18 and 21. They totally teared up, and they were like, why am I crying? I'm mature about it. But I think it touches a place in everyone to know how much God loves us. We all need that at some level.
DW: Yeah, absolutely. So Jill, do you mind praying for our listeners just this time?
JM: Yeah, I would love to.
JM: Father, I thank you so much for our time together. For every person that's listening, Father, I ask that you give them ears to hear you, to give them eyes to see what you are doing in their lives, but also to see you in a greater way. Give them the heart to receive everything that you're doing in their life. And through this podcast, God, I pray that you give us the right words and the right conversations because we are here God just to make you famous, just to highlight what you're doing. And so, I just bless everyone that's listening, God, that they would be everything that you've created them to be and that they would have the courage after this podcast to go do something that they hadn't thought of doing before. In Jesus' name. Amen.
DW: Thank you appreciate that. Jill, would you share your story with us?
JM: Yeah, my story's got so many layers to it. So let's see, I'll start with my story, you know, in some we joke like, well, I was born in this year, but I'm going to do some highlights for you. I was raised in a Catholic family that loved God. And I was just always praying, and I just, I didn't know any better than, you know, to do a prayer salvation or anything like that. So, I always grew up loving God. I had quite a profound encounter with the Lord when I was a child, I had an open-eye vision. And that wasn't on anyone's radar. I didn't know what to do with that as a kid, but I had a couple of encounters with God. And the year after that, and this is just a trigger warning for some people, I was abused by a priest that next year. And I find that timing really significant that the Lord made sure that I knew him and knew he was good and he was beautiful before something like that happened. And it's part of why I do the ministry I do although I didn't set out to do this. So, I held that secret for many, many years. And then, you know, because of pain and abuse, we have behaviors, as I said earlier, just based on what we think about ourselves, or think about God, and anytime I messed up, I thought God would be so mad at me. And I thought partly it was my fault somehow. And, so that just made me for a very confused teenager and young adult.
JM: I majored in musical theater. And so I did Broadway tours, and I still do voiceovers, professionally. I've got some kids' books out there for Disney and things like that. So, I loved my career and somewhere in the middle of that. I just started feeling very empty. And I remember driving down the road and being like, God, I just am so tired about it. Being, do I look good? Am I skinny enough? Do I have the right song or whatever? I said this, it's so funny. I said, God, I want to work for you five minutes from my home. Now, I've no idea why I said that other than the Lord fills our mouths like Moses. Like he'll give us the right words to say. And there was a union strike. I'm in SAG after us so that was striking at the time. And all these things were going on. So I needed a job, I just didn't have any income. So I am not joking, I find this little church, five minutes from my home, and they offered me a job. And I am not living for the Lord at all. Like there is no fruit in my life with relationships or hobbies or anything. And so they put me on staff, and I'm hearing the bridge illustration and I cannot figure out why can I not memorize this thing. I'm an actor, I can memorize anything. And so but the Lord started working on my heart and long story short, they asked me to lead worship, and I thought, oh my gosh, I cannot do that. And so, I went home, and I prayed and I said, God, I'm a mess. I did the salvation prayer without knowing. I'm a mess, if you can change me, if you can fix me, if you can help me not to sin, I will I will live for you. But I joke that God has strong-armed me into ministry because I didn’t have a choice, I needed the money.
JM: And so from there, I was on staff at various churches and mega-churches, and a nonprofit organization. And in my experiences there, I didn't find the church to be that much different than the world. And so there was lots of spiritual abuse and continued physical abuse. And I was very confused. Because I thought, I'm following the Lord and I'm trying to live the right way but why aren't other people? We know broken people go to church but we don't expect them to be on staff at church, which we are, by the way. But through that, it really drove me into the presence of God because I didn't have anyone that I felt was a good representation of the Lord. I mean, I had lots of good people in my life, but like the male leadership especially. And for a lot of people that would drive them away from God. But for me, it drove me to him. Because again, I knew he was good. And I had way too many signs and miracles of things he did in my life.
JM: And so it was through that process of pursuing him that I got healing. I learned how to forgive. I learned how to overcome rejection and fear. It's too long of a story, but as I pursued the Lord and my own healing, people started asking me, can you help me? Can you pray with me? And so, when I left the last organization, before starting Jill Monaco Ministries, it was a leap of faith and we can, I know we'll talk about more of that later, but I started just helping people get free. Help them be who God created them to be. But the foundation is, we have to encounter God, we have to be in His presence. And when you're in his presence, all of a sudden you have peace, you have answers to things, you have wisdom, you have the knowledge, scripture is full of that.
JM: We often go to those sources, the Bible and prayer and fasting and church, to hear from God when sometimes we just need to sit with him. So, I teach people how to sit in God's presence, hear His voice, and then get free of all these things. So I created Freedom Coaching, and trademarked that. I have something called the Freedom Coach Model and I'm training leaders this year for the first time to get certified, to learn this model because I think I'm at that age where I need to start duplicating what God has taught me and pass it on as a legacy. So Jill Monaco Ministries is focused on that. We do it through courses and books and coaching, etc, etc. So that's kind of my overall story.
DW: Yeah, so I know, we talked a lot about several different stories of really walking by faith. And I wondered if you could share a few of those stories with us because I thought those were really powerful.
JM: Yeah, so many stories of faith. One of the ones we talked about, that's just been the most fun to repeat, is when I left I was working for an affiliate of Wycliffe Bible translators, it was called The Seed Company. And I had a fantastic job, I worked with Christian artists. We raised money for Bible translation, I took them on trips to Africa. And, there was nothing like, you know, growing your faith, having to make a budget to raise money for a certain thing, to finish a project. And I got a little burned out of that to be honest because I didn't want to sell Jesus.
JM: And so, I had learned the discipline of submitting my personal finances in prayer to the Lord on a very minor scale, right, because I didn't make a lot. I worked for a nonprofit. And so then when I left there, I felt like I needed to get a job, of course. And the Lord would keep shutting every door, or I'd feel a big check. In my spirit, I'd see a red flag. I'm like, so what do I do with my life, God? And that's when I felt like he said, to start Jill Monaco Ministries, and I asked what for, and he told me it was to help people get free. And that's really all I had to go on. And so while I was at church the Sunday after because they canceled our program, I was laid off. And when I was sitting in church, there was a message about tithing and giving generously. And it was dropped in my spirit that I should give my entire severance to the church. You know, I immediately felt God's presence, I immediately had tears because I knew it was God, not because I was sad about the money, but because I had so much hope and faith. I was like, you're going to do something amazing in my life, you're not asking me to give up every bit of my nest egg. I had some home equity like I was renting. So, I had money set aside that was to buy a house. But my savings was, you know, minimal. And I was like, how am I, well go get me a job.
JM: Then in the next few weeks, that was my thought. And I remember, one day I was walking and I was like, God, I really don't know why you're not answering these prayers for a job yet. And the timing of the severance check hadn't come in yet. Okay, so I hadn't given it yet. So I didn't have it. And as I was taking this walk, I felt like the Lord asked me, why haven't you given the money yet? And I was like, well, I don't have it yet. Like, I need to get the check, and then cash it and then turn it in. There are some things that have to happen first. And I felt like he said to me, that's like my promise for you. There are some other things that just have to happen first, it's already a done deal. I had already decided to give it, he's already declared as promises, yes, and amen. There are just some things that have to happen first, and it filled me with such faith.
JM: I remember the day, it's so funny, I mean, he was like, this only happens in the movies. But I gave the check the day I wrote it, and I put it in the offering box, I actually drove to the church offices, right, because it wasn't a Sunday, and I really wanted to do it right away. And I put it in the office box. And I was praising God on the way back to my car. And I got a phone call from someone who said, will you do some consulting with us? And what I made that year from that, was working like 20 hours a month, I mean, minimal, I made seven times what I gave. Like, how good is God! Like, you cannot outgive him with these radical acts of faith and obedience.
JM: But that was just the beginning of my journey. So, after I gave my severance, I had to then figure out what do I do next. Like I did do this consulting thing. But it wasn't my life calling and that's when I'm starting to slowly build the ministry. At one point, I really knew that I needed to put everything in storage. I needed to live on minimal and I needed to go wherever God wanted me to go. Now, I'd worked for a mission agency so I knew how hard this life would be. And it was to the US so nobody wants to support a local missionary, they want to support Africa, Asia, you know. But in faith I did put everything in storage, I had a friend say when you're back in town, you can stay with me. And I mapped out my path, which was fun because I had friends that were actors that lived all over the country, or people that I had worked with in church or church planting or whatever.
JM: And so I planned out this thing. I thought it'd be three months and then at the end of the three months, I would get a job. Like, surely God's gonna provide the job, right? And as December hit that year, I was like, okay, there's no job, God, what do I do? And I, well, I can take out of my retirement. And I felt like the Lord said, hold off, just wait, trust me. I continued my journey into that January, I had enough donors to help me pay for gas and food. It's crazy. I don't even know how I did it, honestly. And we've talked about some of those stories. But the three-month journey turned into a three-year journey across the country living out of my car. But in each place I went, there was ministry in that home or in that town. I prayed for people that needed to be healed, and they were healed of sickness and disease and eczema. And like, I'm surprised. I'm like, well, I prayed. Like, we pray for people, because we think that it'll help. But then, when we see a miracle, we're like, are you kidding me? Like, God did that? Like it's just so much faith was built in that journey. And so and that was, again, just the beginning of my ministry, and I haven't ever gotten a quote-unquote, real job again. But on the journey, I think, Daniel, do you want me to tell the $20 story? Okay. I realize I'm doing all the talking here. I'm not letting, I'm not pausing for me to breathe.
DW: I'm just here to highlight you.
JM: So, one of my favorite stories was when I first set out on that journey, I went to a place and I stayed with a girlfriend. I didn't see her, she was working the whole time. But her roommate was there and we got to know each other a little. And when I left, she left me a card with $20 in it. And I was so grateful. I was like, God, thank you, like $20 was everything, you know, that was gas to the next city. And then I get to the next city, and someone gave me another $20. And I was like, oh my gosh. Well, God and I joked, well, can you add a zero too, God? So, then the next place I went, they gave me 200. I'm like, no way. This is so fun. And so then the next place I went, I joked again with God. I'm like, well, can you add another zero, and I got, when I left they gave me a wad of cash, with a bank, you know, paper around it that said, $2,000. And I was praising God. It was like, more than the money, the money whatever at this point I just trusted God to provide for me, but it was that he answered jokes. He didn't just answer my prayers, he answered me being kinda like, hey, do you want to do this? But when I went to the bank to deposit that $2,000, it wasn't $2,000. So I was like, oh, the bank ship, my friend. And so I called her, she's like, no, I took out some money for groceries. But still, so it wasn't exactly $2,000 truth be told. But it was still a really fun experience with God and learning to walk by faith financially.
DW: Do you have any other stories like that? About just trusting God and walking by faith?
JM: Yeah, I mean, there's so many that I'm walking in right now, too, right? I have a really Ephesians 3:20 imagination because he says that we can ask, you know, bigger than we can ask him, imagine he's going to show up. And I tell him, I've got a really big imagination, God. And so, I think there's been most of my faith walk stories have been in believing things that other people thought I was crazy about, whether it's, you know, starting to coach or even down to, let's be honest, as a business person, can you charge that much? Like, there are these limiting beliefs, especially in the faith, that like, well, no one's gonna pay that. And yet, when you go to the Lord, sometimes he tells me to charge less and sometimes he tells me to charge more. Like, he knows me, he knows my value better than I do. And so, I think there’s lots of those stories of walking in faith, you know, that require a daily walk, a daily meeting with him.
JM: Probably one of my other favorite stories is the Miranda Mirror. If I could just be honest about that, when it's recent, on my mind, I decided to publish it. And we do it through the nonprofit. And so, we have a budget and we have a, you know, a modest budget. And so I knew I needed to raise money for it. And the week before I was going to, we did some pre-sales to figure out how many we need to order and the more books you order, the less they are. And we were very short, even from the minimum order. Well, I've been a good steward. We have, you know, money in the account and our reserves, and we could have used that. And I was going to take out of that just kind of like, you know, taking out of my savings. And the Lord showed up and he said, did I not say I provide for this? Like don't take out of the reserves, wait for me. And I'm thinking, we only have a week left and I'm trying to come up with Plan B. And God's like, I haven't given up on Plan A.
JM: And so, I humbled myself and I just asked on social media, this is what we're trying to do. We're trying to pay off this book and when you print a children's book and self-publish, it's very expensive and then to order more. So, God provided, I got enough money raised, and people either donated or purchased the book and we had enough money to pay. And we had like, $200 extra. And I was like, yes, and we still have books left. So, we'll definitely be in the profit zone already. And we're in the midst of raising money right now to do a large several thousand dollar book run from you know, order from China so that the ministry can make more money and continue making more books.
JM: And I think, Daniel, this just came to me, this is important, I think, for listeners to know that God will test our faith in little ways because he wants to give you more like he wants to he is looking to and fro through the whole earth to see who can I trust, who not only can I trust with the stewardship and, and being a good steward and investing well and praying, but who has enough faith to walk in the bigger things because he's got big things. But if it's your experience that got you to a place, it's not really faith in Him. So, He wants you to rely on Him in that journey. And so, it's been really fun to partner with God, because I can't take any credit. All I can do is like, point to him that he's good. And then I can encourage other people, God, if you have a dream in your heart, God will do it for you. If you want to be, you know, free from this massive weight of rejection or anxiety, God, if he will do $20 for me on the road, of course, he's going to do something bigger because He loves us.
DW: Jill, can you tell us a little bit more about Freedom Coaching and the Freedom Coaching Model?
JM: Well, like I said, Freedom Coaching came out of that journey on the road where I was meeting with people, and they were struggling with certain things. And I would say, well, let's pray. And I remember one time, I was like, God, I don't know what to do. And I heard in my heart, that's okay, I do. I'm like, oh, yeah, of course. And so Freedom Coaching was really born out of me helping people meet with God in prayer. And then, there are certain ideas God gave me. And I just follow through on those ideas, so to speak. And one of them was, I got a call from my sister-in-law, who's a nurse, and she said, I'm in the hospital, this lady, she is not going to live much longer, and she has a lot of regrets. Will you pray with her? And so, I call her and she's telling me her story. And she has such bad cancer, she's in hospice at this point. And so we pray, and the Lord gives me this idea of a picture of what forgiveness looks like. And I walk her through imagine you have a basket, and you're dumping all of these things that you've done wrong into this basket. And as the basket fills up, Jesus walks out of the picture. So she's using your imagination, which as kids, we've got. So, I believe it's when the Lord, he walks away, and then he comes back. And what is he giving you in return? Like you gave him all of your stuff, and he has something to give you. And she looked in, she's not a Christian, and I remember asking the Lord, do I need to lead her to faith first? And He's like, no, no, I mean, you don't have, shouldn't have to be a believer to meet with me. And so she looks in and she sees gold. And he tells her, she is as pure as gold. The woman did not know scripture. But I knew that God had just spoken truth to her. And so at that point, I said, do you want to, do you want to embrace him? And she led herself through this beautiful prayer, kind of like I did when I got saved. And she died the next day.
JM: And I knew that, I just get choked up about that because I know that God puts these beautiful moments in all of our lives. And people don't have the skills of how to help people encounter God. So Freedom Coaching is a mix of traditional coaching and ministry. And so I am a credentialed life coach with the International Coach Federation. I, you know, spent, coached thousands of hours. I've spent thousands of dollars to have more training and leadership coaching, group coaching, and all the traditional things. But Freedom Coaching is really mixing the two so that people have freedom in Christ and can be who God created them to be. So the model is called Freedom Coach Model. And it's a book that people can get on Amazon and ministry leaders can lead, go through the exercises. I have about 20 different tools in there and prayers. So I basically give you a quick teaching. And then here's some questions to ask God and journal and write down what he says to you. And so a lot of people walk through it on their own. And then, of course, I meet with people one-on-one or facilitate events or groups or things like that as well.
DW: Yeah, that's really helpful. Can you share a little bit more about just the vision that God has given you for this?
JM: Yeah, it's a big vision. So yeah, this is my next leap of faith, everyone. I have been developing and we've had a lot of snags in the technology which just tells me God is really in this is called the Freedom Encounter. And so the website's not live yet but we are going to have a self-guided course. So, I can teach and lead people one-on-one in the privacy of their own homes. We are training other leaders to be able to facilitate this model. And then we're going to have live events and weekend retreats, and probably going to, you know, do niches like pastors and their wives or things like that. And then, of course, there's one-on-one coaching. So, we're really looking forward to just building this out and this year, we're gonna, we've got so many things that are already in motion that will be released later this year. But even in the years to come, I'm not going to live forever, I need to pass it on to somebody else.
DW: So, in your journey, what was something that you didn't expect to learn?
JM: I said it a little bit earlier, I didn't expect Christians to not act Christian-like that was early on. But I think as I was in ministry longer, and as I've grown, the thing I didn't expect to learn was that it's important who you align yourself with and who you partner with. Not every opportunity that comes your way is actually meant for you. Some of it is to give you confidence or courage. And the process of figuring out what's from the Lord and what's not is just as beautiful as the outcome. And so I didn't know that I was going to learn that. I just thought if someone wants to partner with me, I'm doing Kingdom work, and we just do it together. But not everyone has the same values as I do. And so alignment is really, really important.
DW: And then this is kind of a fun question. What is the greatest investment that you have ever made? And this can be, you know, an open-ended question, financial base, you know, ministry, etc.
JM: Well, I'm just gonna tell you what's come to mind. So hopefully, it's being led by the Lord. I believe the greatest investment is people that we don't invest in ministries or projects, I believe we invest in people that are anointed that are called, or who are in need, God is very clear about taking care of the orphans and the widows. And that can be, you know, figurative as well. And so, I mean, the Bible is clear, it's literal, but in my experience, it can also be figurative. So, I look for the areas that God is already moving, or that he's moving my heart, and I go there, and I partner with that. So, one of the things I did early on in my ministry is we had a magazine called Single Matters. It's still online, it's Single Matters at SingleMatters.com. I think, gosh, it's been so long and we're not adding to it anymore, but we have over a thousand articles for Christian singles to grow in their faith, in their relationships, etc.
JM: And at one point, I had an article that I wanted to post and the title really offended some people. And I talked about why pregnancy is not a sin. So, I got a lot of people saying, well, having sex before marriage is a sin. But I wasn't talking about that, I'm talking about the pregnancy. A woman who gets pregnant out of wedlock, if she feels like that baby is a sin, they're more prone to get abortions. And they're more prone to self-shame and not seeing it as a beautiful miracle. What happened, what you did was a sin. But this, this is now a miracle of the Lord. It's very hard to get pregnant, the science that says like, what everything that has to align is, you know, a miracle. And so I wrote this, I posted this article anyway. It went so viral, this is like back in, I want to say 2014 or so that it shut our website down. And I was new in the ministry like I had like a basic plan, you know, for hosting and all this stuff. And so we took a lot of flak for it, but I knew that I was supposed to release it.
JM: But, it was a very encouraging article. We started getting flooded with also positive emails. One email was from a woman in the UK and I have her permission to share this story. And she had just overdosed. She found out she was pregnant, she had overdosed, she'd gone back to her abusive mate, wasn't sure what to do, and felt very alone and lost and scared. And I wrote her back and said, God loves that baby and he loves you. He has a plan for both of your lives. And so the ministry I did through email through this woman in the UK made her decide to keep the baby. And I have pictures of him as of this Christmas, she sent me an updated picture and how well she's doing and able to provide for her little family. And this kid is adorable. I mean, it's just like, gives me so much joy to just know that, you know, that was I invested in a person. She mattered. I could have just written a quick email but that was a great investment. Who knows how that's going to pay off to God's people in the future.
DW: Yeah, that's awesome. That's so cool. So what about, thinking back over your story, thinking about like, maybe some of the greatest successes and what you've learned from those?
JM: You know, it's interesting because I think some of the areas of success are intangible, right? We can look at, while the ministry doesn't have debt, it's like or we've been, we've made this course, we made this book, like, they can be tangible things that we can identify as success. But I think if we identify success as significance, we run into trouble. That our success or how generous we are or what we produce, if that only makes us feel better about ourselves, then it's not really success. It may look like success to the world, and I'm sure those things will help people but I think true success is when we've done the work on ourselves. Again, I go back to the phrase to be who God created us to be not do the things God created us to do necessarily all by itself. You can't do without being. But I think success for me, and in my own life is how God has healed me. And I can't take credit for anything I've done tangibly, or even emotionally, mentally, or spiritually.
JM: But I am so proud of how far I've come, considering the past of abuse that I had not just the priests but other things too. I remember my attorney said to me, you should be a prostitute or a drug addict, like the number of things that have happened, one of those things gives or makes you at risk, all of those things. There's nobody that ends up like you. And in fact, when meeting with the Bishop of the Diocese, because I've done a lot of being proactive, working with the state, over helping the church and the state learn how to handle these thing, he, they couldn't they could not understand. They're like, well, there's, you look good, you seem good. So I'm glad it didn't impact you. I'm like, no, it did. It did impact me. I've just done a lot of work with the Lord to get to the place to be the person that you see now. So, I think at the end of my life, if someone says, you know, what would you say about Jill? If they said she loved well, that would be success for me. So I work on me because whatever I have, I can give away. So if I learned to love God, and learn to love myself, and love others, that really is my goal.
DW: And then kind of the flip side of that, what have you learned through different failures? Or, you know, maybe a failure that you could share with us that we could learn from.
JM: That is a tough question. I didn't know this one was coming. Let's see. Or did you put that in the notes?
DW: It's in the notes, yeah.
JM: Let me see what I wrote. What did I say? Oh, yeah, I already kind of said that. I think one of the greatest failures. And again, I'm not talking tangible, because I'm just not that person. So one of the greatest failures is not listening to my gut and the Holy Spirit. There have been lots of partnerships that I have made, that were not, they were not for me, they were for themselves. They wanted my anointing. They wanted what I carried, they love, you know, certain things about me or my ministry, they may have even loved that I was a little gullible and trusting and, and that I don't blame them because I let them. So one of the failures, failure is a hard word for me, because I don't feel like ever failing completely, I feel like the failure taught me something. And it set me up for success in a different way. But if I could say I failed at something it was trusting too much in man and what man said to convince me to do things instead of trusting God. And I don't like to walk with regret. So you know, I just take it to the Lord. And I can't tell you all the times, I feel like I failed, I go to God in tears like, I'm sorry, I didn't listen to you or didn't obey. Every single time, it's like, I don't even know why I tell him how bad I am anymore. His response to me is, I'm so proud of you. And then I’m like boohoo, cry more, because I'm like, why are you so proud of me? Like he's just proud that we're staying in the game, and that we're learning from our failures.
DW: All right, and then you talked a little bit about generosity. But do you have any advice around generosity? Or how we can grow in generosity?
JM: Yeah, um, I think the easiest way to grow in generosity is if you want to take baby steps, whatever you do is good. But I think it's kind of like the Ten Commandments, or the basic for Christianity, right? Like, that's what those should be, no doubt. But in growing in generosity, I think 10% of your gross is, you know, a basic thing. And I've been manipulated by churches to give that 10% or to give more. So I know this can be a touchy topic for people. And so I think that's why God says to give with a joyful heart. And so there have been times where I'm like, God, what do you want me to give? And where do you want me to give? And that has helped me grow in generosity. Because when I have that confirmation from the Holy Spirit and the excitement, then I'm excited to be more generous.
JM: And I think the second thing about learning to grow in generosity is asking God for opportunities to give. God, show me who do you want me to give to. And I don't mean like, oh, just pop it in my head, whenever. Make it a strategic part of your life. You know, this weekend on every Sunday, I'm saying, God, where do you want me to give my tithe? To my church, am I offering someplace else? When we've when we go beyond the 10% tithe to our church, and we start giving offerings, and it can be financial, but it can also be your time and your resources and other ways. But when you go above and beyond as led by the Spirit of God, your faith will be stretched like a tent, like the tent pegs will be stretched. And so then you're in a good position when God says to give when it hurts, and you're like I have, if I give that I have nothing left, like my severance, then you can 100% count that God's going to, he's going to do a good thing with that. He's going to use your resources wisely and he's going to bless you. And I think one of the things people worry about is, well, what if it's not God? And what if I'm hearing him wrong? I would like to say that you can't outgive God. But even if you missed it, even if that wasn't from the Lord, your heart was positioned towards him, and he will make that up to you.
DW: Yeah, that's good. Yeah. And, really, you know, for me, it's a lot of it's just realizing that he is in control and truly trusting him. You know, because we find a lot of security and trust in money. And, you know, it can be deceiving.
JM: Yeah, we trust in the Lord and however he wants to provide. You know, the other thing that just came to my mind, being generous is not grumbling that we don't have enough. Like, just really being thankful for what we do have, it just creates a, I don't know, a pattern of gratefulness that leads to having more so that you can give away more and making sure that cycle’s continuing.
DW: Yeah. How do you think we can really have that perspective of realizing how, how blessed we are and how much he has provided? Do you have any advice on that?
JM: You know, I taught my nieces this when they were young and we would take walks with Jesus. And I'm like, okay, we're gonna thank God for everything we can think of, no matter how small. And we thank him for the sunny day. And we thank that we have got good shoes to walk in and just start the, you know, just start praising. And then other ideas come to mind because we think, I want to get the perfect praise and thanks to God for something big. And, you know, I thank you, God, for that challenge that I had this week because it taught me this or brought me closer to you, or it's so yeah, I think it's just, just start talking. There's so much to be thankful for, just think of everything that you can think of no matter how small it is.
DW: Yeah, this reminds me, so yesterday morning, my three-year-old daughter was praying at our table. And she said, thank you for this food. Thank you for this food. Thank you for this food. And then she was like, oh, and God, can you put a rainbow in the sky today? And I'm like, that is the sweetest thing. And today there was a rainbow in the sky. My wife took a video and sent it to her. And it was just really cute.
JM: So, he cares about those things. I learned that God cares about my jokes, and my prayers and my thoughts, even passing thoughts. Have you ever had that happen? Where like, I was just thinking that I didn't even pray for it and he just answered it.
DW: All right, Jill, before we enter the mentor minute, is there anything else that you want to share with our audience?
JM: I'm just, I'm just really excited for everyone listening. I just want them to know that if you're listening to this, God has great plans for you and things for you to do, but also for you as a person. So, I don't have much more to say than that.
DW: And where can we find you or information about you?
JM: Yeah, if you can find all the links to social media and everything by going to my website, which is JillMonaco.com. And then yeah, if you do a slash welcome, then you'll get a free something or other and you'll learn about other things I have going on when they come out. And then social media Instagram is agile Monaco, and Facebook is Jill Monaco ministries. So I mean, I'm on tick tock, but like barely.
DW: All right, so jumping into the mentor minute, who is the most influential person that you know, and how have they impacted you?
JM: You know, it's somebody that I don't know personally, but this kind of is gonna go into like, a book. So that kind of it is it was a book I read called The Heavenly Man, and brother Yan, I believe is his name. And I read it when I was a brand new believer. And he impacted me because here's a man who is in jail in China for his faith and tortured, and God opens the jail gates just like he did for the apostles. And I just remember going, Oh, my gosh, God is way bigger than I realized. And so I gravitate towards those people that have these really incredible God stories, because it grows my faith. So yeah, I'd say he's one of them. And Corrie 10, boom is probably another, you know, anything she's written in. And her her walk of faith really inspires me.
What is the top recommended book or podcast?
I don't listen to podcasts very often, so. But I did listen to yours. If I'm invited on I am listening to the podcast. So that's how I learned about new podcasts. I think one of the, you know, any book that talks about how to hear God or encountering God, so what I really love is more than the charismatic stream, but I really love Graham Cooke. So anything that he's written just really helps me encounter it. You know, you guys, I'm all about encountering God's presence, right? So anything in that stream. So I really love how he talks about the love of God and his books. And he's got a book on prophecy, which might scare some people that don't understand that. But it's just we hear God's voice all the time. And the Bible says we can so I think, yeah, anything Graham Cooke has written, or when it comes to healing, and miracles and faith, those kinds of books.
JM: There's, I'm forgetting the guy's name right now…Randy Clark. He has written some books, again, those are in the charismatic stream. And in the more theological, like, you know, okay, so let's just be honest, some are cessationist and not sensation. So now, like, I just read everybody. But if you're going to the other side of the spectrum, I actually read a lot of books that my friends have written. I've got some friends that are amazing authors. And I think there's some insights that come from people who are just doing life with God. So, I didn't really write a name down. So I apologize. No, go to Jenny Randall. She just wrote a really great book on theology.
DW: That is fun. So, all right, last question. What's the greatest lesson that you have learned about leadership?
JM: The greatest lesson I've learned about leadership is that we're really, we're only leading how to serve. We're not leading people to follow us. We're leading so that others can model how to serve. And I think that's a distinction that Jesus showed. And in that one of the key things to do as a leader is to make sure that when you're having conversations you're seeking to understand not be understood. And that's I know, that's a phrase people have used before, but in that servant leadership, which, you know, everyone talks about, it's like, it's turned into some coined fancy word, but what does it really look like? It really means that you're teaching other people how to serve. And I think that that's one of the most important things.
DW: That's very good. Thank you, Jill. This was really helpful. And, yeah, I wanted to ask you, is there anything that we can be praying for you or your ministry?
JM: Yeah, I would love prayer for some of the projects we're working on. We're, you know, just starting our fundraising and some donor development for the new thing for Freedom Encounter and printing some Miranda's Mirror books. And so, I would just pray that God brings the people that are meant to be a part of these projects, and that we would be faithful and that we would you know, with every little step God's asked us to do even if we've made plans that are not his, that we would walk away and serve and do something different. So. just being faithful.
DW: Do you mind if I pray for you right now?
JM: Oh, man, I'd love that. Thank you.
DW: All right, let's pray. God, I thank you and praise you for Jill and for her ministry, for her life, for her faith. Lord, I pray for all the people that she is serving and ministering to and coaching and speaking to, Lord. I pray that you would work on their hearts, that you would draw them to yourself. God, I pray that You would help us to be servant leaders that we would teach, teach others how to serve well and that we would demonstrate that in our leadership. God, I pray for the Freedom Encounter Project that Jill is working on. And I pray that that would go well, that you'd bring all the right people together for that. In Christ's name, we pray, amen.
JM: Amen. Thank you.
DW: Thank you so much for coming on. Really enjoyed it. And thank you guys for listening to The Kingdom Investor Podcast.
[END OF INTERVIEW]
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