We had the good fortune of connecting with Cherie Wagner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cherie, what do you want your legacy to be?
I recently lost my father-in-law to cancer, and it has given me such a deeper perspective on life…how fleeting it is and what is most important versus what is urgent. When I think about the legacy that he has left to us and all who knew him, I am so grateful to have been a recipient of his love. He loved God, and he loved others well. If people could remember anything about me, hands down it would be these two things: that I loved Jesus with everything that I had, and that I loved others well. I can’t think of a single thing more important or more urgent in this life than those two things. I’ve heard it said that people will often forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. If I live my life following in the footsteps of Jesus—living and loving just as He did—then I will be loving others well because that is exactly what He did. When people think of Cherie Wagner, my hope is that they will see Jesus and be reminded of how much He loves them. I could spend my life building a brand, obtaining success, growing my nonprofit, and building a name for myself, but all of that will eventually fade. It may last for years after I die, but what will never fade is the love of Jesus that I spent my life showing others.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve always had a passion for leadership and teaching. Ten years ago this year, God caused those passions to collide when I founded Neue Thing, a Christian nonprofit that exists to encourage, equip, and empower women with God’s Word. For the past ten plus years, I have spent my time writing Bible studies and curriculum for women to encourage them with the hope that only Jesus can offer. What I love most is getting the opportunity to teach these books and Bible studies to women’s groups and churches all over the country. My journey in ministry has been one of slow yet steady growth. The more that I teach, the more opportunities seem to come my way, and I love every chance I get to meet new women in new places and build new friendships. I was blessed to be able to attend Moody Bible Institute where I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical studies and ministry training. In was during these four years that my love for the Bible developed, and when I graduated, I immediately pursued a job in full-time ministry. I never would have thought that my career path would have led me to start a nonprofit, but God’s plans for my life have consistently proven to be far better than my own. Ministry has never been easy, but it’s always been good. The challenges that I have faced have taught me the value of developing relationships with people and sustaining them, even and perhaps especially when things get hard. We are built and created for relationship, and yet relationships are the most difficult things in life. Women’s ministry is no different, and I have learned the incredible value of deep and abiding friendships. Neue Thing is just one avenue through which people can meet Jesus. Neue Thing is a ministry that exists to create spaces for women to come together and know that they are not only welcomed and invited to the table, but more importantly that they are deeply loved by their Creator, Jesus Christ. This is why I do what I do. This is who I want people to know: just Jesus.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The person who has most shaped my life is my husband, Jeremy. We’ve been married for twelve adventurous years now, and his love, support, and willingness to champion me in every endeavor that I pursue has taught me what it means to truly love another person more than yourself. He is a graphic designer by trade, and he has partnered with me in each written work that I have published, designing the cover and formatting the interior of each book. Behind everything that I do in ministry, my loving husband is cheering me on and believing in my potential, even when I don’t. Aside from every way that he has made me a better human being, his work has brought value and success to countless clients, organizations, and churches around the country. Check out his work at wagnerdesign.co.