what do you believe about the topic?
Notice I didn’t ask ‘what do you think?’ Human nature discloses that thinking and believing coincide, but I submit to you that when it comes to women in leadership within the local church, many of us aren’t so sure what we believe – but we are very quick to offer what we think.
This month has been so encouraging and yet challenging at the same time to try and take a ‘30,000 foot view’ – like we talked through last week – of this topic. What I have found most interesting is that most of the response from it has been from women and all of the responses have been communicated privately.
One of my closest friends is also a woman in leadership. She and I have conversations at least once a week on how to better equip women already in leadership. Leigh grew up in a church culture quite opposite of mine. Her dad was their church’s pastor, and he always encouraged her in her gifts and saw the gift of leadership on her life. She has developed so beautifully over the years into an amazingly bold and prophetic leader.
While I was told what I was limited to do, Leigh was always told to follow the Spirit. Our first time meeting and first few years of friendship resulted in me realizing that I couldn’t ‘think’ my way through my theology of women in leadership. I had to decide what I was going to believe.
I tell you all of that to now ask you the question:
How do you decide what you believe?
1 – Pray.
Side note: This very point is what I love about God.
I would love to make that more wordy and heady for you to sit back and go ‘that was gooooood,’ but honestly, that’s the first way that we as believers communicate and connect with God. Pray and ask God to give you wisdom about this topic. What does He think about women in leadership? Would He create a woman to say – ‘Stop here… you can only go this far…’ No implications in that statement – just a conversation. 🙂
2 – Read your Bible.
This seems so obvious, but if we are honest, it’s sometimes the last place we look to decide what we believe about God and what He says on certain topics. In our case, it would mean searching the Word and looking for what He says about the topic. Then digging for specific examples of women leading. *Hint: they are there, but you do have to do have to look.
Can I be bold and step out on a ledge with you for one sentence?
When God gives you the revelation, don’t be swayed by others’ opinion on the topic… (keep reading)
Yes, learn from your pastor. Yes, have an open heart and mind to discussion of the Bible. Yes, honor those in authority if they disagree on a subject. But at the end of the day, if you as a true believer in Jesus and His Word have prayed (spent time with God and in His presence) and read your Bible (His words of life and direction to us, His children), then our hearts won’t help but be convinced that our true call as believers is to go and tell the world (Matt 28:18-19). Jesus didn’t imply a ‘male or female’ when He commissioned His followers to go. We are followers. We go.
For Women who are in Leadership:
Our goal as women in leadership is not to prove the point that we belong there. Our goal is to come in prepared from spending time with Jesus and lead with excellence in the opportunities we have been given…
Let the Spirit do the rest of the work.
You know, EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I have come like this into a Sunday morning or any event I have ever led God always does something greater than I could ever imagine. That’s not relegated to a platform on a Sunday, it’s for all of us.
Lead well where ever you are placed. With more excellence than you could ever imagine, organize those hymnals or clean up those pro presenter slides or pray for your team. Why? Because every time we are faithful where ever we are planted – GOD DOES A WORK. NOT because we are male or female, but because He is faithful to keep His promise that He is always working for our good and for His glory – and that can look an infinite number of ways.
So, what do you believe about women in leadership?
Feel free to continue the conversation through social networking or firstname.lastname@example.org!