If you don’t ask, you probably won’t get it.
This adage is as true in the church and in ministry as it is in all of life. Even Jesus had to remind us, “And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive” (Matthew 21:22, NAS). If the Spirit has put a burden on your heart to see more women involved in leadership in your church, then He is expecting you to step out in faith, be humble, and raise some questions to the right people.
This last post about the topic of both men and women working together in church leadership will pull together the last two posts and create some action points around them. Pulling out the concerns to dissect in the light of the leadership team is essential toward moving forward.
1. Realize that women and men lead differently and that both leadership styles are important. However, there will be difficulties with having both genders on a pastoral staff or in a ministry group because their perception of issues is different. Rather than refusing to cope with the differences, learn humility by engaging in the process.
2. Utilize the principles developed by Anna’s church from the previous post (#2). Try personality tests, spiritual gift assessments, and strength assessments. The entire leadership team needs to be a part of this and each person needs to understand each other’s results.
3. Deal proactively with the threat of sexual attraction. All relationships need boundaries, and this is particularly true in the church where people come expecting to have their needs met. Having a plan for mentorship can help. Newer staff members need more time to understand what has worked or not worked in the past, so giving that role to older women who have been in the church for some time can be helpful. However, it is important that male leadership become a part of that process as well.
4. Team mentorship is a good idea. Reading a book together on ministry leadership and then coming together to discuss it can reduce the pressure and intimacy of a one-on-one mentoring process. Include other members in leadership (elders, board members, deacons and deaconesses) so everyone gets the benefit of time with pastoral staff. In addition, team members mentor each other this way.
Being intentional by asking for these measures is crucial! Your questions may open the pathway up to more women being considered for leadership positions in your church.
Perhaps you’ve found other measures that have helped. I’d love to hear them. You can share them on my site in the comments, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May your work be blessed!