This week I went to the Gifted to Lead conference with one of my dearest friends, V. The conference addressed women in leadership specifically. It was impressive to be in a room of 1,000 women who were leaders in their communities and churches in one way or another. The Nancies did most of the talking (Ortberg & Beach), but they also brought forth a panel of women in leadership that were at different stages of their lives. Key things I leared:
1. Being a woman and being a leader are not mutually exclusive. God did not make a mistake when He gave specific women the gift of leadership, just like He did not make a mistake when He gave specific men the gift of leadership.
2. The question is not, “How can I be a women and a leader?” but rather “How can I be an excellent leader?”
3. There are so many women who are leaders and who have been absolutely hurt by their churches, their families, and their communities. Some of the stories I heard around our table were heart breaking. One woman was a Children’s minister at her church. Her church had a council of leaders that represented the ministry groups. This council was not exclusively male, but they hadn’t had a woman on the council. Instead of asking her and risking the questions from the congregation, they invited her husband and told him he was only there because of his wife’s leadership in ministry. The husband was devastated because he was not adequate to be a leader on his own ability and giftedness and the wife was devastated because she was not chosen because she was a woman. They struggled in their marriage as a result.
4. I am so blessed. The industry I work in is made of many women. It is not groundbreaking for me to be promoted or another woman to lead the department or run the agency. My husband is so supportive and excited. He is awesome encourager and cheerleader. And, he is also very gifted as a leader and doesn’t feel threatened. It’s cool to be a part of team K!
5. To be a good parent is to be who God made you to be. I loved that. I have stressed a lot about being a stay-at-home mom vs. working vs. part time vs. full time vs. not having kids. Oh gosh, the anxiety is endless on this particular topic. Nearly all of the women on the panel were married and nearly all of them had children. It was comforting to hear them say that it is a greater injustice to raise children who witness you not living up to the call God put on your life vs. raising children who see their mommy and daddy doing what God made them to do. And some women are fabulous SAHM. And some women just cannot be a SAHM. That is something that we each need to discern and determine. Is it easy to do either? No.
6. Tribes. Women need to stick together. ’nuff said.
I think that’s all for now!