First let me apologize for this taking so long to get put up here. I started this 3 weeks ago and have been either super sick in my down time or prepping for speaking engagements. I will try to post more questions more than once a week to try to catch up a little.
What is this? To find out more about where this Q&A came from, read this blog.
To read the CASL: Question and Answer (Part One), click HERE.
1. As a woman leader, what is the best way to lead men under my care? What should I do and not do?
Honestly, your leadership shouldn’t be any different. The problem with leadership in general with women over men is that we take Ephesians 5:22 WAY out of context, “Wives submit to your husbands.” Please notice ladies, it does NOT say “women submit to all men.” The only man that you are called to submit to is YOUR husband, not ALL men. Further in that chapter it talks about slaves submitting to their masters. So that is our instruction when we have some in leadership OVER us, then we need to submit to them. However, if you are in leadership and there are men over you, then it, biblically speaking, is not different than if there are women over you. With that said, there are significant personality differences between most men and women. So I would be aware of that as you lead. But I don't believe that your leadership needs to change from a biblical perspective because you have men under your leadership.
2. If put in leadership in charge of men how do you handle that from a godly perspective?
See question above.
If you have a more specific question that isn’t listed above, please feel free to clarify by pressing “comment” below. You can remain anonymous by clicking on that when you comment.
3. What is a woman’s role in leadership in the church?
Good question! This is one that I haven’t really studied in a long time, but certainly studied a bunch years ago. I grew up with my Dad and step mom going to a Methodist church. The other half of the time I grew up with my mom who is an atheist and feminist. So I was always taught as a young child that women could do anything-- secular or religious. Then, after I became a Christian at 16, I started to go with my friends to a Baptist church. I had never heard of submission. I thought it was weird that they didn’t have women on ministerial staff level. So my eyes were opened up to the differences in denominations.
Biblically speaking: I think this is like most things that divide us by denomination-- some topics in scripture can be interpreted different ways. With that statement I just offended every denomination. Because we all believe that what we believe is the only interpretation you could Biblically speaking. Am I right? :)
Socially speaking (and, I think, practically speaking): It’s a challenging thing to lead men in leadership in the church. I know we have made a lot of progress in our society in the past 50 years of how men see women, but I think that in the church we are a decade or so behind. For whatever reason, men still have a hard time respecting and listening to women’s opinions (especially in certain denominations).
With that said, I am not trying to avoid conflict or dodge the question, but I would say this is something that I would recommend you devote to study yourself. Don’t just take on the opinions of your pastor, friends or even family. Figure it out yourself. Along the way if you have more specific question, please feel free to contact me anytime.
4. How do you live your life finishing what God wants us to do now if you know you are going somewhere else?
I know for my personality this is a really hard struggle too. I am so future oriented and strategy minded that I am always looking to what’s ahead. Chris (my hubs) reminds me often of a great quote by Jim Elliot: “Where ever you are, be all there.”
This past fall I was leaving my job at Houston’s First and knew that the next steps would be to launch this ministry and also for us to start trying for a baby. It was so hard not to check out. But my motto was: Finish strong and leave this place set up for success when I leave.
It’s so hard if you know you are graduating or something like that not to check out. But if you do check out, you are going to miss some really incredible moments right in front of you. Live life in the moment. Savor it.
5. How do I connect/relate with the women who don’t understand/know the truths and importance of moral purity? (i.e. women who didn’t grow up in the faith.)
This is hard. I think as women we can all connect simply because we are woman. Try to find another common ground. For example, I spoke at a women’s prison last week and was so nervous that I wouldn’t be able to connect with those women. Until I realized when I looked in their eyes, they are just like me.
I remember before I was a Christian the hardest people to be around were Christians. I felt so judged by them, the seemed so pious. So I just encourage you to let grace and love ooze from you. Don’t ever put yourself in situations that compromise your integrity or cause you to stumble. But I bet if you try to connect you will find many ways that you connect.
As always, you can still submit more questions or ask for clarification on an above question by commenting or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PLEASE COMMENT!! Friends, family and blog-stalkers (new friends), I am asking that you would comment here if you feel like you have a response (similar or different) for these ladies. I want us to be able to offer them as much perspective as possible. I numbered the questions specifically so you could easily refer to them in your comments.