Gifted to Lead 1

2 comments Written on September 8th, 2008     
Filed under: Books, Gender, Leadership, Vocation and Call
Nancy Beach has been a true help to the church at large– teaching us about the power of creativity and the value of collaborative leadership in the worship planning process. 

Now she has a new book, Gifted to Lead: The Art of Leading as a Woman in the Church. (If the Cov Bookstore can stock this, I’ll change that link from Amazon to Cov Books.)

Anyway. Alice Shirley is discussing the book over at Jesus Creed. So I encourage you to follow the discussion there, and generate some conversation here, if you wish.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Report This Post

2 comments “Gifted to Lead 1”

Wow… there’s SO much good discussion going on there. I now understand why you wanted to port that over here, Katie. If anyone else has the time to make it through some or most of that thread, even if you have to skim, it’s well worth it, IMO.

Picking up where some others left off…

One idea I heard in the Jesus Creed thread was the idea that the “guy church” movement is a backlash against the church being more aimed at women and catering toward the emotions and desires of women, and that in some of its iterations, the “guy church” mentality perpetuates sexism by attacking the idea that women should be represented in the leadership framework.

I don’t think I agree with all of that train of thought… frankly I think the “guy church” movement — and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, google the phrase “prom songs for jesus” or “jesus is my boyfriend” — is more a result of men abdicating their leadership in the church and the church naturally beginning to sway (not the greatest choice of words) towards the gender who tends to show up in greater numbers at church on a regular basis — women.

Another idea I have a problem with was someone taking umbrage with Saddleback’s Ten Commandments for Staff. ( The idea here is that these rules are hyper-reactionary, and because they all but rule out any form of intimate conversation between church leaders of opposing sex, they make it so there can be no real mentoring of emerging female leaders, because the overwhelming majority of current pastors and other church leaders are men.

I also have a problem with this, and maybe it’s just because the fact that I’m a dude means I have the luxury of this issue not being that important to me, but I’ve seen too many ministry relationships compromised because of poor boundaries.

I do agree that sometimes there is too much emphasis on appearances (as in, to avoid even the appearance of evil) and it’s possible to take that too far. One commenter in Scot’s blog said the OT Jewish rabbi laws were all about avoiding the appearance of evil, and yet Jesus denounced many of them as ridiculous and legalistic.

But in this day and age where we as leaders are constantly going back and forth between the two extremes of a hyper-sexualized popular culture and the culture of sexual repression often found in the church, we must not underestimate the former in attempting to reform the latter.

Report This Comment

Jelani. At the risk of “taking up too much room” I have to agree with you. All the issues you named, are issues I have heard about, and I question the angles and conclusions that some folks take.

Regarding the notion of feminine-seeming worship services or church programs: Most “Jesus is my boyfriend” category songs are written by men. I’m fairly certain the men who wrote them, actually feel that way about God/Jesus. They are not trying to pander to the preferences of the women who fill the pews. There are plenty of people (women and men) who like those songs. There are more people (women and men) who don’t like them.

Another thought: Women have, historically, had more time to devote to volunteering in organizations (school, church, etc…) due to socio-economic tendencies. So… there tend to be more women willing/available to: sing in the choir or attend bible study. It’s changing– and fast.

Another: I think it’s quite important to have genuine friendship across gender lines, even for those who are married. I’m not sure a Christian leader can develop into him or herself unless she or he is in the close, good company of deeply developed leaders/preachers/spiritual guides, and these of both same and opposite gender. That said: The same chemistry that acts to form us for good can temp us to behave very badly. Obviously, the problem (if it develops in a relationship) harkens back to malformation of one’s relational and sexual self. Banning these friendships will not solve that problem.

Sidebar: I think there is something to that argument about women not being mentored, therefore not becoming leaders.

Be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves (out of context, I know). Have spiritual/professional mentors of the other gender, but be careful how you socialize.

I practice most of those Saddleback commandments, but I’ve also broken them when it seems good and necessary.

Report This Comment

Leave a Reply

Report This Blog