In honor of our “God Cares about His Women” Series, I’m announcing Nancy Beach’s Gifted to Lead: The Art of Leading as a Woman in the Church as the March 2013 Book of the Month. I read this book several years ago and thought to myself, this woman (the author) gets it. She is theologically sound, understands who she is in Christ, is not ashamed of her gifts, acknowledges her strengths and weaknesses, and knows the contributions she can make to the world by living with integrity through her personal relationships, ministry, church, and community. I don’t personally know Nancy Beach, but I was encouraged by her honesty in sharing personal stories to chronicle her life and devotion as a Christian leader.
In Gifted to Lead, Beach begins with a word of encouragement to women leaders: “No mistake was made in heaven when God gave you the gift of leadership or teaching.” I have no doubt about God gifting me for leadership. Yet I know there are many Christian women who struggle with the idea that God has indeed called them to lead. Therefore, Beach’s acknowledgement offers refreshment for Christian women who have the gift of leadership and find themselves bound in personal, professional, or church relationships where their leadership, voice, or strengths are not valued.
In addition to sharing personal convictions which encourage women in honing their leadership skills, Beach deals with the environment—often male dominated “Boys’ Club”—in which women are often called to lead. There are essential dynamics to consider when “Running with the Big Boys.” Finally, Beach considers the importance of communication and valuing a woman’s voice (perspective) as a significant and equally valuable contribution to leadership teams and organizations (including the church). During our discussion, we will also explore Beach’s open letter to male pastors and church leaders. I am excited to review, reflect, and elaborate on this resource with you on Tuesdays of this month.
In the meantime, pick up the book and review Nancy Beach’s video below. In it, she talks about the importance of not being alone as a leader. Leaders need community and accountability relationships. She shares about the shaping of a leader’s character. Finally, she presents strategies for flourishing as a leader.
Are you a woman called to leadership? How has this reality come about for you? How do you hone your gifts as a spiritual leader?
© Natasha Sistrunk Robinson 2013