This month we have focused our Natasha’s Study book discussion on Nancy Beach’s “Gifted to Lead: The Art of Leading as a Woman in the Church.” Last week, we discussed God’s Leading Women in the Good Old Boys Club. This week, we are talking about the Methods and Myths of women leading in church.
This book is practical and I love it! Beach is not afraid to address real life issues, while instructing us on how we can best navigate in troubled waters. Beach presents a few methods for women who are Running with the Big Boys:
- Be you! “The temptation for many of us as women leaders is to deny our true selves, our femaleness, in an effort to fit into male culture (64).”
- “Be a student of your boss (68)”
- “Learn to initiate and engage in difficult conversations (69)”
- Come to terms with your ambivalence about your ambition or authority (73-77).
- Know Your Surroundings: As women leaders in the church, we have issues that men simply do not have to deal with like microphone placement; hair, lipstick, and fashion (and yes sometimes this is a modesty issue), etc
The Big Myth
Beach is also honest with confronting the myth that we can have it all at once. There are a lot of small myths that accompany this one, but its best we get right to the root of the problem. I suppose we can assume that some people do have it all (or so it appears from the outside looking in). Thinking “we can have it all at once,” is indeed a myth (at least for most of us) and it takes a self-aware, Christ-centered, confident, humble servant to understand this reality. Sometimes, we simply cannot do everything we would like to do right now. A well ordered life includes wisdom and discernment, knowing when to say “No,” prioritizing, and prayerfully considering and preparing for God’s appropriate time to work His purposes through each of our lives. In short, we all need to reject the lies of this world (“It’s all about me and my desires” or “I want it now and therefore I should have it”) and we all need healthy boundaries and relationships to keep us accountable on this faith journey.
These are important lessons for career women and stay-at-home moms, ambitious singles and committed married folks. In America, where we are led to believe we can have anything we want if we simply work hard enough, we all need to hear these messages to center ourselves on Christ and not get distracted along the way.
I am thankful that Nancy Beach boldly confronted these methods and the big myth. What myths have you believed? What method(s) do you use to navigate troubled waters as a leader?
© Natasha Sistrunk Robinson 2013