Editor’s Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Halee Gray Scott’s new book Dare Mighty Things: Mapping the Challenges of Leadership for Christian Women (Zondervan, 2014).
God calls and equips women to lead just as much as he does so with men. Yet women face more challenges than men as they try to serve God and other people in leadership roles. That’s because, too often, churches and other Christian organizations have failed to cast a comprehensive vision of what God can accomplish in and through the lives of women.
Many women sense God’s call to lead in a variety of different ways – from starting a Bible study or a food pantry, to serving in a pastoral role at church or as an executive at a nonprofit organization – but tragically lack the opportunities, encouragement, and support they need to do the work God is calling them to do.
If you’re a woman who senses God calling you to dare to do something mighty for his kingdom, don’t be afraid to step out to do so. Despite the leadership challenges you might face, you can count on God himself to make it possible for you to accomplish whatever he calls you to do. Here’s how you can dare to do mighty things for God as a woman:
Dare to believe that you can make a significant, positive difference in the world. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you that your life matters, you’re gifted and called by God, and you’re needed to join his redemptive work in the world. Since God promises to work through you when you trust and rely on him, choose to do so every day, and God will give you the faith, confidence, and power you need to do your leadership work well.
Recognize the value of taking risks. It’s worthwhile to take risks in your quest to serve God as a leader because the process of taking risks helps you grow into a stronger person. Whether you succeed or fail, doing something risky can: expand your vision of what’s possible; build your character; and help you develop the skills, confidence, and attributes you need to navigate life’s difficult situations well.
Focus on working productively with others rather than arguing about women’s leadership roles. Don’t waste valuable time or energy on theological debates with other Christians about varying opinions of what specific roles women should or shouldn’t fill as leaders in God’s kingdom. Instead, respect the diversity among believers in the body of Christ while working in unity to fulfill God’s purposes together. No matter what theological perspective Christians have on women’s leadership roles, they all agree that: women can be leaders, God freely gives spiritual gifts to all believers regardless of their gender, all Christians – including women – have a responsibility to develop and use their spiritual gifts, and faith communities have a responsibility to ensure that women are free to put their spiritual gifts into action.
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Whitney Hopler, Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer