Women’s Leadership: Responsiblity or Relationship

womens_prayer-1.jpgYou will be inspired regarding your own team as you read this blog by guest writer, Simone Monroe, Director of Women’s Ministries at Lake Pointe Church in Dallas, Texas.

TEAM is an intangible. I began thinking about this a few days ago as I tried to answer the questions coming from the other end of the phone. A friend called to discuss how to get women on a leadership team to accept one another and work together as a team. These were women of different generations with different passions and different life experiences.

As we talked, I began thinking about the team with which I presently work. I have never seen a group of women bond together and become as effective as they have. There is absolutely no reason this should exist with a team of 37 and from 5 different campuses! My mind searched for the reason or reasons this has happened. As I thought about their range in age (26-69), the diverse passions they hold (everything from prayer, mentoring, missions  and teaching bible, to service projects, hospitality, photography and organization),  the different life experiences  they have (single, married with no children, married with children, grandchildren, widowed and divorced) and the five distinctively different campuses they attend and serve,  I began to realize it was not their passion for women’s ministry, their desire to serve, or their having known each other for long periods of time( most of them did not know one another until they came on the leadership team) that makes them so close as a team. I believe the thing that has bonded them together so quickly is the time they spend with one another –relationships.

I’m not talking about time working together in women’s ministry- I’m referring to the time they spend getting to know one another. It is about how they value one another.  We spend time at every meeting just talking and playing with one another. Most of them realize this as very purposeful. They check with one another about family situations, effects of their ministry area, and have playful interchange –the kind that true friends engage in. Their relationships are deepened by the constant prayer emails that go out for urgent requests they might have. This has fostered friendships. They call, email, send cards of encouragement to one another, and even minister during times of sickness- all without being prompted. This may seem logical until you recall they come from five different campuses in five different areas of the metroplex and one campus is of another culture entirely.

 It is not uncommon for a woman who leads worship to help by running errands all day for the set up team and leaving just enough time to change clothes before leading worship at the event. Or you might find a 26 year old woman who leads our young women’s ministry serving at our older single women’s brunch.  You may even find 52 volunteers squeezing into a small building for an entire evening with no air-conditioning to serve the women of an illegal community by cutting and styling their hair, applying make-up, and helping them to pick out an outfit for a fashion show to be followed by individual pictures for them to have as souvenirs. All of this just to give those women an evening for themselves. One of the volunteers was having surgery at 8am the next morning.

Why would they take on something that doesn’t fall under their area of responsibility? They do it because they value the other person and have developed more than just a working relationship- they have developed true loving relationship with one another. Does this mean they hang out together all the time like BFF’s?   No, although some do hang out together. It is more about loving one another and learning from one another. After all, people want to know and learn from others who do life well. All of us do life well in some area. There is something to be learned and something we can learn from one another. This team realizes that true leadership and team come, not from performing their responsibilities well, but from doing relationships well. And they certainly do that!

The more leadership invests in one another, the more rewarding the responsibilities of leadership become. The fact that we ask for help in any area of life does not mean that we have failed. It just means that we are not alone. Women want someone to do life with and leaders need this more than ever. Leadership can be lonely but it doesn’t have to – not if there is true TEAM.  A good leader provides for times where relationship, not work, are the focus for time spent together. And women want to follow women who seem to be invested in others- especially those that serve out of relationship rather than responsibility. After all, I believe relationship is what Christianity is about, is it not?
 Simone_rgb(2).JPGSimone Monroe is also a Global Strategist for ProvenWay Ministries and LifeWay Ministry Multiplier. As a speaker, conference leader, and freelance writer, she is also a member of the Association of Women’s Ministry Professionals. Simone has earned a Masters degree in Christian Leadership and a Certificate in Women’s Leadership from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Forth Worth, TX.   Simone’s passion is teaching and developing women to fulfill their God-given potential. She enjoys presenting God’s Word in a fresh and relevant way in order to encourage growth in the lives of her listeners. Her two sons, their wives, and her five grandchildren are the light of her life.

Helpful resources:

Leading From Your Strengths by John Trent

Women Reaching Women

Transformed Lives

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