Lessons on Leadership for Women #5

Recently we hosted a summit for leaders who serve in our state convention offices (Southern Baptist). Selma Wilson, our vice-president and leader of B & H Publishing Group a division of LifeWay Christian Resources shared 10 valuable lessons with us about being women in ministry in a mostly male ministry world.  She has gained the respect not only of our leadership at LifeWay but across the Southern Baptist convention nationally. God has not only used her in powerful ways, but she has done it as a woman, and with grace that models leadership for us all.

This is part of a series of posts discussing these 10 points one at a time. You will be blessed as we all were when she shared them with us.  Again, here are all 10 points in a list.

1.    Be Yourself
2.    Prepare to Lead
3.    Love the People…Build the Team
4.    Respect the Past (People, History, & Work)
5.    Listen & Learn
6.    Find Your Leadership Voice ( And Use It!)
7.    Be Seen and Heard (Communicate, Communicate, Communicate)
8.    Submission & Leadership
9.    Humility & Leadership
10.    Perspective…It’s not About You!

Let’s look at #5: Listen and Learn   

Have you ever started something new with a new team and began by talking and telling? Selma’s advice to us was to first listen, then talk. Listen to LEARN from those you serve with.  She warned that often we make wrong assumptions about others, their motives, their passions, their intentions, if we jump in without listening first.

Selma uses the 90 day principle: listen and learn for 90 days before sharing.
 She advises that you keep a journal of things you have heard, and things you have assumed because of what you have heard.
If there is a lot of noise as you listen, she reminds us to measure the noise and energy because noise is not a bad thing. It means you still have people who are invested and still care. Even if there is conflict, it is an indication that something is going on. Pause and get behind the noise so you can really see what is happening. Then when the 90 days are over you can begin to put your words together with what you have learned. You will be an informed and caring leader.

How well do you listen as you take on a role in leadership with new people?  Male or female?


Other helpful Resources:

Jesus on Leadership, Gene Wilkes

Mixed Ministry: Working Together as  Brothers and Sisters in an Oversexed Society, Edwards, Mathews, & Rogers

Women Reaching Women



  1. TA, Georgia says

    Just want to thank you for sharing these lessons for leaders. Even though I’ve been leading women for 10 years, I still have so much more to learn. I have been praying about having a leadership team meeting and inviting all the women of our church to come so that I could hear their hearts and try to discern how we can reach more women, while ministering more effectively to our own. God used the posting today to confirm what was on my heart. Thank you for sharing Selma’s 90 day principle. Keep those lessons for leaders coming!

  2. Chris Adams says

    I am thrilled this was beneficial to you. Each lesson Selma shared was so powerful and I just felt other women’s leaders would also be blessed by her words! Thank you as well for leading your women faithfully and for continuing to learn. I learn something new every day about leadership and women! Blessings as you serve Him!

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