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 #6: Find Your Leadership Voice (and use it)
How do you look for and find your leadership voice? It’s not in trying to lead like someone else, although it’s wise to watch for strong godly characteristics in others that we believe we should emulate. Just because someone else is very blunt and outspoken, does not mean that is how you are to lead as well. Another may be very soft spoken and you may think that is how you are to lead. Neither may be true. Ask God to help you discover HOW he wants you to use your voice in leadership and then follow it.
We must learn to use our voices in a man’s world remembering that our voice does matter. Remember that you represent at least 50% or more of the church body if that is the setting in which you lead.
Selma reminded us to give reports of our work even if no one is asking about it. Find a way to communicate in every form possible. One medium is not sufficient. You must use multiple mediums to make sure your message is heard. Those we lead and serve under need to see how God is working in our ministries…what HE is up to and how lives are being changed.
Another issue we need to keep in mind is that everyone has to submit. Submission is a Biblical principle and we are more powerful when we submit than when we rebel. Learn to submit, it’s a great place to live no matter who we must submit to.
I can’t help but also consider submission to my husband as we celebrate TODAY 40 years of marriage. I’ve not always done it well, but it has been my heart to honor his leadership. He is the kind of man who makes it easy to submit to, and has never demanded it. He has sought to love me as Christ loves the church. I am grateful for God’s plan for the leadership in the church, as well as within my own home!
Now, back to our leadership voice…How are YOU using your leadership voice? Have you found it? Most importantly we need to ask that God gives us the wisdom of how to use our voices. He gave us that leadership voice and He knows best how we are to use it for His glory and for His Kingdom work.
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