As women’s leaders we desire to build effective and strong teams. But at times this is a daunting task. I love how Sheila West has given us 3 great pointers about dynamic leaders.
Over the years I have worked with women and have encountered many dynamic women leaders. I find myself hanging on their every word. I find it so invigorating to spend time with them serving or just sitting over a cup of coffee gleaning insights from their experience. On the other hand, through the years I have also met some women in positions of authority that have mediocre leadership skills. Good women. Caring women. But women who seem more drained than dynamic in their leadership. I have found myself looking for a way to escape the heavy load they are trying to put off. How can you ensure that those on your leadership teams, and you yourself, fall into the first category?
Here are three insights I have gained into women that fall into the first category.
- They are sensitive to their calling. They are driven by a passion of purpose, not the pressure of projects, people, or a position. So often women in leadership serve because they have been put into a slot that no one else filled. Or, a person has sought out a leadership position but the motives may not have been truly “heartily unto the Lord” but needing to personally feel good about who they are. Regardless, there is an important ingredient missing – passion that comes from HIS calling. There is nothing more invigorating than responding to what God is doing and asking you to do with him. When exhaustion comes, there is still and exhilaration. “Yay God! I get to do this” instead of ”I’ve got to do this” is still the heart beat of ministry. It is not pressure to perform, to finish a project, pressure by people or a desire for position.
- They are living a synchronized lifestyle. The leader’s life is first and foremost in sync with God. The pressures and busyness of life are not keeping her from seeking those intimate moments with the Father as she walks through the day. She knows that her strength comes from God and that she needs to be fed by His Word, nourished by times of communion with Him, and empowered by His Spirit. Remember, Martha, Mary’s sister. When she reprimanded Jesus because her sister was at his feet, not helping her, His response to her was not about her service. But her sequence of service. She had been too busy to worship before she worked.
- They embrace shared leadership. Sometimes the drained, not dynamic, leaders are those who are trying to do too much. This is particularly true when a leader delegates and never lets go. There is joy in sharing the process with others. Control of the ministry or the team shouldn’t be a heavy burden but the synchronized movement of many of God’s hands and feet coming together in unity to accomplish God’s plan. This mindset keeps the momentum going without running out of steam. These women are always telling stories about those they are mentoring or those that come along side. In a normal conversation their verbiage includes more we than me.
Sheila has been involved in women’s ministry for over 25 years, serving as Director of Women’s Ministry for over 20 years in the local church. She is presently on staff at Heritage Community Church, Fruitland Park, Florida as Director of Spiritual Growth and Ministry Mobilization and Women’s Ministry Coordinator. She is the founder of Real Living Ministries, a speaking, teaching, and leadership development ministry to women. Sheila is also a contributing author to Transformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level, Revised and Expanded edition. Sheila has appeared on numerous Christian radio and television broadcasts, including The 700 Club, and 100 Huntley Street. She is the author of Beyond Chaos, published by NavPress and is a LifeWay Ministry Multiplier. She and her husband, John, are the parents of two and proud grandparents of seven. Follow her on Twitter https://twitter.com/SheilaWestSez
Jesus on Leadership – Gene Wilkes
The Team that Jesus Built – Janet Thompson
On Track Leadership – John Kramp