I wanted to make sure you didn’t miss this great response to our blog post, Older and Younger Women’s Leaders Working Together. Meredith, who serves with Women’s Life Fellowship, is a 29 year old who has worked with women older than her since her early twenties in ministry both in church, and now at a local nonprofit. I just had to share with you her thoughts to make sure you didn’t miss it in the comments part of the original post.
Meredith shares what she believes that the older leaders have done right:
- Encouraged me to get involved in the first place
- Recognized gifts I had that they did not and were willing to give up one of their “jobs” if I could do it better
- Verbally told me of my value to them
- Were willing to share personal things with me and made it to where it felt like we were more like equals instead of me “working for” someone who always had the answer just by virtue of them being older
- Asked me for advice and my perspective
- Willing to share the “why’s” of doing things a certain way instead of expecting me to just do it because that’s what was done
- Willing to do it differently if I had an idea that might work
Here is what Meredith believes she has done right:
- Had a genuine desire to learn from them
- Willing to be involved anywhere instead of looking for a title or a specific role
- Tried to be an encouragement to older ladies and honor them
- Was transparent with my struggles and weaknesses
- Willing to be faithful
Meredith is also willing to share what she has done wrong:
- Became defensive when an older lady pointed out areas of weakness in myself or my ideas
- Failed to be on time or as reliable because it wasn’t important to me (even though it was to them)
- Gotten frustrated at having to get their approval over ideas and plans
- Lacked humility
- Forgotten/ignored the true value of age and experience
Now, older women, I wonder what you would say that that maybe you have done wrong?
Here are a few of my thoughts and things I’ve done wrong:
- Not always tried to see from the younger woman’s perspective, her influences, and the cultural context in which she grew up
- Not willing to spend the time it takes to invest in her, teach her the ropes even as I listen to her ideas
- Not always willing to risk the failure of doing it different… her way
- Lacked humility
- Gotten frustrated that she didn’t see my point of view
What else would you add?
Thanks so much, Meredith, for your honesty and for sharing your experiences and insight in helping generations work together effectively for the Kingdom!