Are you a woman who leads? Maybe you don’t see yourself as a leader, but God has you leading someone right where you are. Maybe it’s your kids, your friends, or the teenager next door. Maybe it’s a Women’s Ministry, a team at work, or a small group. This series—led by our women’s ministry specialist Kelly King—will help you no matter where you lead, and whether you’re leading one or one thousand.
I don’t remember the moment when I embraced the notion that I was a leader. Was it in high school when I became editor of the school yearbook? Was it in college when I was elected president of the women’s glee club? Was it when I led my first Bible study? As I look back on my younger years, I don’t think the term “leader” was something I embraced. I’m not even sure it was something I sought.
I think I’m in good company. I’m not sure Esther sought the role of saving the people of Israel from annihilation. I doubt Miriam had any idea she would lead alongside Moses on the day she offered a nursemaid when Pharaoh’s daughter rescued her baby brother out of the Nile. I’m confident Priscilla was content to minister alongside her husband Aquila, only to find herself discipling the apostle Paul. These women and others throughout Scripture embraced positions of leadership and impacted their family, their community, and the course of history and eternity.
So, what makes you a leader? Maybe you don’t see yourself as a leader, but leading in some capacity is for everyone. You don’t have to be on stage to lead well. Whether you consider yourself a leader, have the desire to lead, or aren’t really sure how leadership fits into your day, here are three ways you can be obedient to God’s purpose in your life.
1. Ask the Lord to lead you first. If you are going to be a leader who has spiritual impact, submit yourself to the authority of the Lord each day. Search for guidance, direction, and discernment as you spend time in His Word. Psalm 119:130 says, “The revelation of your words brings light and gives understanding to the inexperienced.”
2. Accept the place where you are currently leading. It’s easy to dream of future leadership positions yet miss the place where God is currently working in your life. Are you just out of college trying to figure out what to do next or working in a job that seems beneath you? Embrace the place where God has put you. Work hard at the assignment you’ve been given, and trust Him with your future. Are you a stay-at-home mom yet you have a deep calling for ministry? Take the first step and lead as a volunteer. Be a listener and a learner and trust in God’s timing. Are you an empty nester asking the Lord for a new assignment? Remind yourself of Philippians 1:6, “I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Remember there is a greater need to lead ten than to lead thousands. Besides, your impact in leading ten women can be greater than leading the masses.
3. Act on the opportunities you are given. One of my favorite outdoor activities is hiking. Our family spends a small portion of our summer in the mountains of Colorado each year. Each time I take a hike, I’m reminded of the thin air and the importance of staying on the path. One summer, I was determined to hike to the peak of a nearby mountain. My husband and I began the journey before daylight. A well-worn path marked the first few hours, but as we neared timberline, the path turned to shale and slippery rocks. I found myself moving forward just a few steps at a time, using my hands to grip the rocks in front of me. Taking a break, my husband and I stopped to consider where our steps had taken us. Five hours of one step in front of another led us to breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. As I reflect on that experience, I’m reminded that our leadership is similar to that hike. We must move forward on the path God has provided, taking one step at a time. The journey isn’t always easy and it takes time. It can be filled with roadblocks and unknowns. Yet, the result is seeing the beauty of where your leadership journey takes you. I’m reminded of Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.” Trust in the leadership path God has marked for your life, and take it one step at a time.
Are you ready to lead well? Get training at events like YOU Lead around the country and Women’s Leadership Forum this November in Nashville, TN. At Women’s Forum, you’ll sit under teaching from Beth Moore, Lysa TerKeurst, and many more solid, biblical leaders.
Kelly King is the Women’s Ministry Specialist for LifeWay Women. She and her husband, Vic, have been married for more than 28 years and have enjoyed serving together in ministry both teaching in student ministry for 25 years and teaching young married adults. They have two young adult children, Conner and Courtney, and a son-in- law, Gaige. They enjoy kayaking, having people in their home, and cheering for the Oklahoma City Thunder. A good day includes mocha lattes, Mexican food, and shopping for bargains.