I wrote a book on what happens when women lead, because it was the resource I went looking for (and couldn’t find) when I was trying to figure out just what ministry leadership ought to look like for someone like me. This book was born out of one burning question that formed over more than two decades of ministry: What barriers do women leaders face, and what strategies will equip them to lead past those barriers so they can lead effectively?
Especially in the early days of my ministry, I noticed that the same time and effort poured into a project did not seem to produce the same results for me as my male colleagues could achieve. I wanted to understand what the difference was (or what the missing link was) between my efforts and theirs, not so I could cry foul but so I could better navigate the work of ministry leadership. After all, who doesn’t want to become more effective at living out what God has given us to do?
For 24 years, I’ve been engaged in pastoral leadership. The challenges I’ve encountered along the way led me to shape that question — what barriers do women leaders face? — and then go searching for answers. The journey led me into conversations with dozens of pastors, ministry leaders, and industry leaders beyond the church — many of them female entrepreneurs. It also sent me diving headlong into business journals, psychological studies, and academic works that explored from a secular perspective the differences between how men and women lead.
What did I discover? For starters, I discovered that yes! … women lead differently than men. Stepping into leadership as a woman is just … different. That isn’t to say that men don’t have their challenges (they certainly do), but women’s leadership comes with its own set of nuances and gray areas. I believe our differences — and our prejudices around those differences — go deeper than psychology or sociology. They are deeply rooted in our fallen systems. So how do women navigate those biases so they can lead effectively in a world that might not change before Jesus comes back? And how can to men support women in that work?
That’s the driver behind When Women Lead. It is a word born out of research to help men and women both better understand the unique leadership challenges of women, for the sake of building a better leader for the cause of Christ. It is a word born out of experience to help women design strategies so they can flourish in life and work. It is a word of encouragement to help women hold more realistic expectations about what is, so they will employ more effective strategies for living into their call. It is also a word of grace for men who want to support women who lead, who believe as I do that God wants everyone on deck who is gifted, called, and anointed for the work of advancing his Kingdom. This book is a word of hope for all those faithful people trying to live out the call to serve Christ well and who crave healthy partnerships in that work.
My deep prayer as When Women Lead launches into the world is that it will be an offering worthy of blessing Christ’s Church. May the next generation of women who serve that cause find joy in leading others because they are better equipped to take this world as it is … and give ’em Jesus.
Order your copy at Seedbed, or wherever books are sold. And thank you, dear friends, for making space for this word and for all the ways you have encouraged and empowered this woman in ministry leadership.