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 #4: Respect the Past (People, History & Work)
Often when we begin something new, we forget to take into consideration those who have served before us, laid the groundwork and still need to feel valued. We do not intentionally try to make them feel otherwise, but sensitivity in this area will go a long way as we continue to move ministry into the future. If not for women who have gone before us, served, led, prayed…we would not be where we are today with ministry to and with women.
Take the time to honor those who have gone before us, and commission those who are following behind. We must not ever feel this is “our” ministry. It has and always will be God’s. As long as there is an earth and women there will be ministry to women. But the format it takes is always changing. As it does, let’s recognize those who have opened doors for us to serve, recognize the history behind where we are today, and bless the work that has touched lives. Remind all the women of the importance of the past, then move forward at God’s leading and in God’s way.
How have you bridged the gap between history and future for the women in your church?
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