This monthly feature will give you the inside scoop on our events from backstage passes to interviews with our speakers, here’s what happens In Any Event.
You may not know it yet, but you’re a leader. Yes, you! Whether you’re reading this from a church office, a table in a coffee shop, your living room while your kids are napping, or standing in line at the grocery store, you’re a leader. No matter your job title or years of experience, you have the ability to lead. You have purpose. You have a calling. You have influence.
That’s why every year Lifeway Women offers You Lead—a leadership event right before select live events. At nearly every You Lead event this year someone asked, “When did you know that you were a leader?” Hearing that question made me think about the weight we give to the word “leader”—and rightfully so! It has a great deal of meaning.
If someone asked me that question, I’d say that I knew I was a leader when I was volunteering with a campus ministry in college. My title was “Team Leader,” so it felt pretty safe to call myself a leader at that point. Most answers I’ve heard to that question are along the same lines: “I knew I was a leader when I was given a position of leadership, I had a job title that indicated I led people, or someone pointed out to me that I was a leader.”
However, I’ve learned that leadership is not dependent on a position or on the opinion of others. It has much more to do with your calling. And I don’t just mean your hopes and dreams for your life—I mean the calling you have as a child of God to take the gospel to others. With that kind of calling, you have incredible influence in the lives of those around you.
Here’s the thing about leadership—we all have influence. We all have the potential to make a difference, to lead. Paul talks about this in Hebrews 12:1 when he says, “Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us.” Whether or not you’ve seen the impact you have on others’ lives, you have it.
Leadership is not a matter of going to a ceremony and receiving a medal that says “leader.” Jesus already gave us that! He entrusted us with the greatest leadership opportunity of all time—sharing the gospel. Leadership is a matter of being faithful to our callings wherever the Lord has us. Leadership is a matter of doing the thing that is in front of you, serving where you are, and taking it one step at a time.
Thinking about my leadership journey through that lens, I was leading long before my ministry position in college. I was leading in the way I talked to people in my classes at school. I was leading in the ways that I encouraged and supported my friends. I was leading in the ways that I loved my family. I had influence in the exact place the Lord had me.
The same is true for you. Whether you’re working in the business world, you’re a stay-at-home mom, you’re leading a Bible study for teenage girls, or you’re retired, you have influence. Right where you are, you have influence. Right where you are, you’re a leader.
Because we have influence and because we have purpose, we need to lead well. Remember, we are not left alone. If we are willing to answer this call to lead, the Lord will meet us there. Kelly King talks about a leadership toolbox. What resources do you have as a leader to help you lead others? It is important for us to first go to the Lord for what we need, and also invest in our leadership development so we can invest in others. We need to be poured into so that we can pour out.
Lifeway Women’s leadership events are designed for this exact reason. Wherever you are on your leadership journey, these events will help equip you and offer practical, biblical training for your leadership development.
You Lead is a one-day event (starting in 2019) that is full of leadership content with mixture of general sessions, worship, and breakout sessions. This is an accelerated leadership course that applies to any leader, no matter what stage of leadership she may be in.
At You Lead women will hear from experienced leadership experts who come from a variety of backgrounds, expertise, and workplaces. This team of women travels with us to different cities across the country, so you’ll be learning from the best of the best.
Breakouts range from specific topics such as women’s ministry essentials, leading a Bible study, and building a team to broad topics such as creativity, conflict resolution, and being a leader worth following. You can customize your track with the sessions that you relate to the most. There is also a panel discussion during lunch where speakers answer leadership questions.
We bring this leadership training to your backyard so you can get practical and biblical leadership content in just one day. Click here to find a You Lead near you!
Our biggest leadership event of the year is Lifeway Women’s Leadership Forum held every November in Nashville, TN. This is a two and a half day national conference for all women who lead. Women’s Forum includes a mixture of general sessions with speakers such as Jen Wilkin and Jennifer Rothschild, worship, networking opportunities, and more than twenty breakout options. We cover topics like cultural issues, marriage, working with men, discipleship, and leading in the marketplace. We also feature panel discussions and a variety of dinner conversations. Over fifty speakers come to this event to train women.
One of the best parts of Women’s Forum is gathering with 1,500 women just like you. You’ll have opportunities to learn from each other, connect over a cup of coffee, and fill up your leadership toolbox with practical help and inspiration to take the next step in your leadership journey. Let’s not forget the great food! It is Nashville, after all. So grab your friends and join us for a weekend in Music City. Click here to learn more and register!
You don’t have to wait to lead. Right here and now, you have influence. That passion or dream in your heart, that conflict that is hard to face, that person who needs your help—lead there! Jesus gave you the call to lead. We want to equip you to live out that calling. I hope that you will join us at a leadership event in 2019. The question is where will you lead?
Savannah Ivey is the Event Project Coordinator for Women’s Leadership Training Events at Lifeway Christian Resources. She first came to Lifeway through the intern program, working with the Women’s Leadership Training and Leadership Development teams. Prior to her current role, she served as a member of the Adult Live and Digital Events team. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, where she studied Communications and Psychology. Her background is in student ministry as she served as a team leader for Knoxville Young Life and as the High School Ministry Intern at Sevier Heights Baptist Church in Knoxville. Savannah is passionate about helping equip women in embracing God’s call on their life. She loves conversations with friends, road trips, coffee, and music.