Permission Granted

You may have noticed over the past few weeks that we desire to elevate the conversation about women in ministry leadership. Next week, this conversation will be taking place as an online gathering called (En)Courage on April 26 and 27.

The reason why we think it is one of the most important conversations is because what we believe about our identity and our calling will reveal itself in our ministry. It will have an impact, for better or for worse.

There’s a lot out there about leadership. There’s a lot out there about discipleship. There’s a lot out there about women in business leadership. Yet, there is not much out there that specifically addresses women in ministry leadership.

In a conversation with one of my dear friends who has served in children’s ministry for over ten years, he revealed that he actually never realized that the “leadership playing field” wasn’t the same for the women he served with as it was for him. His wife was the one who pointed it out to him. As he began to look around, he noticed the ways they encountered barriers that he never did. I so appreciated hearing his heart about these things- it was such a beautiful picture of noticing others, asking the right questions, and determining what his part was in that story.

At CPC, we’ve done breakouts and coaching for women in leadership, and they’re always full. It’s a topic that some of us didn’t even know our souls needed to explore until we saw it printed there in our conference handbook… it is a uniqueness that needs more conversation, more open and reflective sharing, more prayer, and more connections made.

See, after constantly hearing and seeing the ways the community wrestles with leadership, with wondering if they are made for this, with truly asking whether it is time to move on or remain, with feeling isolated and alone even when they’re surrounded by a team… we knew we could either address these pain points topically, or we could address the real heart of it.

You’re a whole person. You’re a spiritual, emotional, social, and physical being- created to reflect your Creator. And your identity as a child of God, a disciple of Jesus, a leader in ministry is uniquely tied to and expressed through your femininity. This is why it is vital we have a healthy belief of who and Whose we are:

We don’t rise above what we believe about ourselves. We were designed for covenant relationship (we know His voice) and to represent Him to the world (think Great Commission).”- Jo Saxton

So why do something like (En)Courage? As the group of ladies who are working behind the scenes on this talked about purpose, we landed on this:

We are seeking God for an abundance of courageous women who are fully released in their ministry leadership- mentoring each other, expanding their influence, and creating space for the next generation of young female leaders to go further and farther than we ever could.

Jo has said before, “We often don’t step into our purpose because we’re waiting for permission from someone else.” I wonder what you might be waiting on? What are you holding back on? Are you shrinking back from what God is clearly calling you to because you’re afraid you’re “too much” or “not enough”? Are your expectations wearing you out? Are you needing permission to courageously lead from the abundance of gifts and strengths God has equipped you with?

(En)Courage is one big “permission granted.”

No more apologizing for your God-given gifts. No more holding back on the vision He has entrusted you with. No more diminishing the unique ways He has made you to do this ministry. Your leadership matters. Let’s rise up and lead kids and families to Jesus together.

 

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Like many children’s ministers, I joined the ranks by being an over-eager volunteer turned employee. When I was in the basement volunteering, only 1% of our volunteers were men. I didn’t have a male Sunday School teacher until I was 16 years old. It seems an unspoken rule that children’s ministry leaders are female.

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Your ministry is amazing! You are passionate and dedicated, and you pour out your enthusiasm week after week, month after month, year after year! And yet, sometimes it can feel like you’re the only one who is totally sold out and bought into the mission of reaching kids for Jesus.

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