J. Lee Grady might spend his days editing Charisma magazine, but away from his desk, you might find him on Orlando's Incredible Hulk roller coaster—his favorite ride—maybe with one of his four daughters. He points to a photo of his daughters on his desk as the reason he spends half of his time now on a ministry focusing on women.
In his Orlando-based office, dirt fills shot glasses on the bookcase, pushpins fill the map on the wall, and souvenirs from Africa, Asia, and Europe surround the computer.
The souvenirs come from the places Grady has traveled, the pushpins mark the visits, and the dirt reminds him of each place he has set foot.
The collectibles represent memories of his ministry called the Mordecai Project, devoted to empowering women to fill leadership positions in their churches. Grady has been a longtime proponent of women in leadership, having written 10 Lies the Church Tells Women in 2000. The ministry has propelled Grady to speak in 21 countries, taking his voice to a more international level.
"I think that God has opened a door for Lee to be a prophetic voice that goes beyond the magazine," Charisma publisher Steve Strang told CT. "It gives him a base and has given him a voice to write, but he's been invited to speak to the nations."
Just 8 percent of all congregations in the United States are led by women, according to the National Congregations Study. Although the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement has historically supported women pastors, Grady still believes some independent congregations need to encourage women in their churches to become leaders.
"Sometimes women asking for their rightful place end up sounding self-serving," Grady said. "It's very healing for a man to speak about these issues because ...