Effective Leadership

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How to Minister to People Who Don’t Like You

Eight tips to love the hard-to-love.
How to Minister to People Who Don’t Like You

I have always been committed to obey the call of God no matter what. I was committed when I was ordained and released to plant a church in a community that didn’t approve of women in ministry. I was committed when someone actually threatened my life if I followed through with the church plant. I was committed when Johnnie—my husband, my greatest supporter, and ...

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Calling Is Not as Mysterious as You Think

A letter to young women in leadership
Calling Is Not as Mysterious as You Think

Dear Young Leader:

Have you found your calling?

If you’re like me, you’ve spent some time thinking about this question. And if you’re like I was a while back, you aren’t sure how to answer. You may find yourself in circumstances you’ve largely fallen into, not sure exactly how you came to be there, how you’ve been there for as long as you ...

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Religious Freedom Lessons from the Quakers

What a 17th-century woman leader taught me about fighting for freedom—for all
Religious Freedom Lessons from the Quakers

I’m not a Quaker, but the Quakers are a big part of my family history. My mother’s family came to America with William Penn, the Quaker who founded Pennsylvania. As a result, the Quakers loomed large in my imagination when I was growing up. As a young teenager I became interested in the abolitionist movement of the 1800s, and I was delighted to find that the Quakers ...

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Five Ways to Respond to Mansplaining

You’ve been invited to the table for a reason, and your team needs to hear what you have to say.
Five Ways to Respond to Mansplaining

You got invited to an important ministry team. You come prepared to your first meeting eager to engage and share your ideas. You’re thankful for a seat at the table and excited for the opportunity to serve. Despite your excitement and hope leading up to the meeting, however, you leave the meeting completely second-guessing yourself, wondering why you were even there. ...

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Encourage More Women to Lead

Regardless of theology, we need to empower more women to use their gifts in the local church.
Encourage More Women to Lead

I’m not here to convince people to change their theological stance on the role of women in pastoral ministry. What I would like to ask everyone to consider, however, is:

How can I maximize the gifts and talents of women given the particular theological context of my church?

To encourage more women to lead (whether in the hospitality ministry, the women’s ministry, ...

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Ministry Misfit

Can a pastor be an introvert?
Ministry Misfit

I grew up in a church that didn’t support women in ministry. So when God started tugging my heart toward vocational ministry, it took me a long to time to understand what was going on. With no visible examples of women leading in the church, I had a difficult time picturing what church leadership could look like for me. Thankfully, in college and graduate school I was ...

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The Truth About Sexism in the Church

And how to keep it from breaking you down.
The Truth About Sexism in the Church

The truth about sexism in the church needs to be heard, it needs to be told, and it needs to be called out. It should be devastating that you will experience sexism when it comes to your call to ministry. It should be devastating that the one institution on which you depend to be the most vocal about fighting sexism is the most resoundingly silent. It should be devastating ...

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Preaching in the Midst of Tragedy

In four years of pastoral ministry, I’ve had to preach through four national tragedies.
Preaching in the Midst of Tragedy

Moments before Sunday service, I received a knock on the door of my study. An usher peeked her head around the door and said, "Your father wanted me to give you this message: After you left for church the news report revealed that the death toll has risen from 20 to 50.”

Then she closed the door.

At 10:55 AM, I put my head on my desk and began to weep.

At 11:00 AM, ...

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Wounded Leaders Wound Others

The negative effects of leading with unmet intimacy needs.
Wounded Leaders Wound Others

A life-giving leader understands the difference between being led by the Spirit of God and being driven out of an unmet need. A ministry or church that is personality-driven is usually led by a person who has a deep need for approval stemming from a fear of failure and rejection. A prevailing sense of worthlessness is often manifested in ministry by a need to achieve, perform ...

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How to Get People to Respect Your Leadership

Start by making a believer of yourself.
How to Get People to Respect Your Leadership

You go home and flop on the couch, feeling the tension that has built in your body. Another day of frustration and indignity, fighting to be heard and recognized, all while wondering why you have to work so hard to be taken seriously.

Do you wish others would accept you and respect you in your leadership role? Do you frequently feel dismissed, ignored, or overlooked? How many ...

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