Ministry Life

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Backhanded Compliments and Cold Shoulders

The inevitable effects of envy on our leadership
Backhanded Compliments and Cold Shoulders

When I walked off the stage after giving a talk, a woman leader came up to me with a big smile. She touched my arm, leaned in, and said, “Wow, most of the time I can’t understand your messages at all, but I got so much out of this one. And thanks for not making any of us feel insecure about our beauty by wearing that tonight.” She gave me a hug with a big ...

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When Ministry Is Unfair

A better question than “Why me?”
When Ministry Is Unfair

Editor’s Note: I recently attended a large conference for church leaders. In a breakout session filled with women leaders serving in various roles, I heard heartbreaking stories of being overlooked, minimized, disrespected, and even harassed. They felt this way in their own churches, but especially as attendees at this particular conference. As the women shared their ...

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How Not to Lose Your Identity in Ministry

When I took a break from ministry, I realized I’d lost more than my job.
How Not to Lose Your Identity in Ministry

“What do you do?”

I’d been asked the question a hundred times before, but this time was different.

This time, I didn’t have a job title or a paycheck to inform my answer. I no longer held a position of leadership in ministry, nor did I have a people with whom to exercise my gifts and talents, my callings, and my God-given leanings.

So I didn’t say ...

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I Grew Up with Two Women Pastors

Seeing two women lead our church gave me the freedom to pursue the gifts God had given me.
I Grew Up with Two Women Pastors

I was brought up under the leadership of two women pastors, Sister Opal Eckert and Sister Mary Slaughterbeck. It was a small country church, and God chose these women to mentor me in leadership, especially church leadership. These women knew how to serve others, loving and caring for those around them. They knew their Bibles, not only for information but for transformation. ...

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Ministry Is a Team Sport

Though my instinct is to isolate, I’m learning to let others carry me.
Ministry Is a Team Sport
Flickr/Parker Knight

According to Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, 30 to 50 percent of Americans are introverts. Perhaps this is one reason independent Christianity appeals to many of us. You know the type—the Jesus-and-me mindset where we forge on alone, just us, our Bibles, and our Lord. It’s a good, good life.

Or is it?

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Leading in the Midst of Suffering

I’d helped others through trials and struggles, but dealing with my own was a new challenge.
Leading in the Midst of Suffering

Breathe.

The doctor had just dropped the devastating news: my youngest daughter was not going to live. Only a few hours had passed since I stared in shock while fire destroyed my home with my little girl and her daddy caught inside.

Just breathe.

I struggled to pay attention as the doctor described the details of her death. The lack of oxygen. The brain damage. I tried to focus ...

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Tempted to Compare

One scan of social media left me feeling defeated.
Tempted to Compare

My husband and I decided the time had come to introduce new ministries into our church. We’d planted the church over a year prior, and we now had enough support to build specific ministries for women, men, and youth. We would start small, and grow in God’s timing.

We didn’t expect the ups and downs that we’d experience in the months ahead. Growth came ...

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God Calls All Women

But we don’t all have the same calling.
God Calls All Women

Understanding our identity in Christ gives us purpose. God has a specific purpose for each of us, a unique calling for each individual. Our shared and primary purpose is to become disciples (followers) of Jesus Christ. Our secondary callings are unique and are birthed out of our submission to the primary calling.

The body of Christ misses out when we attempt to force all women ...

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Make a Difference for the Kingdom

Whether or not your name eventually appears in history books, we’re all called to do our part.
Make a Difference for the Kingdom

Editor’s Note: As we wrap up Women’s History Month this week, we want to remind you that you have a valuable role to play in God’s plan—even if your name never appears in history books. Today we celebrate all the women who have fought the fight, lived fully, and loved generously without public recognition, and that includes you. —Amy Jackson

When ...

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We Can't Help Everyone

When it comes to people with mental illness, I have to recognize my limitations.
We Can't Help Everyone

Early in my life, there were countless times I felt left out. Even when I was included, I often felt like I didn’t fit in. Because of this, I am drawn to the needy and disenfranchised, naturally gravitating toward anyone in the room who seems lonely. Many women leaders experience this as well. In my own loneliness, it feels safer to be the one reaching out than the one ...

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