Church Life

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Please Don’t Make Me Feel Used

Crossing the line between friendship and ministry
Please Don’t Make Me Feel Used
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“I don’t know if you’ll be able to help me with this, Cara,” Amalia* said in a voicemail, “But I’d love your insight on something.” There was a pause. Then she asked me to call her back.

I was so grateful when we finally connected. An acquaintance had reached out to her to get to know her better, asking to hang out. Amalia, who is a ...

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Did I Hear God Right?

Just because you feel like a failure doesn’t mean you weren’t called by God.
Did I Hear God Right?
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I first stepped on African soil nine years ago. I traveled to Ghana, West Africa, for a short-term mission trip, and my heart was changed forever. After my amazing experience, I longed to be a full-time missionary. When the timing seemed right, I left my career, sold my car, gave away most of my possessions, and moved to Ghana. I loved every second of being a missionary, I ...

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Moving Forward After a Difficult Week

Unity may indeed be needed after the election, but it’s okay to grieve first.
Moving Forward After a Difficult Week
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The shocking election results have created much conversation in Christian circles, especially among women leaders. Some are feeling grief, shock, and even fear. Moving forward in a healthy way requires that we first allow ourselves to experience those emotions, sitting with them even when it’s uncomfortable. In this difficult week, we turned to women leaders to share ...

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Rise Above the Double Standard

Women leaders are forced to find an impossible golden mean between too much and not enough.
Rise Above the Double Standard
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In a previous ministry, I had a fairly standard and polite disagreement over email with a coworker. It wasn’t heated or contentious, just a discussion about how to use a Greek word. I copied the others from our earlier meeting to keep them in the loop.

“Tough emails, huh?” one observed hours later.

“Which ones?”

“The ones during your catfight ...

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Bring Your Full Self to the Table

When we allow God to use our full identity, amazing ministry can follow.
Bring Your Full Self to the Table
Image: Nate Meeds

Do you ever find yourself wondering how you ended up in full-time ministry—but can’t imagine yourself doing anything else? Have you ever looked back at the threads of your life and marveled at the seamlessness of God’s handiwork and precision, time and time again?

These questions are at the heart of Insil Kang’s story. A 30-something Korean-American ...

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Overcoming Gender Bias

Melinda Gates on how to be a successful woman leader
Overcoming Gender Bias
Image: Courtesy of the Gates Foundation

I did something the other day that I immediately regretted. Worse, it was in front of my 2-year-old daughter. I had come down with a nasty head cold that turned into a nasty chest cold, and my daughter, who already shows an incredible amount of empathy, looked at me with concerned eyes as I coughed yet again. I didn’t want her to be worried, so I did what any good parent ...

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13 Tips for Women Church Planters

Beyond where to plant and what strategy to use
13 Tips for Women Church Planters
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When planting a church, many leaders focus on the plethora of organizational decisions that must be made. For instance, how will you prepare yourself: seminary training, extensive reading, studying church planting strategies, or an apprenticeship? You’ll also need to decide whether to plant independently or with a denomination, where to plant, how to finance the church, ...

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Ministry after Becoming a Mom

Is it possible to balance two full-time callings?
Ministry after Becoming a Mom
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I have two major callings on my life: motherhood and ministry. Navigating these callings simultaneously can be challenging to say the least. Most days I feel successful with one and a failure with the other. Then there are days where I feel I have failed miserably at both. So on those rare occasions when I feel like I can maintain that delicate balance, I celebrate.

As a little ...

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When Calling Causes Conflict

Many women face opposition in their calling—whether overt, covert, or internal.
When Calling Causes Conflict
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Few of us will step into our calling without some level of opposition or conflict. Sometimes, the opposition is overt and impossible to overlook. Karen* felt called to study theology. When the opportunity finally came for her to attend seminary, however, she faced intense resistance from her family. They eventually issued her an ultimatum: quit seminary or they’d stop ...

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Don't Be That Woman

Culture wants to caricaturize women leaders. But God sees us in a different light.
Don't Be That Woman
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Recently a man told me I should stop interfering.

I didn’t take it well.

Soon after that interaction, I came across a collection of anti-suffragette postcards featured on The Huffington Post. One postcard shows a room full of buck-toothed, bug-eyed women with the text: “At the suffragette meetings you can hear some plain things—and see them too!” The ...

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