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Dare Mighty Things

A Book Review

Perhaps the four most critical chapters in the book address thoughts and beliefs about gender and leadership. “Whether we realize it or not, we do not think a woman can be both a good woman and a good leader. This discrepancy (called ‘role congruity theory of prejudice’) between our perceptions about good women and good leaders presents a sizeable challenge for female leaders to navigate in order to serve well within their communities.” Additionally, Halee addresses the great (and unrealistic) expectations that we, as women, place on ourselves to either have “it all” at the same time or compare ourselves to other women. She addresses the challenges and concerns associated with our spiritual and physical health, in addition to choices about home, marriage, parenting, and work. She continues the gender discussion by clearly presenting the challenges, conflicts, and history concerning the sexualization of females and how that affects male and female relations. She also presents a third way for Christians to view men and women as co-laborors and allies, and this leads to a balanced approach for building healthy cross-gender ministry relationships.

Finally, she closes with several leadership principles that I would like to see addressed more in Christian literature: courage, love, self-leadership, and devotion to the spiritual disciplines and virtues.

My personal take-aways?

Halee spends a significant amount of time addressing the current state of women’s ministries, how women are not seeing and preparing themselves for leadership, why women are leaving the church, and why the traditional model of women’s ministry is not working for Millennials. I have long shared her conviction that we need to develop a more effective way to minister to women. She proposes the solution of “implementing development programs, establishing mentoring and sponsorship relationships, raising awareness of gender issues, and raising the visibility of female leaders.”

Because of these convictions, I have developed a mentoring ministry for women. Through the church I attended, this ministry was a place to disciple believers on their faith journey, but also served the purpose of identifying, training, and developing new leaders. We led as a team, so relationships were developed, the visibility of female leaders increased, and women were growing together, challenging each other, and not leading in isolation.

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