5. Discern when to move on.
If you have done the steps above with no cooperation or understanding from the men you work with, it may be time to move on. While my hope is that we can be conduits of unity and growth for our teams, sometimes others aren’t ready to embrace the same values. If you find yourself serving on a team or for a leader who doesn’t respect you—and it’s damaging your relationship and ability to work together—then it may be best for both of you that you move on to work with a team or an organization where you feel valued and heard.
Gender dynamics are real and very prevalent in our culture and churches today. While there’s still work to be done, I’m quite hopeful because I’ve seen great growth and progress for women in church leadership in the last decade. While terms like “mansplaining” give us language for some of the issues we face, we also must be cautious with labeling because it can actually perpetuate the divide.
Ladies, you have important things to share. You have gifts, talents, and experiences that have equipped you to be at the table. Please, don’t shrink back from your arena of influence. We need you! Seek to build trust and respect. Be courageous and confident. Speak with truth and grace. Be passionately committed to work together—brothers and sisters—for the good of others and the glory of God.
Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach. She has also served as an executive leader at both Menlo Church in Menlo Park, California, and Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee. Excerpts of this article are from Jenni’s book The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership: The Power of Leading from Your Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength.