May 2016

Find Your Natural Rhythm

You can’t run full speed all the time.
Find Your Natural Rhythm

There is strength in a song that compels us to respond with clapped hands, lifted voices, stomped feet, and waving arms. There is power in a song that can pull on our emotions—make us shed a tear or reflect on an old memory. Sometimes a good tune makes us jump up and dance. It reminds us that we have soul, that we know a little something about rhythm and perhaps blues. ...

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My Depression Is Not Wasted

What Gillian Marchenko learned when mental illness mixed with ministry
My Depression Is Not Wasted

Editor’s Note: As Mental Health Awareness Month comes to a close, we’re catching up with Gillian Marchenko to hear what she’s learned about ministering with depression. Whether or not you’ve experienced mental health issues, I know you’ll gain wisdom from her hard-won experiences. And if you do struggle, know there is hope. —Amy Jackson

Gillian ...

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The Weight of Stress in Ministry

Women are three times as likely to experience depression.
The Weight of Stress in Ministry

Each person in leadership has a certain amount of stress. Stress can’t be avoided completely. However, when stress is unmanaged, it can lead to serious health problems. The impact on our health may include high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, headaches, muscle tension or pain, chest pain, fatigue, changes in sex drive, stomach upset, and sleep problems. ...

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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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The True Source of Our Authority

We can’t depend on our education, willpower, or gifts.
The True Source of Our Authority

“Study Scripture. Paul did not allow women to teach or preach in the churches. Keep studying, God is not liberal.”

It’s unsettling to get this Facebook message from a total stranger. It’s even more unsettling to receive it six times in one day. The unfortunate truth is that most women in ministry receive some version of this in their inboxes on a regular ...

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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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The Power of Questions

The one leadership tool you’re probably forgetting.
The Power of Questions
Image: Ford Asia Pacific/Flickr

Most influential leaders will tell you that reading, thinking, and making sound decisions are critical elements of leadership. What they might fail to mention is these exchanges are informed by how well we listen, who we listen to, and how we interact with ideas. Leadership hinges on the ability to ask good questions.

Jesus was the master of well-placed questions. “Who ...

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Motherhood Changed My Image of God

When my understanding of God changed, so did my leadership.
Motherhood Changed My Image of God
Image: Provided by the author

What we believe about God impacts every part of us, shaping every aspect of our lives. Whether consciously or unconsciously, our mental picture of God influences our thoughts, feelings, decisions, and actions. Our assessments about God’s character—even if they’re false—form the foundation from which we build our self-identity and determine how we relate ...

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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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