What does it take to be a good leader in women's ministry?
To "Be" or not To "Be"
Posted November 9, 2015
I get questions all the time from women's leaders about how to be a good leader. Usually the questions revolve around skills or knowledge that these women may or may not have.
I think that skills and knowledge are important when it comes to women's ministry, but I am more and more inclined to think that when it comes to women’s leaders much of becoming a good one is all dependent on behavior.
How do you act? What do you say? How do you treat others? What kind of person are you? What type of leader do you want to be?
I want to share some things with you today and first I want to start with some ways to "be" that we want to stay away from. They shouldn't have any part in women's ministry—doing these things will hinder what we want to accomplish for the Lord.
Not To Do (or how not to be)
Our first thing to avoid as a leader is berating others. Berating is when we reprimand or scold someone in an angry way. It doesn't matter whether we do it publically or privately. It is not how we should conduct ourselves as Christians.
There might be times when as a leader we may need to take charge and discuss a situation when needed but we need to go about it in the right way. Berating people will not accomplish anything.
It only causes resentment, hurt feelings, and stirs up anger in those it is directed at. It also sometimes affects people who are not directly involved but are looking on at the situation.
It is sad to say but I have seen this done in women's ministry a few times over the years. It is not pretty. I am sure you all know what belittling is. It is basically making someone or something seem "little".
As leaders we don't want to make anyone in our groups feel or seem unimportant. We don't want to lessen the contributions of others either.
I think that belittling stems from pride. You know what I mean? Some people think making someone else seem less important makes them more important. That's pride. We have to watch about trying to swell our own heads.
Begrudging is simply envying. Women's leaders should not begrudge the ladies in their groups, whether it is begrudging positions they maintain or their responsibilities. Maybe someone has a position or responsibility you wanted. Or maybe you are jealous of the praise someone else receives. You have to get past it and give it over to the Lord.
I think this one kind of hits home with some of us leaders who give responsibilities to others then begrudge them when they don't do things exactly as we would have done. Or, how about when they do it better?
The actual definition of besmirch is to "cause harm or damage to (the reputation of someone or something) Merriam-Webster. I think this one revolves all around us getting our tongues under control. We have got to watch what we say in regard to others. Don't put a stain on someone.
Betrayal is such a terrible thing. Sometimes it is done in such an innocent looking way, just like Judas when he betrayed Jesus with a kiss.
As a women's leader we have to be so careful about this, especially when it comes to the confidences that our ladies share with us. Don't let things others have shared with you or that you have knowledge of slip out of your mouth intentionally or unintentionally.
Just like besmirching, this one also revolves around that wicked old tongue we carry around with us.
The Sin Factor
Did you notice that all five of these things have one factor in common? They all stem from sin—anger, pride, envy, and wagging tongues. We have got to get sin under control when it comes to becoming the type of leaders we should be.
Okay, now that we have looked at some things we want to avoid being, let's look at some positive things to do.
To Do (or how to be)
I think all women's leaders should make friends with all the ladies in their group and church. I'm not saying you have to be "best" friends with everyone but showing yourself friendly can have a great impact.
Friends help each other. They encourage. They support. They pray for each other. A friend is a great thing to be.
On the opposite side, we need to avoid making enemies. Things will run much smoother if we build relationships on friendships and fellowship.
Okay. This isn't a word we use much anymore. I mostly think about it as in old poems. Maybe we should get back to it though and start doing a lot more "bethinking". It merely means to reflect on something and to think about it.
You know as well as I do that so many problems in our women's groups could be avoided if we would just reflect a little more. We have to think before we speak. We have to think before we act.
Isn't that what all parents tell their children? "Behave!" It is what the Lord tells us to do as well. When it boils down to it, the Bible is a handbook of how to behave. When we are serving in women's ministry it is imperative that we be obedient to the Lord.
Look at the problems that ensue when we are walking out of step with the Lord and not following His commands. It messes us up personally and it messes up our leadership.
First of all we need to trust God. We need to grow our faith. Believers build up that relationship with the One they believe in. We have work at knowing God better and staying in His Word. It will deepen our faith.
Trusting God is a given, but when we are leading women, next we are going to have to start trusting the decisions of others. We are going to have to do it wisely of course, but there are times that we are just going to have to believe in people.
I know that is hard for some of us but women's ministry cannot be about a women's leader, director, or just those that hold an office. It is bigger than that. We have to allow others to use their talents and grow by participating in serving the Lord.
We are going to have to delegate more, perhaps hand off some jobs, and allow others room to serve. Sometimes we just have to put some faith in people to accomplish some things on their own.
This is yet another one of those old forgotten words. It basically means to act appropriately or suitably. The dictionary meaning is "to be necessary, proper, or advantageous" (Merriam-Webster).
As leaders we need to weigh things carefully. We need to do what is fitting and necessary when making decisions in regard to our leadership roles. We have to remember that we are serving a great and mighty God and keep that before us at all times. It should "behoove" us to go about our planning and decisions with glorifying the Lord always at the forefront of our minds.
I'm sure you've heard that old army saying, "Be all you can be". As women's ministry leaders we need to be all we can be when it comes to serving the Lord. We have got to concentrate on setting aside the things we know we shouldn't be taking part in such as the things I mentioned--berating, belittling, begrudging, besmirching, and betraying.
You will notice that all these things I mentioned that we don't want to do revolve around how we treat others. We have got to start living with others in view. Remember what Jesus said?
...Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:40
I think if we could just get that living for others down pat, all these other things will fall into place. When we look on others with compassion and concern, it will be easy for us to befriend people. It will come naturally.
What about behaving? It is a given that we can lead others better if we have things right with our own lives first. As for that "bethinking" thing, caring for people's feelings and their spiritual well-being will make thinking before we act just happen.
Believing and building our faith will cause our spiritual lives to be stronger. When we are strong spiritually, we are going to want others to grow in their spiritual lives as well. Loving others is what serving our great God is all about so that "behooving" will fall in line as well.
Others, Lord, yes others,
Do you know that old hymn, "Others"? Here is the chorus, but if you aren't familiar with it; look it up. It contains some great lyrics.
Let this my motto be,
Help me to live for others,
That I may live like Thee.
Charles D. Meigs
I think that when we start living with others in mind, we will start being that leader that we want to "be".
Copyright ©2015 Julia Bettencourt
Scripture References are from the King James Version.
Be flexible! All of our planning and preparing are terrific things, but we also need to be flexible and have the ability to roll with the punches so to speak.
This is a submitted tip from the Super Women's Ministry Tips Download (PDF)
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