Why We Need Women to Lead
I am sitting here watching the 2018 Billboard Music Awards, and in Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for Best Female Artist, this is what she said:
"I want to thank all the female artists that paved the way for us to get to do what we do the way we get to do it. All the new female artists who are killing it out there right now, we are so inspired by you. Shout out to the future female artists who just picked up a guitar or learned how to play piano."
Because here’s the truth: Women use their gifts when they see other women use their gifts.
It was true in Taylor’s life, and it has certainly been true in my life. (Because Taylor Swift and I are pretty much the same.)
Growing up I never played baby, Barbie, wedding, or house. I played teacher, and I had my own classroom in the basement of our house. Of course, I was the teacher, and my lucky neighbors were my students. I would give them homework, and get mad if they didn’t do it because I wanted to grade their homework. (I will admit it was a bit aggressive. Sorry about that, Ashley Mack.)
I was in my mid 20’s and a full-time middle school health teacher in the Maryland Public School system the first time I ever attended the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit as a volunteer with my church. I don’t remember a lot about most of the speakers at the Leadership Summit that year, not because they weren’t impactful, but because the one person I remember overshadows everyone else.
A petite, blonde haired woman with cute shoes named Christine Caine took the stage. As she started to tell her story, I quickly realized she may be small, but her lungs were big and her energy was off the charts. She told her story and taught truth from the Bible. I remember sitting there, leaning forward on the edge of my chair, mouth hanging open in awe, and thinking, “I have never seen a woman teach with so much authority, confidence, conviction, and passion. Especially in the church.”Actually, I had never seen a woman teach in church before. And because I never saw a woman teach in the church before this, I never knew teaching in the church was an option for me. I was so captivated by her, by the gift God had given her, and by the way she embraced it. It was inspiring.
I felt like something was birthed in my heart that day. For the first time, I wondered if maybe one day I would get to use the gift God had given me in the church.
After this session concluded, there was a short break, and a woman named Glenda Peacock, who went to my church but I didn’t really know, came up to me and handed me Christine Caine’s book. I looked at her confused. Then she said to me, “I know this feels random, but I couldn’t help but notice how much what Christine Caine was saying was impacting you. I felt like God told me to go buy you this book and give it to you.”
I had no words.
How did she know the thoughts that were going through my mind as I was listening? (Although I’m not really known for being able to hide what I really think about something.)
The truth is she didn’t know what was going on in my head and my heart, but she knew what God was telling her to do, and she listened. And I am so thankful she did. Because she confirmed to me what God was telling me all morning. Her obedience was inspiring to me.
When I look back at my journey into ministry, the turning point for me was seeing Christine Caine using her gifts.
Women use their gifts when they see other women use their gifts.
Lead with confidence.
Even if that’s different than those around you
There’s too much that hangs in the balance.
There is an entire generation of little girls and teenagers who need to know God can use their gifts too.
They are watching.
Don’t ever let somebody else tell you what you should and shouldn’t do with the gifts God has given you.
Can you imagine the impact that could be made on this next generation of girls if they learned to listen to God more than they listen to other people?
Can you imagine the impact on this next generation of girls if they really understood their worth and their potential?
Because the truth is we ALL, men and women, black, white, brown, purple, young and old, we ALL reflect the image of God.
Not half of us.
It takes ALL of us to reflect who God is to the world.
So what’s holding you back?