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Monday, March 30, 2009

What makes a woman a great leader?

Recently, I was asked to do some leadership training/teaching for a women’s group. On my own I feel completely inept to take on such a task, but as I look into God’s Word I see that Jesus displayed leadership very clearly. He has given us a beautiful example of leadership to follow.

If we want to be a great leader, we need to look to our Savior. We need to follow hard after Him (and His heart) and the result will be that our leadership will come from a heart of love to those we are leading.

Here are a couple of the things Jesus did to show us how to lead:

Jesus knew that the most important thing about being a leader, was serving the people you are called to lead.
Mark 9:35
Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all."

Note that Jesus tells them this because they were arguing about who was the greatest!
Some things never change huh?
I would have taken this opportunity to give them a talkin’ to and probably called them selfish little brats. Instead, Jesus tells them something that makes them think about their motives and He shows them what their true priorities should be.

Matt 23:11-12
The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Leadership is not about greatness, it is about humility and serving others.

Another leadership cue we take from Jesus is that He knew when to say no.

John 11:2-6
3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, "Lord, the one you love is sick."

4 When he heard this, Jesus said, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." 5 Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.

Quite clearly, Jesus’ answer was no, He would not drop what He was doing and come. But, He had a plan they did not understand.

John 11:14-15
14 So then Jesus told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him."

John 11:40
40 Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"

John 11:43-44
43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

By Jesus saying “no” they were able to see the glory of God through Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.

Sometimes we need to say no. If we don’t, we will be completely out of the will
of God and others will not see the glory of God.

The immediate need is not always the greatest need.

As leaders we need to have discernment about what we commit ourselves to. We need to know if the Lord is directing us or if He is telling us “no” or “wait.”

There are many opportunities to do good things, pray about which good things the Lord would have you do. Our priorities need to be in order, or we could run ourselves ragged doing “the work of the ministry” all the while missing God’s will in our life. And we could end up missing the opportunity for God to receive the glory He so rightfully has due Him!

So…we’ve heard the phrase “man-up” which means to act like the man God created them to be, well I say~

Follow hard (after your God) and lead soft (with love)!


Joan said...

I love that. "Woman Up"

Empowering! Thanks for a great post.


Keri Wyatt Kent said...

Great post, Sue. I'd love to see some examples from women leaders in the Bible, such as Phoebe or Priscilla. As always, some thought-provoking and encouraging words!

Praise and Coffee said...

Thanks Joan and Keri,
I look forward to digging deeper into this with others from God's Word!

TammieFay said...

I really like this..."woman-up!" For me, and maybe there are other women like me, we try to "man-up" when that is not what we were created or gifted to do. Lord, help minister within who You created us to be!

LauraLee Shaw said...

That is a phrase I'll keep on usin, girl! LOVE it! I love the Scriptures you used as well, and the insight between the lines is obviously from the Lord. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us!

Smelling Coffee said...

Follow hard (after your God) and lead soft (with love)!

Great quote, and great wisdom! I'll be remembering that one!

He & Me + 3 said...

I love that quote...I am writing that one down in INK. Great post!

Faye said...


Melissa in Mel's World said...

I am alsmot in tears as I read through your post...I absolutely love that the Lord led me back over here today to hear the words He laid on your heart "for such a time as this".

Girl, you have NO IDEA how you just blessed me, and confirmed my decision to say NO to something that I really really really wanted to do, but felt God telling me to lay it down.

WOW...I LOVE when He does that!!!

I am so snaggin' your little "Woman Up!" saying and running with it...we need to embrace who God created us to be and rise up to be the Women HE wants us to be!

You Go Girl!!! You knocked it out of the park once again.


Denise said...

Lovin' this "woman up"! :)

Mel said...

Terrific post!!! Woman Up!!!

Unknown said...

Very inspiring!! I love that "follow hard (after you God) and lead soft (with love") Great just Great!!!

A Stone Gatherer said...

You should make that into a button! I'm put it on my blog!

Gloria Rodriguez said...

Thank you SO much for YOUR leadership and servants heart. Your blog continues to keep me encouraged. May God bless you mightily.

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