Women are looking for leaders who are real and approachable. Gone are the days when women desire to follow the “perfect” leader or the leader who is “oh so together.” Women are looking for leaders who struggle in their daily lives to love Jesus with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength – yet are fiercely in love with Jesus and unwilling to give sin, flesh, or the devil one inch of spiritual ground.
As a leader myself, I find this truth both freeing and frightening. Knowing that I don’t have to have it all together is helpful. I get frustrated with my kids. I eat too much when I am stressed. I am selfish with my time. Should I go on? Yet, I can’t imagine loving anyone more than I love Jesus!
Sometimes it’s frightening to be authentic and vulnerable with the people we lead and serve. We can try to hide our flaws and fall into the trap of thinking we must have it all together. Thankfully, Jesus offers freedom to everyone— including leaders. We don’t have to be perfect. Instead, we can be real!
How about you? Are you ready to be vulnerable with the people you lead and serve? If so, consider these five steps:
- Be Real: The number one need in your life is Jesus. It’s not to have it all together or to implement a perfect ministry plan. Instead, it’s to grow in your love relationship with Jesus so your life is conformed to the image of Christ. “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son.” Romans 8:29, (NIV)
- Be Approachable: One of the best ways to serve women is to get involved in their lives in an up-close way. This means you take time to get to know them. It also means you miss them when they are gone. An easy way to be approachable is to provide a way for women to contact you when they have a prayer request or need. You can provide a cell number and email address or a way to leave a message at the church office. Simple friendliness goes a long way with women.
- Be Honest: Let the people you serve know you need them to be involved in the ministry. This is not a ministry that is solely for them. Rather, this is a ministry designed to bring glory to God, bring spiritual enrichment to all women, promote the overall growth of the church, and provide an avenue to spread the Gospel message. As a result, all the women in the church need to play a role. God created us to serve as a body of believers, giving us different gifts. We need each other, and everyone needs a chance to be involved. “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts, and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.” 1 Corinthians 12:12, (NIV)
- Be Informed: Look for ways to support the overall mission and vision of the church. Women’s ministry will not be effective if it’s isolated and focused on itself. The ministry must complement the direction of the church. As the leader, you set the tone. You need to be informed about all aspects of the church and look for ways to support other ministries going on in the church.
- Be Fun: Sometimes, leaders find it hard to relax and enjoy life. (I am guilty of this one!) I always have a “to-do” list nearby, and I typically work on more than one project at a time. Sometimes it’s hard for me to relax and have fun with the women I serve. It’s not uncommon for me to miss the blessing of the moment (whether at a lunch date or standing in the hall of a church having a quick chat) because I am thinking about all the things going on around me or all the things I am not getting done. Here is the challenge that has helped me: just relax, have fun, and enjoy the ride!
How exciting to know that as we follow Jesus in real and approachable ways, other women are encouraged in their faith! As leaders, let’s commit to living an authentic and vulnerable life before Jesus and with others.