Through the Eyes of a Woman: What I’ve Learned Over the Past 15 Years on Gender, Leadership, and the Church, Part 2

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As a woman who has felt disappointment more than once in the church, my hope nevertheless remains strong.

In Part 1, I talked about my own journey of entering the evangelical world as a female. Sure, there have been challenges, but moreso, I’ve learned a few lessons that I hope will encourage women to live into their calling and encourage male leaders to provide space for that to happen.

And here’s the thing: as long as women are exposed to a secondary status in our evangelical subcultures, it is impossible for all of us to experience the sense of authentic love we are all meant to have towards another. The prejudice I experienced in those early days in the evangelical world were disheartening. They impacted my leadership and my faith in real ways.

This may sound negative. But it’s not.

In fact, that secondary status that I have felt in countless ways over the years has made the face of Christ clearer to me. It’s made his mission in my life more focused and his leadership style more attainable. Because as I’ve drawn near to him with the hard questions like What is it about this evangelical bubble I entered? I’ve heard his answers—some of which have shocked me; others which have inspired me.

Let me share just a few key observations gleaned over the past 15 years.

First, a true leader in Christ’s church is marked by servanthood.

All four Gospels scream of the servant heart of Jesus. As cornerstone and head, his model and his alone is the only one to look towards. Any leadership style built on a foundation of ego and self-promotion and grandeur is antithetical to the call of the shepherds of the church.

Only a long and thoughtful assessment of the difficult questions such as “What do I get up for in the morning?” “What is my ultimate goal?” and “What do I want …

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