WEEK 8 - Take on Your Culture
Before You Get Started
Can you believe it? This is the last week of your masterclass. This week we prepare you to “Take on Your Culture”.
We hope you have enjoyed learning in this Master Class and we will be praying for you as you develop the female leaders on your team!
We are praying for you!
Video Eight - Take on Your Culture
This Week's Challenge & Discussion Questions...
- Choose 3 actions you can take this week to begin shifting the culture of your team or church. For more ideas, check out the list in Next Steps for Church’s in the Developing Female Leaders book.
- How big of a shift will it be for your culture to begin doing a better job of developing female leaders? What will likely be the biggest area of resistance?
- How fast is your church culture able to change? What are the most important steps you can take to pave the way to changing your culture to be better at developing female leaders?
- From all the suggested list of next steps, which one do you think is the most important to tackle in the next 30 days?
- When it comes to developing female leaders, where do you hope your church could be in 5 years?
- Leadership Network’s Female Leader Groups
This 12-month cohort of twenty female church leaders will meet 3 times in person to receive mentoring, training, and encouragement to lead at high levels in church environments. We bring in select speakers and ministry practitioners to enhance our experience and build their professional network. Click here for an application…
- Female Leadership Coaching
Kadi has personally vetted mature and seasoned female leaders as part of a team of coaches providing individual and group coaching experiences to female ministry leaders all around the country. To learn more about our coaches click here.
Video - Sheterica Cain
Sheterica Cain is the Core Connections Project Manager at Christ Fellowship Church.
Video - Judy West
Judy West is the Pastor of Leadership Development at The Crossing in St. Louis, MO.
Overview - Week 8
Welcome to our final week of the Developing Female Leaders course. I know we’ve covered a lot of material in the past seven sessions. And I pray it’s been helpful in helping you take your next steps as an individual person, and as a leader in your organization.
Today we are going to talk about how you can begin to implement these new mindsets and practices into the culture of your organization.
You’ve probably heard it said that culture eats strategy for breakfast. That is so true, right? We can have all sorts of goals and ideas, but unless the people we lead and the culture we are a part of is One, pliable enough to embrace these new ideas and Two motivated enough to work through the pain of change – we won’t see our vision come to fruition.
There are four main influences in shifting the culture that you’ll need to consider as you begin to be more intentional about developing female leaders.
Our Language and Vocabulary
HOW we say things is often as important as WHAT we say. Take a closer look at the types of words or phrases you commonly use to talk about or address women. There are obviously the negative ones we’ve talked about before such as describing a woman as “bossy” rather than a strong leader. But oftentimes there are subtle distinctions that are reinforcing the wrong culture. For example, describing a woman as a great facilitator rather than a teacher or leader. There has been some research documenting that when a man is introduced to a group of people or even before making a presentation, the host will describe his professional accomplishments and leadership qualities. While for a woman, regardless of what she is speaking about, she will be introduced by who she’s in relationship with, such as who she’s married to or who her friends are, and the traits of her personality, such as friendly, positive, energetic, rather than her accomplishments.
These are subtle differences but, as you can tell, can reinforce the wrong cultural attitudes.
Boundaries around what kinds of behavior we allow and what we celebrate
One of my ministry mentors used to tell me, You get what you celebrate. If you highlight leaders who are doing a good job inviting women into leadership roles and developing them, then you are going to get more of your team doing that. On the other hand, if you allow your leaders to limit women or discriminate against them in any way, you are not only allowing that kind of behavior to remain in your culture, but you are reinforcing that it is acceptable.
Using women in visual ways can do a lot to reinforce your beliefs about a woman’s ability to contribute to your ministry. This is probably the most common practice of churches who have made progress on developing female leaders. Women can be seen leading in all sorts of ways throughout a church – serving on leadership teams, leading projects and initiatives, studying women in the bible as a normal part of your sermon planning, and the most common, placing women in strategic roles in the weekend worship service. This can be as simple as having a woman give the announcements, leading a worship song, praying for the offering, or even teaching the message as a guest speaker.
And finally, Pacing Change.
It’s easy to forget, especially as a leader who has been investigating this topic for a while as you have to go through this course, that not everyone is going to be excited to embrace these changes. Whenever you are leading change of any kind, it is vital that you think through all the important stakeholder and influencers and give them an opportunity to hear what’s on your heart and ask questions about it. I think the most overlooked group of people for this topic is women leaders themselves. It’s easy to assume that all women would easily welcome having more female leaders in their church, but the biggest resistance I have ever had to my leadership has been from other women, especially those who have gone before me. Remember, these are women who have oftentimes been taught that women leading is wrong. They’ve usually had their own gifts squelched and dismissed and made to feel guilty for wanting to serve others through a leadership role. It takes time and clear biblical teaching to help women understand your perspective and embrace the changes you are initiating. Be patient, but be intentional.
As we wrap up our time together in this course, I want to thank you for your willingness to navigate the minefields of this challenging topic. The fact that you are this committed to the process makes me confident that you’ll begin to see some beautiful changes in your team or church. The road may not always be easy, but as you lean into what the Lord is teaching you and calling you to, I know that He will reward your efforts to release the potential of His talented daughters into your ministry. May God’s Kingdom come. If you’d like additional resources or to connect with me personally, please reach out to me through my website Kadicole.com or on social media @kadicole.
Have any questions about this masterclass? Please contact Kate Lincoln on our support team. She’ll be happy to assist!