Every Sunday, I go to church, hoping someone will notice me. As the sermon concludes, I wonder if it will be a catalyst for us to grow and do more for Christ. Yet, I leave thinking, “They don’t see me.
As a seasoned female entrepreneur, I am doing tremendous work outside the church. Sadly, my experience, passion, and talents remain idle inside. It’s frustrating to be an extraordinary leader who seems invisible to church leadership. I feel I am only wanted for roles that limit my strengths, provide no opportunity for creativity and individualism, and essentially bore me.
So, every Sunday, nothing changes.
Multiplication or Familiarity
What if I am one of the people Jesus has placed in your congregation to help solve complex issues or motivate people to serve passionately? What if I could breathe fresh life into old programs or help create an outreach program that touches thousands? Churches could be missing chances for multiplication because certain people don’t fit the mold of what church staff or volunteers have looked like over the years.
Are we willing to see beyond tradition and the familiar for the greater good of the Kingdom?
The Bible is clear that Jesus elevated women within His ministry in radical ways. He broke tradition constantly when it came to women. Consider those who traveled with Jesus and his disciples and gave out of their wealth to support them (Luke 8:2-3). Mary of Bethany was allowed to sit at Jesus’s feet and learn, a place of honor designated for men (Luke 10:39). Mary Magdalene was the first to see the risen Savior and was commanded by Jesus to tell Peter and the others (John 20:17-18). Lydia nurtured a house church in Philippi (Acts 16).
What is Leadership?
John Maxwell states: “Leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.” Jesus has also given women influence. As members of the body of Christ, this influence is necessary, creditable, and a true gift. There are real movers and shakers in our congregations who are women. What they could bring to the table defies all human identifiers, such as gender, race, and age. Are you ready to unleash their influence and watch your church grow because unity among all members is powerful?
Your Hidden Resource
There is no denying that wherever the gospel spread, women were usually involved. Paul called out and encouraged as many women as he did men when writing his letters to the growing Church. These women had to have skills, finances, or influence to do what they did. Women are sitting in our congregations like Lydia, Phoebe, and Priscilla. They have internal and external resources that could help grow the church. Are you willing to allow them to work within and alongside the church in new, innovative ways that benefit everyone? No one wants to settle for the status quo. So, let’s begin moving forward together in new and amazing ways.
Elaine is the founder and executive director of She Steps Forward Ministries, which focuses on empowering everyday women to chase God-size dreams. Through speaking, writing, and leadership coaching, Elaine hopes to raise the next generation of faith-based female entrepreneurs to serve their communities passionately by building successful, sustainable businesses, ministries, and nonprofits.
Elaine is also the founder and executive director of She Steps Forward International, a nonprofit working to equip American and African women to lead businesses, ministries, and nonprofits. She has established and annually hosts the She Steps Forward International Women’s Conference in the States and Kenya. In addition, she has been leading mission teams to Kenya since 2020. SSFI gives back by supporting other U.S. female-led organizations and by doing humanitarian work in Nairobi, Kenya.
Before working directly in ministry and leadership/business coaching, Elaine held many leadership roles both within the church and in her sixteen-year nursing career. Today, she continues to work as a part-time consultant in hospital provider privileging.