Were you as intrigued as I was by the Super Bowl commercial asking young people to run, throw, or fight like a girl? Ultimately, the ad transformed a negative comment into an inspirational phrase. It stirred up in me all kinds of memories about the challenges of gender when you find yourself in any arena mostly occupied and led by men – including, of course, the local church. When I feel dinged by the idea of “leading like a girl” I must catch myself, and be inspired by these kinds of thoughts – I’d like to lead boldly like Esther, wisely like Deborah, and with a surrendered spirit like Mary! I’m thrilled that all over the globe, women of all ages are turning upside down what it means to lead as a female in the church.
That’s why I jumped at the chance to join The Youth Cartel’s gathering for women in youth ministry. It’s vitally important that women called to serve in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ – especially as leaders and communicators – come together for support and challenge. We need to regularly connect with other women who will quickly “get us” and almost finish our sentences! My journey as a leader in the church is impossible for me to imagine without some amazing women who walked with me, listened when I needed to vent, told me I wasn’t crazy, prayed for me, and reminded me I was not alone.
I look forward to being among courageous women who are forging their own pathways, and providing an opportunity for us to talk about ministry wounds and challenges in a safe environment. How great is it that three women—April Diaz, Leneita Fix and Rachel Blom—had the vision for making this gathering a reality! Together we will explore the practical side of navigating ministry life in what can sometimes feel like a boy’s club – how to do our work with grace, truth-telling, humor, and relational intelligence. I can’t wait to see how God will work among us!
If I could say anything to women church leaders, I would want them to know that no matter how difficult your situation may sometimes be, you are not alone, and YOU ARE NEEDED IN THE KINGDOM! The church won’t be as beautiful a bride unless BOTH men and women show up with all that God created them to be. Let’s come together and ennoble one another with that truth. I look forward to seeing you in April! (and getting out of Chicago weather)
Nancy Beach is a passionate champion and voice for leaders and artists in the local church. For over 20 years, she served as the Programming Director for Willow Creek Community Church in suburban Chicago. Nancy was privileged to be one of the founders of that local church, also serving as a Senior Member on the Management Team and using her communication gifts as one of the Teaching Pastors. She truly believes God is calling her to give back to emerging leaders, drawing from her experience, her strategic mind, and her intuitive heart.