Women in leadership—what a trendy topic! Although I guess it would only be this trendy because we think it's something new and scandalous. Various societal systems of the past have implied that it's unsuitable for women to lead, and fallen men have embraced this stereotype to their own demise. Although this topic of women in leadership seems new, I don't think it is. I think it's ancient, and we can find answers in God's Word concerning His heart for female leaders.
Leadership Is Given by God
A leadership position is something that is granted by the Lord. Daniel 1 says that the Lord raises up leaders and tears them down. Leadership calling is given by the Lord to individuals—Jeremiah was called as a leader before he was born. It was an issue of leadership selection, in which case different things were knit into his being before he was born—he was equipped with giftings to fulfill his assignment.
In His time on earth, as a firstborn son, Jesus was called to first be a leader of His family—this is why we see Him taking care of His mother at the cross. He was called to be a leader in Nazareth—but His own village did not receive Him, and He could not do miracles there. Did that stop Him? No! He traveled all throughout His nation because He was called to His own people. Jesus was called as a spiritual leader and equipped with the Spirit of the sovereign Lord resting on Him (Isa. 61). Did He allow the political chaos of His day to stop Him? No! Did He allow the rejection of the spiritual leaders of His day to stop Him? No.
There is a large list of women who were just like Jesus. They received the call of God on their lives, they embraced the giftings God placed inside of them, and they walked in their identity before their Father in heaven—Lydia; Deborah; Esther; Timothy's mother, Miriam. Judeo-Christian history and culture are full of female leadership.
Perhaps the most ignored beauty of feminine leadership is the ability to yield and respond quickly to the Lord. Historic victories were performed by women who were found in prayer and fasting—seemingly the "weakest," yet most efficient way to engage in warfare.
How about your voice? Does it have any less weight in the heavenly court than a man's? Does God love you as a woman any less than He loves His sons? Are you not the bride of Christ as well? Are you not an heir with Christ and seated in heavenly places?
If you are a woman in the body of Christ reading this, I am here to tell you that you can persevere in your own call from God. Push through the temporal limitations. Don't let them distract you. If God has called you as a leader, then my challenge to you is—step up!
I Will Lead
So where do women fit in leadership? I'm warning you that God's ways are less boxy or linear than many of us would like to make them. Here's an example from my own life: I just happen to be a stronger worship leader than my husband is. It's the way God made me, it's the way God gifted me. My husband is actually on my worship team. When he has tried to step into my role in seasons past, it has been very frustrating for him. (The same goes when I've tried to step into his role as the leader of our family.)
After all, leadership is about partnering with Jesus—learning from and leaning on Him. In my own life, Jesus is the one helping me love my husband and raise my children. He is the one standing with me on every platform and helping me with every song. He is the one coaching me in leadership. Jesus is the one who has comforted me when I've failed, and I can hear Him cheering me on as I push forward toward my high calling.
What about you? Where do you fit? If you are a woman, you might assume your path for leadership has been blocked. But my question is, who is blocking you? Perhaps the same blockades you encounter are the ones your brother encounters, and maybe this is not an issue of gender. Maybe leadership is more of an issue of calling than it is of frame. And maybe this whole argument is an invitation into a conversation with the Lord. Did He make you a leader? What are you to lead? Is leadership your inheritance? Perhaps the biggest question is, will you be like Jesus and step into your calling no matter who hates you, no matter what setbacks you might have, no matter how misunderstood you are?
Will You Persevere?
Truly, Jesus clung to the word His Father gave Him—that He would sit on the throne of David and rule the whole universe. My question to you is, has it happened yet? No! He is still in the process. Regardless of your leadership title on this earth, God has still given you a leadership calling. If Jesus can persevere in His process, can you?
In my indestructible body as a resurrected woman, I will lead. I am living my life now as a leader in every area I possibly can. I am practicing for the age to come so that I can give Jesus the inheritance that He perseveres for.
The indestructible woman lives for a different age. She has the mind of Christ and lives by different rules. Don't let individuals without vision put you in boxes your Father never gave you. Let the love of Christ permeate your heart so you never compromise your identity, as you complete your assignment and walk out your calling on this earth.
How can you use your giftings in your current position to fulfill your leadership calling from the Lord?
Rachel Faagutu has been leading worship for 20 years, mostly as a worship pastor for local churches and conferences. Rachel and her husband, Wallace, have been working as intercessory missionaries at the International House of Prayer for the past five years, where they have found strength in singing the Word and spending time in prayer. They have produced two children's worship albums, Little Songbirds and Little Songbirds 2. Rachel and Wallace have three young children.
This article originally appeared atihopkc.org.
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