Witness

Man to Man: 5 Reasons I’m Going to SheLeads

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Women have always been leading God’s people. From the very beginning it has been this way.

From Miriam, to Hannah, to Mary the mother of God, to Mary the first theologian, and on to the present day, women are leading the church.

But too often this reality is obscured, forgotten, or denied. And that is exactly why we need a one-day summit like SheLeads.

It's often forgotten women have been leading from the beginning which is why we need SheLeads. Click To Tweet

5 Reasons Men Need SheLeads

But with a name like SheLeads, it isn’t immediately clear why men would choose to attend.

Or at least, it isn’t immediately clear TO MEN why men would come.

So here are 5 reasons why, as a man, I need to attend SheLeads (and please add your own in the comments):

1. Because the motivation is mission.

Too often when it comes to discussion of women and men in leadership, everything gets bogged down over who makes decisions, who is in charge, and who calls the shots.  Things can get pretty heated pretty quickly. Consequently, any sense of God’s mission in the world can get lost as people fight over which Bible verses say what.

But that is not the case with SheLeads. Everything is squarely centered on God’s mission in the world. We are not interested in arguing over who gets to be in charge—we know Christ is the head of his church. We are, however, invested in conversations that help his body more fully participate in the work He is doing to make this world new.

2. Because God made us all to work together.

When everything is about mission, the emphasis is then on how we work together.

This is crucial because women and men working together is a witness to God’s kingdom in the world. Through the hard work of co-laboring amid differences, the gospel is worked out among us and demonstrated to all.  In a world still straight-jacketed by gender oppression and inequality, women and men working together is a sign that God’s liberating mission is truly going forth.

Women + men working together is a sign that God's liberating mission is going forth. Click To Tweet

3. Because it is good to reverse perspectives.

It is easy for us men—especially a white man like myself—to think we have a pretty good grasp of reality. And we think this because everyone else—women and people of color—all adapt themselves to us.  They have to know the world of white men.  But there is no world of experience, outside of our own (especially white) male experience, that we are required to know.

This is not a good thing! It means there are huge chunks of reality that we are missing. It means I am blind and I do not even know what I can’t see.

How are we going to fix that?  By reversing our perspective. By getting out of our shoes and living in someone else’s for a bit. In seeing from someone else’s perspective, my own blinders can come off. That is what SheLeads can do for us.

As a leader, I need to learn a different way of decision-making. As a male, I have been rewarded when I have made decisions quickly and efficiently, which typically happens when those decisions are also made unilaterally. This is not always the best way to make a decision when you are building a church.

I need to learn different ways of understanding the role of emotions in leadership that go beyond the ones I find acceptable as a male. My male-centric understanding of emotions permits me to use the emotion of anger to express and consolidate my authority, but all the other emotions are shunned because they express “weakness.” This is no way to be truly human.

These male-centric understandings of leadership and emotions are are just two reasons I know I need a reversal in perspective at SheLeads.

4. Because we want to offer encouragement and support to our sisters.

Once we understand that we are created to work together, and once we see how much we need our perspective to be reversed and expanded, then won’t we want to know how to effectively encourage and support our sisters as we minister alongside them?

SheLeads is the perfect place to learn exactly how to do this in a community that is all about encouragement and support, not condemnation or shame.

SheLeads isn’t about hating on me for being a man.  There is no condemnation for being male.  There is just celebration that God has made us male AND female.

Come join the celebration.

SheLeads is a celebration that God has made us male AND female. Come join the celebration! Click To Tweet

5. Because there are such good people there.

And lastly, but also one of the main reasons I am attending SheLeads: everyone is just so great to be around.  Really, these people are AWESOME—the main speakers, but also the people working behind the scenes, and those who are simply attending.  Mandy Smith, JR Rozko, Tara Beth Leach, and all the other organizers are women and men who love and live ministry together. Many of them are friends who have helped me see and think differently about the mission of God. You will want to learn from these folks, and they are eager to learn from you too.

As I have met people from all over North America at SheLeads and other Missio events, I am always struck with hope and joy that these are the leaders who are praying for and building the church.

So check it out

Learn more about the speakers and leaders at SheLeads here as Mandy Smith interviews them.

And SheLeads is also the book launch for Emboldened: A Vision for Empowering Women in Ministry by Tara Beth Leach (everyone gets a copy with their registration).  Hear more about Tara Beth and Scot McKnight as they talk about women leading in the church here.

I’ll be attending in Chicago. I hope to see you there.


These are the sort of conversations we are looking to advance through the SheLeads Summit. We hope you’ll consider joining us in Pasadena or at 11 other regional venues across the country on Saturday, October, 28. Click the banner for more info.

 

 

 

 

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