Today I read a review of the book
7 Deadly Sins Of Women In Leadership: Overcome Self-Defeating Behaviour In Work and Ministry on the Sophia Network Blog. This review was helpful to me and I think it will be helpful to men and women alike as we take a look at our own patterns and how they might hinder or help us.
I welcome books that make me feel like a mirror is being held up, helping me to think about ways my own behavior and thinking hold me back in exercising leadership.
The blog submits that "it might be worth addressing what Kate means when she talks about ‘sins’s. Elaine Storkey helpfully sums this up in her foreword:
“Kate is not offering a diatribe of offences against God for which we deserve punishment. Nor is she cataloguing our moral ineptitudes in order to make us feel wretched. On the contrary, Kate identifies the nature of sin with the destructive patterns of thought and behaviour that thwart the leadership God calls us to exercise.” (p11)
As indicated in the title of the book, Kate identifies seven of these destructive patterns of thought and behaviour often found in women who lead. They are:
1. Limiting self-perceptions
2. Failure to draw the line
3. Inadequate personal vision
4. Too little life in the work
5. Everybody’s friend, nobody’s leader
6. Colluding and not confronting
7. Neglect in family matters
What "sin" do you find yourself meddling in as a leader?
Over the last decade I’ve waded in and out of each of these seven, letting each lap over me like water over toes, then limbs, then torso...the shock of each just as jolting as the cold as it crashing into your back as you turn to brace yourself for the next wave. But just like wading into the ocean, the cold can make us feel numb. We get “used to” the feeling and forget that we are near full immersion, that we are nearly drowned in these sins, that we are close to letting go and giving up because it seems too difficult to go back to where we once were, the place of zeal and confidence rooted in Christ.
Let us remember how surrender in a rip current helps us out. When caught up in something stronger than our own physical and mental strength, letting go and not fighting is the best possible thing. Letting the current spit you out sideways as you slowly approach the shore leaves you yards if not miles from where you first entered the water--but you see yourself living and the place from where you came and are able to rejoice because you know how to stay from the trap and help others avoid it too.
It’s the same for us, as we surrender our fears and habits to God, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the fullness of his love that we experience through Christ, that we have the strength, wisdom, and courage to lead well in ministry.
May we find ourselves in a posture of surrender in the presence of God, resisting temptation to be caught up in these currents that bind us, being able to grasp how wide, and how deep, and how long is the love of Christ, and may we find the courage to do the thing that is too big for us--because he is able to do so much more than we could ever ask or think.
A line to a beautiful song comes to mind.... “let’s risk the ocean, there’s only grace” (Sometimes, Crowder) Risk the ocean--but do so knowing it’s grace that gives us an ability to lead without drowning.
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Labels: christian leadership, Kate Coleman, Sophia Network, women in ministry, YM Women