leading in a dress rather than a skirt

i’ve learned an important thing about myself this summer:

i love to wear dresses but hate to wear skirts.

here is the major difference between a skirt and a dress: a skirt requires that a shirt be added to make the outfit complete, while a dress will do just fine on it’s own, it’s easy and simple, and perfect!

and while i’ve been wearing all of my lovely dresses this summer, i’ve been thinking again about what it means to lead as a woman in the church.

what i currently love about my specific church context is that women in leadership is really no big deal. it’s just simply expected that women lead. every day. as elders, and deacons, and pastors, and basically any position that requires strategy, planning, and pastory-type tasks. i absolutely love that no one actually ever brings up the subject of women in leadership. i’ve never heard a sermon on the topic, or participated in a small group discussion, and i’m not even sure i would be able to find a theological statement on the issue anywhere, instead it’s a natural and organic part of doing ministry, and because of that, i feel comfortable and challenged to give my best.

last week,  i led a devotional for our strategic planning committee (we’re working on goals for the church for the next 5 years, no easy task), and although there are several women on the committee – one was absent and the other was late, so while i was leading the devotional time the group included all men (including the senior pastor and the chairman of the committee). and it was wonderful – they listened to me, and looked to me to lead them, they participated in my creative prayer exercise, and hopefully they were inspired by the way i led.

as i recalled the evening to my husband, we reminisced about our adventure in choosing a church just 3 years ago.  we knew in choosing this church that leadership was an important value to us, but it’s only been as we’ve experienced church life that we’ve come to realize how deep the value of women in leadership really runs in our church.

i’m grateful today for this season of life in which i can lead with confidence and joy, and that it’s no big deal, and that i can lead while wearing a dress rather than a skirt.


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