What is leadership? What is leadership training?
For too long in the church, we’ve focused on leadership training as learning to do “church” stuff: teach Bible class, lead singing, preach, lead public prayer. Boys growing up being told that they need to do these things to be mature Christians; if they can’t do these well, they haven’t really matured in Christ.
Our understanding of gender roles exacerbates the problem. If these things make up leadership and we teach that women aren’t to do them, then how is a woman supposed to reach maturity in Christ? As one sister said, if you aren’t good at hosting showers or baking casseroles, there doesn’t seem to be much you can do.
We need to:
- Define ministry as something that happens primarily outside of church “business hours,” outside of the Sunday assembly and Bible classes.
- Allow people to explore and create their own ministries, rather than forcing them cookie-cutter style into pre-established roles.
- Emphasize that leadership is service. Really. Seriously. The world will define it as getting up in front and telling others what to do. The church needs to turn that definition on its head.
- Measure maturity by Christlikeness not public speaking ability.