Encouragement, help with discernment and skill development opportunities are available
Many women in leadership operate in a context where all their local Christian peers are men. Such women can often feel isolated or misunderstood. It’s natural to long for more deep encouragement from other women along the journey of ministry.
In my own journey my inclination toward leadership gifts seemed strange because I didn’t see a woman leading in any meaningful way in a Christian context – until I went to another city for university. I had never seen it modelled in a robust way, and so my own leadership as a young woman wasn’t developed until another female leader called it out in me and invited me to work alongside her.
With the connectivity of the internet, times have changed. A woman no longer needs to feel isolated in leadership if she is the only one in her local community because she has access to a wealth of support and connection to other women like her, of all theological bents, from around the world.
If you’re a woman in leadership who needs some encouragement, connection or skill development, here are some digital resources you can access today. Don’t struggle with leadership alone.
Podcasts are great for free on-the-go learning and spiritual development for busy women. Check out Lead Culture by Jenni Catron, where she tackles leadership challenges for both women and men. She’s a trusted consultant to churches around the world with decades of experience in organizational strategy and leading change. If you’re looking to develop your depth as a leader to continue in the valleys, you must check out Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership podcast by Ruth Haley Barton. Her book is also by the same name, and a must-do for all Christian leaders who want to ensure they are maintaining their own soul connection with God so it brings out the best in their leadership.
• Facebook groups
There are free community groups for women leaders that help you stay connected to others, test new projects in a safe environment, pray together and resource each other. Kadi Cole is a notable woman advocating and training other women in Christian leadership circles, and her Facebook group called Ministry Chick is an active community supporting one another and sharpening each other. There are many others, but this is a great launching pad to discover more groups in your own region.
• Online training
The Women Speakers Collective has a training opportunity called Global Community that includes live group coaching calls every month, a library of masterclass resources and a diverse group of women around the world cheering each other on in their speaking, writing, podcasting and areas of influence. Guest coaches in the monthly live calls have included Christine Caine, Bob Goff, Jo Saxton, Danielle Strickland and more. A different group with more Canadian connections is BraveWomen.ca led by Ellen Duffield. It highlights men and women working together. For French or bilingual Canadian training, ZoeNetwork.ca led by Leanne McAlister is excellent. They even have a cohort from France participating this year.
Podcasts are great for free on-the-go learning and spiritual development for busy women.
• Theological education
If you feel out of your depth with Scripture, pastoral leadership or church history (or if you want to work out your own theology of women in leadership in a more robust way), many seminaries now offer online courses or entire programs. One example is Wheaton College Graduate School’s master of arts in evangelism and leadership that offers an annual cohort made more affordable and accessible as a degree for women everywhere.
• Bible-reading plans
Finally, if you don’t already use them, check out the YouVersion Bible app’s huge library of free devotional resources. Getting yourself into the Bible every day is the best development of your leadership and identity as a woman of God. For example, Authentic Christian Leadership is a reading plan featuring amazing authors like Ann Voskamp and Rick Warren.