Earlier this year, our team gathered together to pray and decide on topics that we felt the Lord was putting before us to encourage, challenge, and strengthen women around the world this year through our blog, videos, and discussion on the Community. The topic of LEADERSHIP was brought to the table and immediately, two women came to mind... Pam Smith and Melanie Resendes. After talking with them and reading their thoughts on leadership, I (Lyndsay) was in tears. I needed to hear so much of this personally and I felt a big, fat confirmation that our choice in asking them to partner with us on the topic of leadership was 100% the Lord's influence and leading!
Pam and Melanie desperately love Jesus, their families, and the work God has put before them. While both are Boss Babes, each of them bring different strengths to their teams and have their own leadership style heavily influenced by Jesus and the leading of the Holy Spirit. We are so blessed to call them each a friend and have this conversation together today! I'll let them introduce themselves and we'll let's get this thing started...
Melanie and Pam, thank you both for letting us glean from your fields here on the blog. We've got some real nourishment, encouragement, and refreshment from you both today! We appreciate your candor, vulnerability, and wisdom. You both have some deep wells and we are so so grateful for you, your ministries, and all that God is doing in you, through you, and around you.
We'd love to continue this conversation with all of you beautiful women on the Community so head over there and let's chat!
Did God speak to you through this conversation today?
What is He showing you?
How can we support you or champion you to grow in leadership and obey Jesus more today than yesterday?
You are so loved,
Pretty & Wise Co.
Leading From The Overflow
Being a leader? What does that even mean?
Over the last year or so I believe God has been shifting and growing my perspective of leadership. Leadership not only in ministry and in the work place, but also, leadership within my own home.
You see for a very long time I thought that there were two different types of leaders. Leaders who were out front taking charge, you know the ones. The ones who always seem to have all the information and all the answers and direction. And then there were the more background style leaders. The leaders who make sure that no one gets left behind. This leader was perfectly described in a meme that went around a few years back that showed the formation of wolves and that the older and baby wolves were up front and set the pace and then the protectors and so on and so forth and then at the end of the pack were the Alpha leaders making sure everyone was protected and no one was left behind.
Those two styles were how I viewed good leaders. One was not better than the other, it was just that they each had their own redeeming qualities, if you will.
I read a statement recently that said, “Great leaders lead from the inside out.” And it challenged my view of leadership.
I feel like I hear the statement, "You can’t lead on empty," so much that it has almost become cliché. I hear it and I automatically agree with it, but in my mind I just go, "Yeah yeah I’m good though. No problems here. All is good in this neighborhood. (Insert winky face and two thumbs up.)" When, in reality, I’m just simply keeping everything from crumbling down.
Sometimes I don’t even realize it. I’m too close to see the damage that I have done as a leader due to me leaking my junk on those around me.
Faith does not deny a problem's existence, faith denies the problem a place of influence.
You see, being a leader has nothing to do with having our ducks all in a row or having the right answers and directions all the time. That is just unrealistic.
Even Jesus did not have all the answers to the demands of the people himself and he was fully God and fully man. He said in John 5:19 “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He only does what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does."
Jesus only took his cues from God.
When we look at Jesus, even most non-christians can agree that Jesus had some definite leadership qualities. Jesus led all kinds of people and he led well.
All throughout the gospels we see people following Jesus, even when he was trying to withdraw to his core group of people. I don’t know how many times I have read the phrase "they withdrew by themselves to a town… but the crowds learned and followed…" or something along those lines.
And still Jesus waited for his cues from the Father.
Even Jesus was not controlled by the demand of the people only by response to the Father.
Jesus knew the importance of not “leading on empty” better than anyone in the world. But what was it about Jesus that drew people in? That made him a Great leader in every season of his life? (Other than the obvious answer of Him being the Son of God…)
The Lord has been showing me that becoming a great leader is not linked to an experience or calling, rather it’s linked to the overflow we create around us. It’s linked to what we are leaking.
We leak on those we come into contact with… Good or bad.
We have to live a life filled with the Spirit of God in order to lead others into having that experience with the Father. A true right relationship with God.
It is not enough to lead having only had the corporate experience with God. We must first have that closed room, personal time with Jesus and Holy Spirit to effectively lead people in His presence whether we are at work, church, home or the grocery store.
In order to lead well, to lead the way that Jesus did doing only what the Father said, we must be first willing to sit with Jesus. We must be willing to surrender. We must be wiling to give our time to hear and see and know what God is wanting to do. We must surrender our embarrassment when it comes to the who, what, when, where, and why of what God is telling us to do.
When the crowds came to Jesus he did not say, "Ok give me a second I need to pray a long prayer to see what the Father wants to do."
No. Jesus was prayed up long before the crowds ever arrived. He had already invited the Father into His day to day activities. He had spent the time sitting with the Father. And what the crowds were experiencing was simply the overflow of that time with the Father.
Have you ever being in a place where someone walks into the room and all of a sudden everything feels very exhausting, sad, or even angry? Or, or maybe the opposite, someone walks into the room and it feels like the party is just beginning? We call those people thermostats. They can change the “temperature” of the room. Whatever mood that person walks into the room with they leak on the other people in the room thus changing the mood of those in the room.
When we consistently are spending our time sitting with Jesus he begins to leak on us and we in turn get to leak on those around us. It’s in the overflow. That’s how Jesus led. That is what we should be aiming for in every area of our lives. Leading from the overflow.
We are all called to lead one way or another. Some in our work places and some in our homes. Regardless where we lead, how we lead is going to determine who we lead. So let’s lead well. Let’s strive to mirror the One who gave us everything,
My pastor (John Poundstone) has a saying that goes like this,
“Transformed minds transform people. Transformed people transform families and groups.
Transformed families and groups transform cities and transformed cities transform nations.”
Leading from the overflow.
Let’s be women who shake up our understanding of leadership and follow Father God’s leading first and always.
Love you ladies,
Daughter of the King!
WRitten By: Alexandria Brown
For more from Alexandria, visit her website at www.alexandriabrown.org.
Head over to the Community and join the conversation!
After the Fire
Leadership has been a regular topic of conversation between my father and I since I was about 8 years old. I remember sitting on his knee after a friend in the neighborhood treated me poorly and didn’t keep her word. I was in tears and instead of scooping me up, telling me it was going to be okay, and leaving it at that, my father scooped me up, talked me through how to make things right with her, and helped me learn that I can create boundaries and communicate to others what is acceptable in our relationship and what is not. These were some of my first conversations centered on leadership that I can remember. And they haven’t stopped since.
Anytime I hit a wall in a relationship - professionally or personally, anytime I run into an obstacle I don’t know how to overcome, anytime things get sticky or fragile and I can’t risk being too clumsy in my approach to solving a problem, I ALWAYS call my dad. I have avoided so many “fatal” errors in my life and my different leadership roles because I called my dad before I made a rash decision. I sought council instead of flying by the seat of my pants. I’ve saved myself so many headaches and have learned so many invaluable lessons in leadership… I’ve been a much better leader to people because I called my dad first.
Getting ready to write this article, I had a million leadership “lessons” I could have shared from my father’s wisdom. He’s been in leadership positions professionally for almost 40 years. He’s learned a lot and I’ve gleaned from that field time and time again. Initially, I figured I’d write something about, “How to deal with conflict resolution,” or “Team building,” and how those things factor into work AND home life… or something of that nature.
However, I felt the Lord pull me in a direction I really didn’t want to go, to be quite frank. But I realized that it was something I desperately needed to hear at one point in my life and maybe there are some of you that need to hear this right now. So here goes…
Leadership After Failure.
Have you ever been in a leadership position - in any capacity - and done something so spectacularly stupid that you almost (or did) burned your life to the ground?
“Where do I go from here?”
“God will never allow me to lead again.”
“How could He ever entrust other people to me again?”
“That’s it. Those dreams are gone now.”
“I threw away everything and there’s no getting it back.”
“Will anyone ever trust me again?”
“Should anyone ever trust me again?”
All those thoughts ran through my head on repeat several years ago after I had a metaphorical loose thread on a sweater that I kept tugging at and tugging at until the entire thing unraveled - my entire LIFE unraveled. I had a problem I should have handled differently. I should have sought help other places. I should have seen the signs. I should have reached out to the right people. Instead, I stayed hidden, dealt with it the way I wanted to, and ignored God while trying to do His work. I was trying to lead well in His name at home and at work all the while suffering and inadvertently inflicting more suffering upon myself and those around me.
I hit a wall. My world caught on fire - a fire that I started myself - and I was standing in the ashes of my own indiscretion, selfishness, and inept leadership.
Listen to me. I was getting out of the shower a few days after my spectacular failure and I was reeling in the aftermath of that failure when I heard the Lord say, “Did David lose his anointing after Bathsheba? Did I remove his crown? Did I take him from his throne? Did I choose a new king?”
I stood in that bathroom and cried. I couldn’t believe what the Lord was saying to me! How was he possibly so generous? I sinned against Him and others and, yet, He did not take away my anointing - the thing He purposed me for and set me aside to do. He did not remove my garment of praise and return to me a cloak of mourning. He still had a job for me. His will and purpose was not swayed by my sin. But why was that? How could He still hold me so dear? How did He not see me as despicable? Here’s what I think…
Because my spirit was broken and my heart contrite before Him.
I wasn’t blaming anyone else for my failure at this point. The whole world knew and there was no hiding anymore. I failed. I wasn’t hiding from Him any longer either. He was all I had to hold onto and I was hanging onto the hem of his cloak for dear life believing that just His nearness could make me whole again.
The Lord can do a lot with that, sweet friend.
In the coming months, the Lord did an unbelievable and miraculous work in my life. He brought so much healing to me physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. He brought healing to my family and our future. Hope was set before us and we could see it clearly when our eyes were on Jesus because all of our hope was in Him. Leadership looked different for me for awhile. Things changed because of failure, that was true, but my purpose remained. My anointing retained. My calling the same. The Lord helped show me how to lead well after the fire. And a lot of conversations with my dad helped too.
All of us lead. Maybe at work, at home, or some other sphere. And I’m convinced we all start a fire in our leadership at some point. Maybe it’s a spectacular fire and you burn the whole forest down. Maybe it’s small and easy to stop the spread. Maybe your fire took out the entire west coast. Whatever your failure looks like - a spectacular one or a minor blunder - we all have to figure out leadership after the fire.
So what do you do after the fire? How do you lead well? Here’s a few things I’ve learned…
Leadership is difficult and can be scary. It forces us to grow, challenges us to mature, and leads us to places we sometimes don’t want to go, but, as Jesus lovers, leadership is a beautiful gift. It’s an avenue that grows us into His likeness. So press into it. And when failure comes, because it always does, remember this:
Failure is an event, not a person.
Failure does not define you, degrade you, or defeat you when you are in Christ Jesus.
“For My hand made all these things, thus all these things came into being,” declares the Lord. “But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.” Isaiah 66:2
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” Psalm 51:17
“For thus says the high and exalted One who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.”
WRITTEN BY: LYNDSAY TERRY
Read more from Lyndsay @ www.lyndsayterry.com
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Here I Am. Send Me.
It's taken me a long time to sit down to write this month's article. If I'm being honest, the topic of leadership has had me feeling some kind of way these last few weeks.
I almost want to make sure you know up front that I am an unlikely sort of leader, which is sort of true, I guess.
Growing up, I was painfully shy and quiet. I preferred to follow and avoided standing out at all costs. And really, I still tend to be quiet and shy and I most definitely deep down inside prefer not to do anything that looks like stepping up and stepping out.
Oh yes, most assuredly I am an unlikely sort of leader, but in the Kingdom of God, I am in good company. How many instances in the Bible are there wherein God partners with the unlikeliest of characters? How many times do we read of God coming in and doing something so unexpected and remarkable?!
So this has got me thinking.. if the Kingdom of God sort of flips the switch on what's conventional and expected; if the very things that would normally disqualify or count us out according to the world are opportunities for God's grace and mercy and glory to shine all the brighter; if we see time and time again in the Word of God that our tendencies and weaknesses are the very places that His strength is manifested, could that mean that our perception of leadership could use a little aligning with these truths?
What if the key to leading is following? What if leading well actually looks like following hard after Jesus?
"My soul followeth hard after thee.." (Psalm 63:8)
When I think of a heart for the Lord's leading, I think of a passage of Scripture that absolutely changed my life. I think of Isaiah 6, when Isaiah encountered the Lord in all of His glory:
"..I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphim were standing above him.. And one called to another:
Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Armies;
his glory fills the whole earth.
The foundations of the doorways shook at the sound of their voices, and the temple was filled with smoke." Isa. 6:1-4
Isaiah's response? "Woe is me for I am ruined because I am a man of unclean lips and live among a people of unclean lips, and because my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of Armies." Isa. 6:5
Isaiah stands in the presence of the King, absolutely awestruck as he is overcome by the glory of the Lord and his response is that he is not worthy, he is unclean- he cannot remain here.
"Then one of the seraphim flew to me, and in his hand was a glowing coal that he had taken from an altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said, Now that this has touched your lips, your iniquity is removed and your sin is atoned for.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord asking:
Who will I send?
Who will go for us?
Here I am. Send me." Isa. 6:6-8
I am so struck by Isaiah's audacity. In one breath, he expresses the impurity of his lips and in the next, once he has been cleansed, he speaks to the King of Kings and pleads, "Send me." And the Lord commissions him to go and speak!
Oh, I pray my heart is always as willing as Isaiah's. I pray that I never lose sight of the majesty of King Jesus. I pray that in His presence, I am filled with wonder and reverence. I pray that in view of His holiness, I am wholly humbled and repentant. I pray that in light of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross wherein my sin was removed as far as the east is from the west, I am therefore emboldened to do what is the good, pleasing and perfect will of the Lord.
Here I am, Lord. Send me. I am willing.
Could it be that as we seek after the Father's heart, as His desires become our own, that we begin to overflow into our spheres of influence? Could it be that the more closely we follow Jesus, the more He is magnified and therefore His glory is the driving force behind any and all leadership we have the honor and privilege of partnering with Him in?
What if our leadership simply looks like, "Come and see"? Come and see this Jesus, come and see all He has done. Come; see and believe! Taste and see for yourselves!
Lord, let us be so ruined, so undone by Your sovereignty, that we can't help but lead others to pursue You. Let our hearts be gladly given to Your will, no matter the cost.
Written By: Olivia Caldwell
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Photo by Kelli McClintock on Unsplash
Leadership For All
Leadership: You won’t be searching long before you find a book, article, or expert on it. But what does the Bible say about it? It says a lot when it comes to specific leadership of elders and deacons, but we are not all in those categories. I want to look at 2 Timothy 2:15. It says “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”
This verse comes in the midst of Timothy warning the readers about quarreling, irreverent babble, and false teachings.
I believe that this verse can tell us a lot about Godly leadership on all levels. Let’s dive in to see what I mean.
“Do your best…”
I don’t think that Godly leadership is perfection. Anyone who has ever set foot into a church will know this. There are opinions and speculations that sometimes go astray from where they should. But we aren’t told to be perfect. Or even near perfect. We are told DO YOUR BEST. This means thinking before we speak, find out what the Bible says about it before we act, consider others, and then do your best.
“...present yourself to God as one approved…”
As a leader, we need to remember that we are leading under God’s approval. He is the one that is the ultimate leader of leaders. When we are leading - whether it be just our children or a group of ladies, or a worship service for a huge group - we must put ourselves under God’s authority. We need to present ourselves to him and get HIS approval before we seek to lead others.
“...a worker who has no need to be ashamed…”
Leaders sometimes have to be ready to lead by example. We have to be willing to get into the trenches with everyone else and do what needs to be done. If we are doing this, we aren’t seeking approval or title or some throne or pedestal to be placed on. Again, we are presenting ourselves to God first. If we do this, we should never be ashamed of the work we are doing to glorify Him.
“...rightly handling the word of truth.”
This is the big one. If we aren’t handling (read Teaching and Living) the word of truth correctly, then we don’t need to be a leader. Ouch. That was harsh, I know. But when it comes to God’s word and leading people you have to be sure (as sure as possible) that you are doing the right thing. This means that as leaders we have to be in God’s word more often, praying more often, and keeping our ears open to what God is telling us as OUR leader. Leading others astray through false teaching is a very serious offense in God’s eyes.
As we lead our families (and possibly other women), I hope we all seek His approval. There can be no other approval more sweet than knowing we are leading others rightfully closer to Christ and salvation.
Written By: Angie Reese
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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
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