History is replete with women leaders we’d love to emulate. I asked my friends on Facebook which women leaders in the Bible they admire the most and why. Many selected the leaders below because of the values these women exemplify:
Bravery, Courage, and Faith
- Shiphrah and Puah (the Hebrew Midwives)
- Miriam the Sister of Moses
- Judge Deborah, Queen Vashti, Queen Esther
- Rahab the Spy
- Mary the Mother of Jesus
- Mary and Martha the Sisters of Lazarus
- The Samaritan Woman at the Well
Diplomacy and Wisdom
- Judge Deborah
- Queen Esther
Service, Loyalty, and Commitment to Others
- Naomi and Ruth
- The “Proverbs 31 Woman”
- Mary Magdalene
- Dorcas (Tabitha)
Ladies, we’re all leaders! The critical question is: what kind of leaders are we? Eve, Delilah, Jezebel… Throughout biblical history, throughout all history, people have used positions of influence for evil intent—primarily for more power, more prestige, and more possessions. It’s our values that define the kind of leader we become and the kind of influence we hold or wield.
I invite you to answer the following values-based questions to discern the kind of leader you intend to be, the type of leadership you aim to provide, and the types of causes you feel called to support.
- What has given you a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment during school, work, or leisure time?
- What kind of needs, problems, and issues concern you? What keeps you awake at night? What articles do you read? Look at your whole life, e.g., your work, volunteer activities, and hobbies.
- If you could do what you really wanted, without concern of limitations, what would you do? What touches your heart? What do you think would give you the most joy?
- List and then rank your Knowledge, Strengths, Skills, Gifts, and Abilities. Look back over all your life experiences. What do you know or do fairly well?
- List, then rank, the Values you hold near to your heart. Consider what you deem important, what gives meaning to your life and work, what compels you to action, and what defines your fundamental character.
- Which individuals or groups pull at your heartstrings? Whom do you feel called to serve? Why? What is it about those individuals or groups that makes you want to reach out to them? What pain do you want to ease? What problem do you long to solve?
- What other clues do you see in your life journey that might indicate the kind of leader you’re called to be? For example, what pain have you experienced? What lessons have you learned? What losses and failures have helped you become the person you are today?
Bonus Tip. To be a woman who leads well (to be a person who leads well), we also need to:
- Recognize our weaknesses and find help to overcome them.
- Be transparent about our challenges and shortcomings.
- Have a sense of humor!
Thankfully, we don’t have to be perfect to be high-quality leaders. Consider Rahab the Spy and the Woman at the Well. No perfection there, yet they stepped out and fulfilled their calling in a mighty way. Lesson? We need to be willing to become the leaders we’re called to be… and we need to take action!!
What is one action step you’ll take today to become the kind of leader you’re called to be?