She Leads… With Purpose and Grace
By Captain Jan Pemberton
Divisional Women’s Ministries Secretary – Cascade Division
When we think of the call the Lord has put on us, we cannot discount those that spoke into our lives. There are many leaders, friends, and loved ones that speak into our lives daily. Sometimes we realize it, and sometimes we do not.
There are many aspects to consider when looking at the leadership perspective of growing the kingdom of God. As the early church women did, we women of today need to lead with our strengths and come together to complete the whole. If the development of our women in our corps is done with intentionality, we can grow beyond our expectations.
As a leader, we sometimes need many other hands to complete the mission of God. We are not Jesus, and even though He could spread the gospel message all alone, He did not. He chose twelve others to help Him spread the word of God to the nations. When we need others to help us lead, we need to be patient and select our people carefully. Spend time in prayer for the right person to come along to help you lead. It’s a process that takes time, and sometimes we are overworked, overwhelmed, and all the above, but this is an important step. Jesus took time in prayer before selecting His disciples, as it says in Luke 6:12-16. Remember to choose your leaders with wisdom, care, and prayer.
When we as women leaders are looking for others to help us with our ministries, we have to keep in mind that we need mission-minded people, and as we lead and develop, others set them up for success by leading with a purpose a clear vision. This requires time, tough to hear, but it is true. Time is a precious commodity we sometimes do not have, but it is vital to leading successfully. People don’t develop leadership skills just by sitting in a boardroom, reading a book, or attending a class; we need practical hands-on experiences to develop leadership skills. When we lead by example, others buy into the mission, ministry, and helping others in their communities. We do this by leading with unconditional love. Will we get aggravated, upset, hurt, and such? Yes! But we as leaders need to show grace even when it is the last thing we want to do. Even when the twelve hid or denied Jesus, He still showed love. Sometimes it’s tough to show those that hurt you love them, but it is necessary for their growth and ours, too. Remember, Jesus did not only love using words, but He used actions too by redeeming and restored others.
When we look at Jesus’ teachings, we see that He taught practically. From healing the sick to casting out demons, He taught, showed, and expected results. Long story short, allow your leaders to lead. When our people take the leadership role, we must confront them when needed. Each person is different. This is when knowing your people is critical. Some people are good with the direct approach, but others may need a little sugar to swallow correction and redirection. Like Mary Poppins said, “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, in the most delightful way.” Directive and discipline help others when grace is shown.
After we have worked developing our corps’ leaders, we need to empower them, trust them with responsibility, and let them have ownership of the program but with guidance. Once our leaders are developed, taught, prayed for, send them out into our community to reach the lost for the kingdom. We must move outside our buildings and get into our neighborhoods. We need to connect with those that don’t know Christ and His unfailing love and forgiveness. Remember, the best return is measured in lives that are changed and led to Christ.
When we look for a model leader, there is none better than Christ Jesus. He is the Son of the living God who came down from heaven to become a humble servant. He showed more grace, humility, understanding, and unconditional love more than anyone before or after him. We will fall short, but with Jesus as our cornerstone, we will be solid leaders. Remember, friends: when we love God and others, everything else falls into place.