Women in Leadership … Pt 2
Q: I am interested in hearing from women who are in leadership but, their husbands are not. How do you manage life when you are the one being called on? How do you handle an all male staff that you report to? How involved is your husband at church? -Chris
Last week, I had my friend, Jenni Catron, answer this question. This week, our amazing Women’s Pastor at Central will chime in. Rhonda is wonderful, and we are truly blessed to have her ministering to women here in Vegas. Here are Rhonda’s thoughts:
These are such great questions.
I am Pastor of Women’s Ministry at Central. I will tackle this first question very easily and hope I am able to answer from a general perspective. I have never stepped into a leadership position without my husband and I being on the same page at the same time. In other words, I waited for everything – even going to seminary until we were both in agreement that it was God’s perfect timing. While my husband, who is a great leader both at home and in his occupation, has been in church leadership in the past, he currently serves behind the scenes at Central on our traffic team and also assists me on Retreats with sound, etc. Because we both are in agreement and understand what the demands are, I know it may sound impossible, but we really don’t struggle with the time involved. It is also helpful that he is confident in who he is in Christ and the gifts that he is currently using. Again, the key is communication and waiting on God for unity in decisions. I don’t move ahead unless he is with me, though we serve in different areas. If one is dealing with a husband who is insecure or jealous, it becomes much more difficult. If I would notice my role taking a toll on him or our marriage, we would come together to make the necessary changes to bring health to our relationship.
The second question is a little more sensitive to all who may read this, however I want to be real with you. At times it can be difficult whether on campus or at any meetings, events/conferences, etc. but our God is so gracious as he works out the kinks in us as women in ministry and the men that we serve with if we are willing to be shaped by the One who loves us and values each one of us equally. For the most part, the men I serve closely with are very considerate, extremely affirming, respectful and we have healthy boundaries. In fact, I can’t remember a time when any man in our Small Groups Department was not affirming or respectful of me as a colleague here at Central. The slip ups usually come when a woman’s perspective is not taken into consideration when it really should be or there are events or staff meetings that are completely centered on what the male gender would prefer. It can happen to any gender when plans are being made and sometimes the big picture is not always thought through thoroughly. The key is to be gracious. I try not to harbor anything, particularly when it comes to those I work closely with and my Executive Pastor knows that I will rise up when I sense others may have not been valued as they should be. At times, I’ve had to speak up when I sense there was insensitivity to me or other women on staff or even our female volunteers and congregation, but I do so privately and only when I sense it is a God thing and not a personal thing. At times I have been the one who has misunderstood the intention. I learned long ago that I serve a God who knows everything about me and what I need to be affirmed and more often than not, God is the One who provides such. He has always been the One to open doors for me as a woman. I don’t give anyone else credit for what only He can do although I am very grateful for the inclusive men in my life personally and professionally. We are a work in progress, and I pray that God will be glorified by our not being exclusive to any gender, age, or ethnicity, but we all view things from a different perspective so again, open communication is key as well as trusted community building. As a side note I believe all of the incredible Pastor’s wives have immeasurable influence on how your husbands may view women in ministry. We are blessed to have a Pastor’s wife who treats me with respect and dignity and is confident in who she is – (she didn’t pay me to write this).