In her new book, I Am a Leader: When Women Discover the Joy of Their Calling, Angie Ward shares her own struggle of questioning whether her leadership bent was a gift or a fatal feminine flaw.
It is a familiar tension women face when they do not feel affirmed or encouraged by those in authority in their system. They end up either questioning their gift and their calling or questioning the system and the perspective of those in authority.
For a while, Ward tried to not take charge and even prayed to be more meek and gentle. After a long season of prayer and anguish, she realized that the problem was not that she was a leader or a woman, but that she was denying who God had created her to be. Leadership is an essential part of her calling. She sees herself not as a woman who happens to have a leadership role but a leader who happens to be a woman. Vowing not to bury her gifts and her calling again, Ward wrote words in her journal that became the title and subject of this book: “I AM A LEADER.”
A Lifelong Journey
There are plenty of books that deal with theological views of the roles of women in congregational ministry. (Examples include Two Views of Women in Ministry from Zondervan’s Counterpoints series and Women in Ministry: Four Views, published by IVP Academic.) I Am a Leader, however, does not tackle this particular issue. Instead, the purpose of Ward’s book is to help women see themselves as leaders and live out their callings regardless of their theological positions or cultural contexts.
Ward recognizes that some women may sense individual callings or hold perspectives on women in leadership that clash with prevailing views inside their organizations. For women in these situations, she lays out the options …
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