We sometimes rush to books to help us learn skills for building ministry or to help us become more effective leaders. Leadership skill development is beneficial and necessary to do ministry. However, our own spiritual walks—our development as disciples of Christ—are more important than any skill we learn or idea we might hear from others. To be good leaders, you and I must want a growing relationship with Christ more than we want any ministry position, answer to a need, or relationship with any other person.
Growing more like Christ leads to passion and purpose in ministry. As you become more like Christ, you will lead with confidence and authenticity, and you will help create a safe environment for spiritual transformation to take place in women’s lives. True leadership of Christians is a result of a leader’s spiritual life.
Whether you’re just beginning to dream of a starting a women’s ministry, or you’ve been leading for years, it’s important to step back and ask these important questions to examine our hearts and motivations as we lead.
1. Are we spending time in the Word daily?
Why is this so important? Hebrews 4:12 tells us, “For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart.” (HCSB). Growing more like Christ leads to passion and purpose in ministry. We see further reason in 2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (HCSB). If we are not living our lives and leading ministry according to God’s Word, then we are probably following the world’s standards.
2. Are we daily submitting to God’s authority?
Do we trust Him for daily guidance in every detail of our lives? Psalm 143:8 became very special to me a few years back when I was not sure which direction my life should take regarding ministry. Daily I had to quote this verse to remind myself I must allow Him full access to all of my life and trust Him fully with it. The verse says, “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way that I should go, for to you I entrust my life” (NIV).
3. Are we bathing everything in prayer?
Our lives? Our families? Our churches? Our women’s ministries? Or at least the dream of beginning a women’s ministry? After telling us to put on the armor of God, the Bible tells us to “pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints (Eph. 6:18, HCSB). Are we becoming more like Him daily? Can we look back and see progress in our walk with Him? First Peter 2:2-3 says, “Like newborn infants, desire the pure spiritual milk, so that you may grow by it for your salvation, since you have tasted that the Lord is good.” Daily feeding on God’s Word will help our faith to flourish and our love for others increase. (See 2 Thess. 1:3.)
It’s critical that we prepare and continue to grow in Christlikeness so we can reflect Jesus in our daily walks and certainly in our leadership.
How are you growing personally in your relationship with the Lord?
This article is excerpted from Women Reaching Women: Beginning and Building a Growing Women’s Ministry.