What Women Leaders Want: A Guy’s Perspective

What Women Leaders Want: A Guy's Perspective

Guest Post by Jeff Caliguire

I could tell she felt uncomfortable.  The only woman in a leader’s gathering of sixteen other men.  “There were other women invited,” I told her.  “One just texted me that she had something come up and needed to cancel.”  She smiled awkwardly, and without her needing to say it, I could tell that this was what she had come to expect in such “leader gatherings.”

After being blind to it for most of my life, I now wonder how I missed it: Women leaders often feel out-of-place at the “old boy’s clubs” and wonder if they should even be there.  They often wonder if their presence is accepted, their input desired or if their voice will even be heard.

Having grown up in a culture that included a church where women were silent, wore head coverings and the clear teaching was that “a woman’s place should be in the home,” it just was a non-issue… for me.   I even attended a seminary that taught that women could play certain roles in the Church and leadership, and not others.  This was what the Bible taught… no questions asked.

But over time I started to see: Wow!  Good things happen when women participate and use their gifts too!  It’s as if a whole other aspect of God gets exposed.  The opposite: something doesn’t feel right when only men lead the meetings, speak from the pulpit or are 100% of the conference speaker roster.

Author Rachel Held Evans recently had the “audacity” to ask if there’s something wrong in an online church leadership conference of 112 speakers… that includes only 4 women. (See also The Nine Online Leadership Conference Disrupted by Calls for More Female Speakers)

Responses to Rachel Held Evans include:

  • “How dare you challenge a man of God!”
  • “You need to calm down and stop being so emotional!” 
  • “We should be talking about more important matters.” (Here’s her post “on Being Divisive”)

And for me even closer to home, yesterday I read a post from family friend and woman leader April Diaz who posted “A Lament for Women In Leadership.”)

Too many times I’ve seen women in the pit of despair because they have not been allowed to use their voice, their gifts, their experiences, their very calling to build the Kingdom. You have not stopped them from leading and teaching, Lord; your people have.

My sisters and I have cried when we’ve been told “no”, “be quiet”, “this is not your place”.  We desperately need you to bring good news in places where we are pushed down, snuffed out, and negotiated around. Your Kingdom suffers when we are relegated to roles and ministries and places where we are not gifted or passionate. How long?

Why does this touch me?

1. Because having gifts and not being able to use them really, really stinks!  It’s like showing up for a birthday party with your special gift and being told to “Please leave your gift outside. It’s not needed.” 

2. Because everyone loses when gifts are not fully expressed.  The world is NOT a better place when art is discarded,  books are burned or when gifts are hidden.  And all I can say is that my life is better because of women who taught, lead and shared their gifts.

3. Because throughout history, millions of women have been aborted, relegated or seen as objects of man’s desires.  One man began a revolution in our world by seeing something different in women: He was a Galilean Carpenter from Nazareth.  When the women of his day were banned from religious leadership, He audaciously invited them into His the inner circle.  Though Jesus started our world on a better track, wouldn’t you agree there’s MUCH work to be done to continue this meaningful work? Can you look at parts of the world where millions of women are relegated to home, hidden andlesser degree, such discrimination and chauvinism still exists in the Church where women are kept from using their gifts.  WWJD?

My journey to these views has involved BOTH Biblical and theological study and personal experience.  (BOTH really do go together.)  And I now believe that one of the greatest potential for real growth and real healing will come from the “Other Half” of the Church.  This will NOT threaten men, but actually invite us to become men who no longer need to subjugate or objectify women, but instead love and respect them.  AND we will benefit from all the gifts they will bring, including their leadership.  Might women actually be,  as Ed Silvoso called them, “God’s Secret Weapon?”

Women, if I get this right, what you want is NOT to be divisive nor to dominate men, but instead to use your gifts to establish true, living and life-changing community that changes the world.  Do you agree?

Please, please, please share your gifts and do not be silent!

Jeff C



Social Media

Most Popular

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.
On Key

Related Posts

God of justice

The God of Justice

The God of Justice “The Lord’s justice will dwell in the desert, his righteousness live in the fertile field.” Isaiah 32:16 The God of Disruptive

Guest Post by Tamara Wytsma

Guest Post by Tamara Wytsma

Has the thought of doing a daily devotional ever felt similar to the feeling you get when you think about doing your taxes: You know

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Get The Latest Updates