Gifted to Lead

This month we were privileged to host an incredible woman of God in Nancy Beach.
She has been instrumental in paving the way for women in church leadership while at the same time pioneered the use of creative arts in church services. She has worked alongside Bill Hybels for more than 35years and has a wealth of wisdom, knowledge, experience and insight which is mind blowing.
I’d like to share some of the pearls os wisdom which she deposited into the lives of almost 400 women around our beautiful country.
Vision of your calling
Much of a visions power lies in what it taps into. Done well, vision connects to that part of us that depserately wants to be involved in something deeper, something with meaning and significance.
My vision is to serve the local church in ways that help her become all that God desired and intended for her!
The use my gift will become a pathway to connecting with God. The moment I tap my gift into the central purposes of God is when the connection happens.
Stop being so surprised that leadership is hard! Obstacles are part of leadership and they were created for my gift of leadership!
“PERSEVERE” – don’t ever give up! Bring your unique strengths and talents to your leadership style. Leadership is a spiritual gift which is rooted in the very nature of God.

Self Awareness
Are you extravert or introvert? Is your energy restored by being with people or by being alone?
Extraverts are energized by interaction with people, they are comfortable initiating relationships, learn best by doing, has many interests, thinks out loud(tends to speak or act then reflect) and unloads emotions as they go along.
Intraverts are energized by solitary activities, work out ideas by reflecting on them,gather information before engaging in relationships, learns best by reflection, needs time to think before speaking(tends to reflect then speak & act) and they bottle their emotions and guard them carefully as high explosives.
Embrace your uniqueness and stop comparing yourself to other women. We all suffer from the sin of comparison. Jesus tells us to follow Him & not to worry about others and to own our own calling.

The way we communicate sends a very strong message about our characters. The one thing that we as women must avoid at all costs is “edginess” or “harshness” or “attitude”
The way we communciate with our team internally and the way we communicate publically needs the same amount of attention.
4 KEYS to communcating:
HUMILITY – Be humble with the way you express your opinions
SELF-CONFIDENCE – Don’t shy away from expressing yourself. Speak confidently with conviction or you will be ignored
HUMOUR – This can break down the highest barrier between people. Use it wisely and carefully for maximum effect.
INTEGRITY – Our characters are far important than our ability to speak publically or cast vision to a group of people. Are you the same in public as when you’re alone. Do you treat your family the same way as you treat your friends and co workers?
LISTEN TO YOUR LIFE – Don’t try to copy anyone elses style but find your own and listen to it. Your stories are more powerful than trying to tell someone elses. They will communicate your heart and your convictions like nothing else can!
FIND MY OWN UNIQUE VOICE – Be sure to talk back confidently and in a dignified manner. Stop avoiding conflict and make yourself heard and do not walk away or remain silent.

Creating a Rhythm of Life
Life is full of different seasons and the sooner we embrace the seasons of life the better.
We need to stop fighting them and acknowledge they exist and everyone experiences them. Don’t give up on who you are in the different seasons of life.
We also need to stop thinking that life can be balanced because of these seasons.
Its more about creating a rhythm that works for you in your particular stage of life.
We need to be open to the uniqueness of our individual lives and then work within it.
We need to figure out how to lead a life that fills us up. When a life is full – it spills over.
I am no good to myself or others when I am miserable and grumpy.
Try to divide your day into 90 minute time slots and make sure you do the most important tasks when your energy levels are highest. For me this is between 8am – 11am and I know I am not as productive in the afternoon especially between 3pm & 5pm.
Research has shown that we can only operate at maximum capacity for 90 minutes at a time then we need a break.
Schedule your meetings with people when you need some interaction if you’re an extrovert and during your least productive time.
People energize me so the best time for meetings is in the afternoons. Likewise don’t feel guilty if you can’t have your quiet time with God at 5am. As long as its somewhere in your day it’s fine. The rhythm of your day will change through the different seasons of life. God restores us when we sleep so make sure you are getting enough sleep. We tend to think we can do with little but in fact we need more than we care to admit.
Nancy Ortberg says, ” This rhythm of life with God that renews the life of God in us is about a whole lot more than a daily quiet time. It is about knowing and connecting with God in transformational ways. Ways that change us, release us, quiet us, engage us. Ways that utterly convince us of his goodness, ways that free us from fear and give us a lightness of spirit in the midst of the burden of leadership.” Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands (Tyndale)
Don’t allow your faith to devolve into a set of rules and boxes to tick. Get out and away from these boxes when you try to connect with God. What moments do you create when you meet with God? When was the last time you were astounded? When was the last time you were in awe of Him and His creation? How is the life of God renewed in you? When was the last time you engaged in a favorite life-giving activity? Do you know who the life-giving people in your life are? Try and avoid the VDP’s = very draining people. Get comfortable with your brokeness and know exactly who you are. Then keep trying to get better in your brokenness. Live abundantly in your brokenness and this will be the intersection with Jesus. Always try to lead out of who you are and not the way people expect or want me to lead.
False guilt will rise up when you feel overwhelmed by other peoples expectations of you that you cannot fulfill. True guilt will manifest around your brokenness. Always be on the lookout for signs that your soul is empty, dry and thirsty. Impatience, lack of kindness, irritability, cynicism, sarcasm are all signs of a weary soul. Your knee jerk reactions are always a sign of an unhealthy soul. YOU are responsible for your own life. You cannot continue to play the victim card. Self-leadership is a personal responsibility. Our goal must be to FLOURISH and not just to survive.

The Wake of a Leader
Behind every women is a wake. We all leave stuff behind as we move through life. It can be helpful or hurtful. It can be uplifting or degrading. It’s either good or bad. Its worthy or its disgraceful. A few considerations to help you as you leave your unique wake.
FIND A TRIBE – Create a tribe of women around you who will help you in your faith journey, your leadership skills, your parenting & being a wife skills. In fact have as many women in your tribe as possible and make sure they encourage you, empower you and through mentoring equip you through their life experiences.
MENTORING – This simply means coming alongside, being available and answering questions about life. Another way to describe could be “hanging with”. Every one of us need a collection of mentors for the seasons of life. In every generation there is someone ahead and someone behind mentoring.
Nancy Ortberg says “It is always a tension, leading for now and for the future, slowing donw enough to develop and bring along new, young leaders. But it may be one of the most important things we do as leaders as we identify, teach and train, bless and release the next generation(s) of leaders” Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands(Tyndale)
STOP THE SIN OF ENVY – Are you guilty of belittling accomplishments and appearances of other women? Do you get upset when other women advance and achieve? Do you gossip about another women who makes you feel inferior? Who do you envy? The only way to deal with envy is through confession. Face it, confess it, own it and deal with it! Bring it out into the light through confession to God.
Nancy Beach says “Women who are not at peace with their identities or confident in the choices they have made, can doubt themselves to the point that they tear down others in an effort to boost their own worth” Gifted to Lead(Zondervan)

Mother Theresa said “Give yourself fully to God. He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in His love than in your own weaknesses.”


Notes taken by Janine Couchman during Gifted to Lead events in South Africa.


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