Sunday, January 29, 2006

Leading Ladies: Transformative Biblical Images for Women's Leadership

What is the power in an image?
Do images make a difference when it comes to seeing oneself empowered to lead or to take risks?
If images of leadership are consistently expressed in athletic or military terms, does this narrow the field of those who feel empowered to lead?

Jeanne Porter, Ph.D, author of Leading Ladies, believes many women of the 21st Century will benefit from fresh, feminine images of leadership. She expands the variety of images that legitimately inspire leadership, liberating both males and females to view their God-given gifts as potential treasures for assuming new leadership paradigms. Dr. Porter introduces four female archetypes from the Bible who honor women's experiences and perspectives.

Dr. Porter creatively unpackages the roles of the midwife (Puah and Shiprah), the choreographer (Miriam), the weaver (Deborah), and the intercessor (Esther) to encourage her readers to explore new roles of leadership. She succeeds in inspiring an inner hope birthed in her readers; to see their special place in time and history for bringing about change for a more just society and to become inspired to lead as advocates for marginalized others.

This book is a relaxing and enjoyable read. The author includes questions for reflection and/or discussion at the end of each chapter. She writes relationally and with confidence of women's unique identity and call to participate in God's Divine narrative still being written today. By the end of the book, I wished I could have called her up and invited her over for a cup of coffee to continue our discussion.

From the Kavura Gathering

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Made for a Hollywood Movie!

Sarai's life is like the making of a movie where a scene requires '2 takes' ... and then both scenes make the movie! As we made reference to at the January Kavura gathering, Sarai is passed off by her husband more than once. Read about the 2nd pass-off as sister routine in Genesis 20. Let's have some conversation about the similarities and differences. Let's talk!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Leadership: How About Reading ...

Leading with Soul, An Uncommon Journey of the Spirit by Lee B. Bolman and Terrence E. Deal takes the reader on a quiet, unassuming walk with Steven and Maria, two featured characters in this modern day parable. Steven is on a search for a meaningful way to genuinely connect with his employees and wife and Maria offers to listen and help direct his search. Steven, at the top of the working food chain (CEO) seeks leadership advice from Maria, but receives so much more ... he finds his soul, learns to hear from within and discovers a means of connecting with God. The friendship of grace is a mutual gift.

Spiritual direction is a stream of worship and leadership that was very popular and common in our early Christian history and then, for all practical purposes, has been lost/forgotten for the past 400 years of cultural 'enlightenment.' But, this grace gift is making a fresh entrance into our postmodern culture. Connecting with another, one serving in the role of spiritual director, is an intimate, caring and relational means of seeking God with another sojourner, each gleaning and contributing precious insights into the other's inestimable worth in Christ.

I picture this type of relational conversation as one that happens authentically and normally with women who meet together in one's kitchen for coffee,or dialoguing with various family members at supper or perhaps on a weekly walk with a friend. Listening becomes a gift of grace offered to another, as does asking one another questions that sensitively explore one's emotions and thoughts which are making up each of our Divine life stories. It is a common occurrence between women ... yes? Have you ever considered that this is a legitimate style of 'leadership' and one that follows Jesus' example quite well?

I appreciated these two organizational guru's (Bolman and Deal)writing a simple yet profound story that brought confirmation to a feminine way of leading that I find very comfortable. How about you? Wonder if they knew this as they wrote??

From the Kavura Gathering,

Can You "Know A Book By It's Cover?"

When it comes to people and their complex life situations, can you know anyone 'by their cover?' Reflect on our quickness to judge others before knowing what's going on behind the scenes. Jesus often surprised people by knowing more than they thought about their life situation behind the scenes. Did He then use this info to judge them or did He use it to make His connection with them more empathetic/relational?

Monday, January 16, 2006

Sarai ... What A Wild Ride of a Life!

Ever wonder why Sarah is silent with her opinions when it comes to being sold off to a pharoah, but then is so opinionated and vocal later on when it comes to try to engineer a son's birth? What could her silence mean? Was she a willing participant? A Victim? Just what was so 'uniquely beautiful' about Sarai that Abram was SO CERTAIN that a pharoah would want her? (Gen. 12:10-20)