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Why Your Church Staff Needs More Women

“Could we in the church be missing great gifts in ministry because we don’t engage women leaders?’

A few weeks ago, I came across this article by the Harvard Business Review.

The article states that women are rated higher in 12 of the 16 competencies that go into outstanding leadership.

It seems crazy to me that so few women hold full-time church staff positions. Don’t get me wrong; I am seeing more and more women occupy staff positions at churches, but it still is rare.

What is sad to me is that the Bible colleges I know of seem to be 50% female, and yet, the percentage of females I see on staff at churches across the country is considerably lower than that.

Why is it hard for women to get on staff at churches?

One of the main reasons I’ve noticed is that it is difficult for women to develop a strong relationship with the lead pastor, who is often the hiring pastor, of a church. When I think about my church staff journey, all of my positions came through developing strong relationships with my future boss. Consequently, these relationships are harder to develop for a female with a male pastor.

One of the leading executive pastors in the American Church (in my opinion) is Jenni Catron. When I asked her about the story about coming into that position at a fast growing, highly visible church, she said that she and her husband were a part of the launch team at Cross Point. It was out of a strong and trusting relationship that they built with the lead pastor and his wife that the position was open to her.

I’ve overseen hiring at The Oaks for almost ten years now, and we have a large percentage of women in leadership roles of our staff, including my wife as the Executive Pastor.

So what did we do to accomplish this?

1. Get over it!

I’m telling you, the church is missing massively effective staff members by primarily hiring men. I know things get complicated when figuring out staff retreats and how to meet individually for meetings. Get over it, figure it out, there is too much at stake to not utilize every person God has equipped.

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With over a dozen years of local church ministry Justin has spent the last several years starting business' and ministries that partner with pastors and churches to advance the Kingdom. He is the founder of Helpstaff.me (now Vanderbloemen Search), Oaks School of Leadership, and MinistryCoach.tv all while staying involved in the local church. Justin is obsessed with connecting people to people and lives his life daily to make the world a smaller place. He now serves as a consultant in the area of strategic relations predominately working with the Assemblies of God, helping to build bridges with people and ministries to more effectively reach more people. He blogs regularly about what he has learned from making connection at www.justinlathrop.com.