This post originally appeared here: http://www.youthmin.org/5-reasons-your-ministry-needs-women-leaders/
Your youth ministry needs women leaders. Before we start arguing the theology of women in ministry, I want you to hear me out: The purpose of this post is not to advocate for ordained women, or women pastors, or to argue the Pauline view of women.
The purpose of this post is to convince you why you need more women in roles of discipleship, worship, and (yes) teaching. We need to have a spread of leaders who represent the spread of the audience in gender, color, and background. So if your youth group is 60% female and 40% male, you should have about that amount of male/female leaders. I empathize that it may never be perfectly that way, but you should strive for that representation.
Girls need women leaders.
Seems like a no-brainer, yes? Young girls need to have examples of women who are leading. If we are teaching our young ladies that they need to advance the gospel, then we need to have examples of women who are actively advancing the gospel in their lives personally. Additionally, girls desperately need to hear from a variety of women. Girls need to see a picture of themselves in these roles so that they can do it, too.
Boys need women leaders.
For so long, we’ve been doing ministry so that boys can only lead boys, and girls can only lead girls. However, there are wonderful things that boys need from both men and women, just as girls need both in their development. When I began my first youth ministry position, a mother came to me and told me that her son was going to be my toughest case, because he doesn’t respect women, and that included his mother. I remember that first night of youth group–this eighth grader challenged me with every “tough question” he could muster on women, homosexuality, and president Obama. When I left two years later, that same mother said to me that her son not only respected women, but valued their leadership in his life. He became more sensitive, more respectful, and even more affectionate towards his own mother. Boys need men to mentor them, yes; yet having women as leaders will lead them to holding greater value of women.
Male leaders need women leaders.
Men and women compliment each other. You have a variety of leaders who are more playful, some more disciplinary, some more empathetic, some more protective, some more approachable, and others more on a pedestal; not to mention the variety of skills: building sets, making snacks, teaching, discipling, etc. Put people in their sweet spots, and play off their strengths. I serve in a ministry where the co-directors are an unrelated male and female, and it’s beautiful watching how the strengths play off of each other, and where one is weak another fills in strong. Think about it: why does God give children both a mother and a father? Both are beautiful and have roles that are necessary in leadership.
Women leaders need women leaders.
I will be the first to admit that I need support. I need examples of strong women in ministry so that I can do ministry, and I definitely see the effects as I begin mentoring women in ministry. We need discipleship and community, especially as a part of our female identity. Personally, it can be difficult as a female in a male-dominated profession, and I crave interaction with other ladies. So ladies, step it up! And… let’s be friends.
God needs women leaders.
God uses women for multiple tasks in the Bible, and in Acts it is said that God will use both sons and daughters to prophesy in his name. God uses some of the most random people to accomplish His tasks, so never discredit a potential leader based on their gender, age, race, or background. From Abel to Moses to Deborah to David to Esther to John the Baptizer to Jesus to the Woman at the Well to Paul… (anyone else out of breath?)… God has a knack of loving and using people who just don’t fit the standard mold.