Today my friend, author Janet Thompson, is sharing a special guest post. May we all be encouraged to be brave leaders! Don’t miss the book giveaway at the bottom of the post! – Cyndee
You’re leading a team meeting and the conversation turns to actions and suggestions you don’t condone as a believer. What do you do now? Ignore. Try to fit in. Reprimand. Or act the same as you would if you were with a group of fellow believers? We’ve all been there sending up a silent prayer asking God, “Help!”
In today’s culture, it often takes courage to stand up for our faith in all circumstances, but this is nothing new. The message the Apostle Paul gave to the church at Corinth is still a source of encouragement for Christians to be brave today: “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong” (1 Cor. 16:13).
And Paul should know. He was a leader routinely arrested, sent to prison, flogged, and ridiculed for his faith, but he never backed down from sharing the truth of the gospel no matter the circumstances or audience.
Leading Women from the Bible Give Us Courage
A group of what the Bible calls “prominent women” or “leading women” who were God-fearing Greeks in Thessalonica and Berea heard Paul’s message about Jesus, became believers, and joined his ministry. In both cities, the Jews listening to Paul became jealous that he was drawing a crowd, and they formed a mob to go after him and his ministry companion Silas. Knowing violent agitators and bullies were following Paul everywhere he went, what must these courageous women have feared might happen to them?
We’re not sure if prominent refers to their status as the wife of well-known important men, or if they indeed were leaders of influence themselves, or simply wealthy women—or all of the above. Publicly believing the gospel and joining Paul’s evangelistic ministry could easily jeopardize their marriages, their standing in society, and their businesses. No matter what the personal cost to worldly fame, fortune, and security, they were all in for Christ.
They were brave believers and played an important leadership role on Paul’s ministry team to help him start the early church and share the gospel. Imagine the trials and struggles faced by these women as they watched Paul endure persecution while they served beside him amid hostility and danger. They knew that the authorities in the government and temple didn’t readily receive the message of Jesus.
Conspicuous believers were risking their lives. After all, they crucified their Messiah. What would happen to them? It seems they didn’t care. As believers, they were willing to take that risk. We can learn from these strong women of faith how to carry on their courageous legacy in our leadership roles today.
Our Culture Needs Brave Women in Leadership
It takes great courage to stand by your moral convictions and not let today’s cultural war frighten or silence you—especially when shunned, criticized, ridiculed, and maybe removed from your position of leadership. It might seem easier just to go with the flow, but when we abdicate to the culture, we deny Christ, the foundation of our faith. Never do we see Jesus or the Apostle Paul shying away from sharing the truth just because someone didn’t like the message.
As Christians, proud of our faith and proud of our Savior, we aren’t in-your-face pushy, but we don’t back down from our convictions, even if it’s embarrassing or uncomfortable, even if we lose friends, relationships, team members, and yes, even jobs.
Sometimes we’re tempted to compromise on our beliefs and not make waves because we want to keep everybody happy. Impossible. Jesus made waves.
We worry how we’ll look to our peers. Jesus worried about the eternal life, more than the earthly life, of both his peers and his enemies.
What if they reject or snub us? They rejected Jesus.
What if God doesn’t come through for us? God is always faithful; we’re the ones who often let Him down.
The Bible says people will know us by our actions. So it’s good to take our spiritual heartbeat by asking ourselves some revealing questions. As a leader:
- Do my actions portray that I’m a believer?
- Am I a Bible-believing Christian role model to those I am responsible to lead?
- Am I willing for others in my circles to know I’m a believer—maybe the only one?
- Would someone have to ask if I’m a believer?
- And if they did ask, what would be my response?
- Would I have the courage to stand by my convictions at the risk of loss?
As we watch civil law go counter to God’s laws, we’re under intense pressure to comply. God says, “Stand firm in the faith” and don’t crumble. Biblical courage means obeying God’s laws and not condoning or compromising on anything that Scripture opposes.
Yes, it’s uncomfortable and difficult, but as long as we stay tethered to God and biblical truths, He will provide us the strength we need to go against anything that opposes our faith. Be strong. Be courageous. Be brave.
15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 1 Peter 3:15-16
You could win a free signed copy of Janet’s new book, Everyday Brave! To enter to win, please comment below by Tuesday, October 1, 2019 at 10 AM EST. Winner must reside in the US and will be contacted via email.
In Everyday Brave, Janet explores the extraordinary bravery of fifty ordinary women in the Bible. Twenty-eight women of today also give testimonies of realizing their strength and courage through God’s love. As Janet shares the stories of these women, she reminds us that the real heart and substance of bravery comes from unconditionally placing our hope in the only One who can give us the courage to stay the course.
Janet Thompson is an international speaker, freelance editor, and award-winning author of 20 books. Her passion is to mentor other women in sharing their life experiences and God’s faithfulness. Her new release is Everyday Brave: Living Courageously As a Woman of Faith available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and signed at author’s website. She is also the author of Mentoring for All Seasons: Sharing Life Experiences and God’s Faithfulness; Forsaken God? Remembering the Goodness of God Our Culture Has Forgotten; The Team That Jesus Built; and Woman to Woman Mentoring: How to Start, Grow, & Maintain a Mentoring Ministry Resources.
Janet is the founder of Woman to Woman Mentoring and About His Work Ministries. Visit Janet and sign up for her weekly blog and free online newsletter at womantowomanmentoring.com. Connect with Janet on Facebook and Linked In.