June 28, 2015

Churches Are Still Not Including Women On The Senior Leadership Team

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For our Next Level Teams report, we surveyed more than 600 leaders from churches of many different sizes and denominations. I’ve written about some of the key findings before, but here’s one I wanted to bring some more attention to:

Of the churches we surveyed, 41% still do not have a woman on their senior leadership teams.

Megachurches with 3,000+ people in attendance were the least involving of women on their SLTs. My philosophy is that churches should always strive to involve high quality leaders – both men and women. This gives the team a much wider variety of perspective.

Many churches are still operating on “sacred structures.” Their organizational charts look identical, and they seem to be afraid to create a leadership team that represents the diversity of their staff, volunteers and congregation. History and outdated thinking should not limit who is on the leadership team. Gutsy, innovative teams are not made up of people who look, act and think exactly alike.

Women see things differently than men. They possess outstanding communication and collaboration skills and offer the team high capacity leadership, creativity and balance. In the book Teams That Thrive, Jenni Catron writes:

We have to understand and value what each gender can bring to the team. God designed male and female with different strengths and sensitivities. When both genders are at the table and actively engaged in leadership, we most accurately reflect the staff and congregations we lead.

I think churches are missing the mark by allowing talented women with high leadership capacity sit on the sidelines. It’s time to create a culture that recognizes and empowers talented leaders of both genders.

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