The following is a quick excerpt from my newest e-book, Let Her Lead, which just released. These few paragraphs explain why I tackled such an important topic.
Callie is twelve years old now, almost thirteen, making the ridiculously quick hop between girlhood and womanhood right before my eyes. Boys ease into puberty the way winter gives way to spring, as evidenced by my son, Abram, now fourteen. It’s subtle. It’s slow. It happens in fits and starts, flying under the radar most times. But girls? One day they’re a mishmash of giggles, pigtails and pink swim floaties, and the next day they’re full-on woman, see them flourish, hear them roar.
This transition has got me thinking not only about the twelve-year-old “woman” who now resides in my abode—and at five-foot-seven, Callie’s frame, at least, is precisely that—but also about the world she will inhabit once she enters adulthood for real. What kind of interests will she hope to pursue? What kind of friends will she choose to have? What kind of bosses will she wind up working for? What kind of people might she lead? What kind of faith community will surround her? What kind of man will she marry? (That last question leaves me blank. My daughter still wants nothing to do with the opposite sex, which is totally fine by me.)
But to my point: Given all the promise and potential awaiting Callie, how do I help prepare her for her future? And how do I prepare that future for her?
These are the central questions banging around my brain as I sit down to write this brief book. We’re going to have a conversation about a topic—women in leadership—that is touchy for many people, especially church people, but I’m not trying to be provocative here. I’m not trying to pick a fight. I actually want to defuse this topic that has been infused with such vitriol along the way by simply revisiting a few themes that have been sidelining women far too long.
But I also want to begin by admitting that, as a dad, I cringe at the thought that in ten or twenty or thirty years, my bright, capable daughter could have doors slammed in her face for the simple fact that she happens not to be male. If she is cut out to be a corporate CEO, then I hope she’ll be hired. If she is cut out to be President of the United States—perhaps even the first female one, if Hillary doesn’t get there first—then I hope she’ll be elected. If she is cut out to be a professor or a lawyer or an engineer or a horse trainer, then I hope she’ll be chosen there too.
And if she is cut out to lead within the church, then I hope she’ll be invited to lead.
If I were to boil down my desires, dreams, assumptions, and plans for the type of world that will embrace my daughter, they’d fit into two simple manifestos: Let her be her. And let her be heard.
This isn’t just my vision for the world ten or twenty years from now, when Callie is a bona fide adult. It is my vision today, here, in our present culture. There are 30- and 40- and 50-year-old women who want to engage in leadership now. What I want for Callie is the same thing I want for them: to be seen and heard, acknowledged and valued, loved well and led well…and learned from by both women and men.
What others are saying about Let Her Lead:
I am really glad that my friend Brady Boyd decided to write this book! So many books that deal with controversial topics try to score points or win a debate, but that isn’t what Brady does here. He simply wants to see what the Bible says about women in leadership. He deals with this very sensitive issue with understanding and love. What he finds is so encouraging; this is a book that everyone should read. Greg Surratt, Lead Pastor Seacoast Church; Author of Ir-Rev-Rend
I am so gratified to know my friend, Brady Boyd, is standing with those in the larger Church community who see “women in ministry leadership” as timelessly intended by God, and thus, wholly consistent the Holy Scriptures—both Old and New Testament! I urge leaders and other workers in today’s Church to read, be nourished hereby, and join in seeing the whole Body of Christ activated for ministry at whatever level of gifting or leadership the Holy Spirit has confirmed to be present by mature elders in their congregation and network. Jack W. Hayford, Chancellor, The King’s University—Dallas/Los Angeles