I realize this is the third post I have written about the Gifted to Lead conference I went to last week. Nancy Beach and Nancy Ortberg blew me out of the water, and I've been mulling over what they had to say, as well as trying to take in everything all the speakers from the Leadership Summit had to say the past two days.
One thing that struck me particularly was the pain that both Nancy's endured as leaders early on. Nancy Beach talked about having a recognizable leadership gift in high school. Her youth leaders paired her up with a guy who was a fairly new believer and kind of "rough around the edges". They did this so Nancy could "lead through him." She was called the "secretary"…and pretty much everything the guy said to the group, Nancy had written out ahead for him. Women were not to be leaders in the church back then.
I was thinking about the pain they both talked about. I was thinking that I am so glad that strong women like them paved the way for this generation and the next and the next generation of women leaders. They were not trying to be "one of the guys". They were (and still are) uniquely feminine women, just doing the things God has gifted them to do. They are not trying to take the place of men in the church. They just do what they are called to do.
Because of women like them who serve God and the Church with a humble, yet strong spirit, many other women will be able to follow after them.
I know I probably will never meet either Nancy. I would hope I could express my profound gratitude to them for paving the way for me, my three daughters, and countless other young women who are watching them and modeling their own leadership after their humble, yet courageous leadership.