How to Be a Female in Leadership

Cherie Duffey is over our entire children's ministry here at NewSpring Church…and is one of the BEST leaders I've ever seen in my life. Today she shares with us some insights on being a female in leadership.

Being a female leader in ministry has always been so intimidating for me. I never wanted to be in charge of anything as weighty as the children's ministry of NewSpring Church! But over the years, I have learned five things that have helped me step into ministry leadership as a female.

By looking at the life of Deborah in Judges 4-5 (CEB), I have learned that as a female leader I must do the following…

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1. Trust in God's Calling on My Life - (Judges 4:4-5)
• I am a child of God and my calling is to the Lord first. Deborah was a prophet –she listened to the voice of God and was ready to be used by Him!
• I am a wife. Deborah was the wife of Lappidoth–I love how scripture points this out, reminding me that my calling is first to the Lord, then to my husband/family and then to the ministry.
• I am a leader with spiritual authority. Deborah was a leader of Israel who must have also been a good listener! People came to her with their problems seeking wisdom, grace and justice.

2. Embrace Biblical Authority - (Judges 4:6)
• As a ministry leader, I must respect the man God put in authority over me. Deborah knew that Barak was her leader. She went to him when there was a problem.
• I must always listen to the voice of God and act on what I have heard. Deborah knew the Lord had issued Barak a command, and she knew she needed to act on it.
• I should be a leader who asks questions and speaks from my heart rather than giving a direct order. Deborah asks Barak a question to prompt him to action, rather than telling him what to do.

3. Be a Servant Leader - (Judges 4:7)
• I should be a leader who asks "What can I do to help?" Deborah tells Barak she will help him.
• I should look for opportunities to go to battle for my team. Deborah was ready to fight with Barak and for her people.
• I should always be willing to serve no matter the cost. Deborah risked her life for the sake of her leader and her people.

4. Recognize My Value - (Judges 4:8-9)
• I can be a source of strength to the leaders above me and below me. Barak did not want to go to battle without Deborah.
• I should speak up when I discern the need to do so. Deborah spoke up knowing that she had truth Barak needed to hear.
• I can have influence without telling the leaders above me and below me what to do. Deborah let Barak make the decision to take her to battle, and when she spoke truth to him, Barak listened. She had influence with him because of the way she led.

5. Be Willing to Fight - (Judges 4:14; Judges 5:31)
• I should be confident in knowing that the Lord is with me. Deborah reminds Barak that the Lord has gone before them in battle.
• I should fight to uphold the vision of NewSpring Church and the vision of our children's
ministry. Deborah was fighting for God's people to be free from the enemy.
• I should fight for unity and peace. Deborah's leadership brought peace to Israel for 40 years.

Perry Noble is the founding and senior pastor of NewSpring Church in South Carolina. The church averages 26,000 people during weekend services at multiple campuses throughout the state. Noble, his wife Lucretia and their daughter Charisse live in Anderson, South Carolina. You can read all of Perry's unfiltered thoughts about life and leadership at

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