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In this episode, I talk with Holly and our church’s women’s minister, Sandy Flewelling, about how to be an effective, God-centered leader, how to not do ministry on your own, and how we can serve the women in our church’s women’s ministry.Sandy’s Leadership Journey:
Sandy says that she fell into leadership. As an introvert, she never intended to be a leader. When she moved back to Maine, she found herself increasingly getting involved in her church’s women’s ministry. She noticed that her heart came alive as she worked with and taught women.
After insisting that she wasn’t a leader, she realized that she was rewriting then teaching her church’s Bible studies. She felt the Holy Spirit pressing on her that she could write her own material. Sandy felt like leadership had to look a certain way and required certain skills. She realized that she was a leader when she understood that she didn’t have to be everything.Sandy’s Mentors
Her pastor’s wife saw in and called out gifts that Sandy didn’t see in herself. A women’s ministry co-leader, Karen Reynolds, was supportive and reminded her that she didn’t have to be or do everything on her own.How Sandy Embraced her Wiring as a Leader:
Sandy reminds us to not take at face value that you’ll always be who you are right now.Sandy’s Advice for Younger Leaders:
Focus on what you love. Work in places where you get life and energy. What if you have an idea that isn’t in your skill set for your church? Trust that God will raise up the right person.Building an Effective Women’s Ministry Team
Sandy’s role at her church as women’s minister is to teach and shepherd women. She does this through event planning, overseeing women’s Bible studies, prayer groups, and small groups. She sets the vision for how women’s ministry executes the mission of the church as well as representing women to the church leadership team.How Holly and Sandy Worked Together
Holly had been involved with other ministries at church, but knew they weren’t her thing. She just wanted to be around Sandy, which works out well because they are a natural fit. After Sandy’s fellow women’s ministry leader stepped down, Sandy asked Holly to help her.
Sandy’s gift is teaching and setting the vision + direction. Holly’s gift is executing that vision and having a heart for the women in church.
When Holly came into leading the women’s retreat, she felt overwhelmed to make it perfect. Then she realized her job was to mentor those who were supervising each area, i.e. food, registration, decoration. Her job was to set the tone for the retreat so in each meeting, she reviewed the mission and ensure that each woman on her team feel cared for and welcomed.The importance of not doing women’s ministry on your own
The biggest advantage of not doing everything on your own is that you get to do what you love. What you love, you do well.
Three challenges of working with a team
Sandy believes that what everyone truly needs is time and opportunity to be intentionally face-to-face with God. But they may not realize what they need, so you need to provide this in ways that will allow it to happen.
Sandy and Holly both feel that what women need and want in churches are the following:
Ultimately, the goal of any women’s ministry is to make a place for people to be who they are, to love what they love, and to come together in a place where they feel comfortable.
Key Quotes from this Episode:
Sandy Flewelling is wildly passionate about helping you find freedom through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Whether speaking before a crowd in a retreat setting or sharing a conversation with one in her cozy office, her desire is to be faithful and true to the God who loves us and changes us with that love.
She has been a graphic designer for 25 years and is the owner of TrueBlue Design. But smack dab in the middle of that career she decided she wanted another one, so Sandy attended The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology where she earned her Master's in Counseling.
In her spare time, Sandy is a Women's Minister at Church of the Open Door in Hampden, Maine as well as a self-proclaimed toilet paper ninja and unashamed lover of two long-haired felines, Buddy and Bear. Her home is in Maine, where the tender beauty of summer makes the long winters worth enduring.Stay Connected:
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This episode was first published on estherlittlefield.com/episode42.
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