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She may claim that she believes in gender equality, but she will often surround herself only with women and refuses to put men in certain positions. Oftentimes the feminist has experienced at least one failed marriage and does not have any healthy relationships with men. Because she is unhealed, she cannot be an effective healer.

6. THE VICTIM This is the most pitiful of all the bad examples I've listed. She is guaranteed to make you feel sorry for her. And she might use a full box of Kleenex to help you understand her pain.

What the victim lacks in leadership skills she will make up for in sob stories.

Everyone is against her. She is suspicious of her own congregation. Other churches, she says, are maligning her. The devil, she insists, has targeted her ministry for destruction. Every trial that comes her way confirms that she is the focus of a demonic conspiracy.

Chaos surrounds this woman. Her ministry is always in turmoil. The victim moves from crisis to crisis, always anticipating another tragedy around the next corner. True joy has been replaced by a constant religious anxiety that repels people—thus making sure that her ministry will always be composed of a small "remnant" of people who have similar emotional baggage.

Of course if you suggest that this woman's misfortune might be the result of her negative outlook on life, she won't listen. That's because the victim has found a bizarre form of pleasure in her dysfunction. She's become quite comfortable at the center of her painful universe.

DON'T SETTLE FOR LESS
All these bad examples are in the church today—and each has her male counterpart. But I am not giving up in my resolve to see an army of gifted, trained women who will serve as pastors, missionaries, evangelists, CEOs, government leaders and social reformers. This is the hour for women to arise.

Instead of divas, we need humble women who are willing to serve even if they receive no public recognition. Instead of control freaks, we need leaders who wash the feet of their disciples and push them to greatness while modeling sacrifice. Instead of flirts, we need mature, dignified mothers of faith who have crucified their adolescent fantasies.

Rather than flakes who are tossed around by spiritual fads, we need discerning women who love biblical truth more than charismatic goose bumps. Rather than feminists, we need women who have resolved their issues with men and are willing to partner with them on equal footing. Rather than victims, we need women in ministry who are emotionally healthy.

Don't be discouraged if you see yourself in any of these negative examples. There is probably a little bit of diva in all of us! And all of us have resisted the urge to become control freaks.

If you are called to leadership, God will guide the preparation process—and He will bring mentors and positive role models in your life to challenge and encourage you. If you allow the Holy Spirit to shape your character, you may end up being the good example the church is waiting for.


J. Lee Grady is contributing editor of Charisma and author of 10 Lies the Church Tells Women and Fearless Daughters. For more information go to his Web site, themordecaiproject.com.

 

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