I loved being a part of this writing project. It started when God uniquely knit together a group of women from all over the country. We met for several years via phone, skype, and even face to face a couple weekends –learning, asking questions, worshipping, praying, researching and growing in transparent relationship with each other as iron sharpens iron. One of the fruits of our relationship was a desire to write a book that empowers women to serve God without human restraint. We knew that men would offer strategic and thoughtful perspectives…and we saw significance in a gender-collaborative project.
What is this book about? It’s about the heart of God, the ministry of Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit with a focus on women, their giftings, callings and the men who welcome them to serve alongside. We offer theological integrity concerning troublesome scriptures, ponder the plight of women globally, and give context to the practicalities of men and women serving as full partners in ministry. We risk personal disclosure into the prejudices, pain and frustration facing women serving in ministry leadership. We honor kingdom contributions made by multitudes of women, both throughout history and in this generation. Our heart is to explore this issue by asking the right questions with a right heart.
Why are there so many contributors to The Black Swan Effect? We wanted to offer a wide angled view of women in ministry and men/women serving Him together. That means a wide swath of experiences and observations by both genders. Some of the contributors are seasoned authors in their own right.
Talk about the unusual title… It took us a long time to name this book; we considered dozens of ideas in the process. We wanted it to be gender neutral…but to intentionally attract male readers, too. Exploring women as co-equals in ministry leadership could be viewed as a daunting, disarming pursuit…but it’s a critical topic if we are serious about the great commission. We wanted to fuel curiosity toward higher good. Hence the name, the colors, the style of the cover…
What are your personal reflections on this topic? I always knew that God doesn’t favor men or call them to a higher level of leadership than women. My conversion at age 13 was dramatic and anchoring. The day after I yielded my life to him, I paced the Bible camp volleyball court at dawn, realizing that everything in my life would change…. who I married, where I would live, what I would do with my life. I felt his lordship and destiny imprint me to fulfil a call that was unique and unlimited. A daughter has no greater ally than a Father who believes in her. We want to call women out of darkness into His marvelous light. His truth is transformative and qualifying. Having had a chance to collate a few of my experiences and massage research into actual pages has been a clarifying experience.
What about trends in the US regarding women in leadership?
Unquestionably women have increasing appetites toward accomplishment and leadership…including vocational ministry. In the US, the hunger of young women toward university level training is higher than men in many fields. Their appetite is huge! The disparity of women actually welcomed into high levels of leadership reflects huge gaps. Why is this so? Look for more and more glass window breakthroughs to the glory of God.
What affect do you hope this book has on readers? I hope it is inspiring, thought-provoking, and catalytic toward deeper / wider kingdom activation and fruitfulness by all His sons and daughters together in the harvest field.
What about book profits? We all agreed we wanted the book to plant seeds in good soil. We will be giving profits of the book sales to women in the nations who continue to do incredible things for His glory and to contribute toward freedom for women caught in the sex slave industry.
How can this book make a difference? Lots of ways! It can open the way for self-examination on core beliefs about women and personal heart recovery. It can educate by offering a long view of women throughout history and the challenges they have faced in serving God- as well as the status of women world-wide today. It can provide format for Bible studies or retreats. (Qs at the end of the chapters). Black Swan can be a tool for raising our sons and daughters to a higher level of engagement in the body of Christ as a whole. It can help to encourage churches who recognize they have great women in their midst who could be playing a more strategic role in the life of the body. We include some churches’ journeys in this process. Black Swan can also provide substance if you are working alongside women and just want to be better at it! And, we have included many women’s stories to encourage those of you beauties out there who want to say “Yes” to him.
Who cheers you on? My husband, Bill, is my faithful and steady life partner. He has always encouraged me forward and supports whatever the Father has led me into. Consequently, our four sons have in their DNA to embrace all God has invested in women and support their dreams and assignments. And, my hat is off to my many wonderful female and male kingdom compatriots. I love to serve with them, travel with them and make a difference with them. The job of the Holy Spirit is to reveal Jesus. He does this in so many magnificent ways through those in my oikos. We are created to honor and encourage each other, offer truth and grace when we make mistakes, and stay in the game.
Check out The Black Swan Effect- A response to gender hierarchy in the church at: http://amzn.to/1hAeMXK