Wednesdays Are For Women: You’re Not A Circus Act, by Jenni Catron

Pastors’ wives (PW) and women in ministry are incredible sources of wisdom and creativity as they use their gifts in leadership and service. I highly value their insight, faithfulness, and diligent labor. That’s why I’m hosting Wednesdays Are for Women. Each week, we’ll hear from a different PW or ministry leader and gain her perspective on God’s activity on her ministry team, her local church, or the issues facing church leaders today.

Today, we’ll hear from Jenni Catron, Executive Director, Cross Point Church, Nashville.  She’s an exceptional leader.  Read on and find out why.

You’re Not a Circus Act

One of my greatest passions is the intentional development of women, especially women in leadership.  And one of my greatest burdens for women is helping us truly identify and understand who God has made us to be and to embrace that calling wholeheartedly.

As leaders, I believe it’s so critical that we do the tough work of understanding ourselves and how we are uniquely wired.  Oftentimes we have a tendency to allow a lot of other things in our lives to define us and we lose sight of our God-given gifts, talents, and abilities.

“Over the last fifty years women have secured for themselves greater opportunity, greater achievement, greater influence, and more money.  But over the same time period, they have become less happy, more anxious, more stressed, and, in ever-increasing numbers, they are medicating themselves for it.”

From Find Your Strongest Life by Marcus Buckingham

That statement is heartbreaking to me.  It’s heartbreaking because I really believe it’s true.  I’ve seen this in my own life.  Our opportunities have increased rapidly and we’re adding pressure, responsibility, and activities daily, but we’re not taking the pressure off in other areas.  We’re just piling more onto our already overflowing lives.

Marcus also shares in his book:

“The conventional image of a successful woman today is that she’s a virtuoso juggler, somehow moving fast enough to keep all the many aspects of her busy life in the air at the same time.  This is a common image, but it’s also quite sad.  The core skill of juggling is throwing, not catching.  To keep every object in the air, you have to get rid of each one as quickly as possible, barely allowing it to register on your fingertips before you toss it up and away, preparing for the next object to throw.”

I’m willing to bet that most of you are jugglers.  You’ve learned to be really good at keeping things moving but rarely are you stopping to evaluate what you should be spending your time on.  You feel like you can’t put anything down and as a result you tap into your strengths less and less until you are not even sure what they look like anymore.

One of my favorite verses is a constant reminder of my need to evaluate who God is calling me to be:

Galatians 6:4-5 (The Message)

“Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that.  Don’t be impressed with yourself.  Don’t compare yourself with others.  Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.”

Can I challenge you to stop juggling and seek to understand what makes you uniquely you?

How has God uniquely wired you?  What are your strengths and gifts?  And how do you need to reorganize your life to experience the joy of leading from them?

I’m praying that God would awaken you to the beautiful, uniquely gifted individual that He has created you to be!

About Jenni:

Jenni Catron serves as the Executive Director of Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN, where she leads the staff and oversees the ministry of five campuses. She loves a fabulous cup of tea, great books, learning the game of tennis, and hanging out with her husband and border collie. Jenni’s passion is to lead well and to inspire, equip, and encourage others to do the same. Jenni blogs at www.jennicatron.tv.

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