on Monday, July 10, 2023

Women hold leadership roles in more ways than they realize and the variety of their callings and giftings can impact God’s kingdom, writes Emily Dean, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary assistant professor of ministry to women, in a new book released this summer by B&H Academic.  

In “Women Leading Well: Stewarding the Gift of Ministry Leadership,” Deans explores what it means to be called and gifted by God for service, and how to steward that gifting well.

“I am so thankful for Dr. Emily Dean‘s new book, ‘Women Leading Well,’” said Tara Dew, NOBTS president’s wife and director of the women’s certificate program Thrive. “It is such a timely resource for the church today, as it implores women to use their God-given talents and influence for the Kingdom of God.”

Kelly King, Lifeway’s manager of magazines, devotional publishing and women’s ministry training, said women who “sense God’s calling on their lives” often wonder how to use their God-given passions and gifts.

“As women consider their role in the local church and their calling in ministry, there is a current need for a voice that can speak biblically and with a strong theological background,” King said. “Emily has filled this need with her work and given a framework that is not only biblical but practical.”

Dean said the book grew out of her classroom experience as she looked for, but couldn’t find, a textbook for women in ministry leadership that reflected the NOBTS and Baptist Faith and Message theological perspective.

Part One explores the meaning of leadership, places of influence women hold, what calling looks like in a woman’s life, and the gifts God gives to help them fulfill their calling. Part Two gives practical tips on directing a team, being part of a church staff, leading with professionalism as well as with confidence and humility, self-care, and other guidance.

Many leadership opportunities are available for women as missionaries, on church staffs, in non-profit organizations, and in various volunteer capacities in the church, Dean said.

“I want women to be able to see that there are a lot of ways in which they do lead whether they have a title or not, whether they have a position or not,” Dean said. “Even if they don’t have a formal volunteer position with a title, God has given us a lot of different ways to influence others for the kingdom of God.”

Dew said Dean’s book provides timeless leadership principles, making it applicable across generational lines. “This book will be a helpful tool for teenagers through senior adult women,” Dew said.

While the book is directed toward women, Dean’s afterword is written for men in leadership roles as they help prepare women to step into various leadership roles.

Malcolm Yarnell, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary research professor of theology, commended Dean’s work in an endorsement for the book.

“Emily Dean’s ‘Women Leading Well’ first unfolds the necessary doctrines of universal priesthood, ministerial calling, and spiritual gifts through careful theological exegesis of Scripture,” Yarnell wrote in a back-cover blurb. “Our Lord’s churches will thrive for God’s glory as they learn to encourage women’s leadership.”