Our online survey as part of our consultation was open to both men and
women. We asked the guys 'From your experience of working with women,
what advice would you give them as to how they can reach their full potential?'
And this is what some of them said:
- “Tricky - I feel it is more men in leadership I need to speak to! These thoughts apply to both sexes . . . 1. Work life balance, there may be a feeling in some contexts that you need to prove yourself or be more than a match for a man, youth ministry IS a marathon not a sprint. 2. Get a mentor, this is easier said than done - female role models who have gone before might be few and far between, however, they don't necessarily need to be in youth ministry, it is more important to meet up with a "wise old head" than no one. 3. Do what is "you" and trust what God has called you to, I am not a "wild at heart" man and I am sure there are lots of women who aren't waiting to be "captivated" - read John Eldgridge for the stereotype references . . . 4. In all things seek to love others and know that there are men striving for equality in ministry and leadership alongside you.”
- “Encouragement is important for both women and men, but one of the biggest issues facing female church youth workers is their own image of themselves... if they believe that God does not see them as equal, and that they are not as equiped for ministry then both they suffer and so do the young people, as there is no-one portraying a positive role model for young women.. in fact, they end up perpetuating the same cycle of oppression. Women need to know they are equal to men, and God values them just as much in all areas of ministry... lets move on from these past oppressive mis-conceptions... they no longer have a place.”
- “be themselves and don't try to be male and competitive”
- “Don't be intimidated by under achieving male youth workers, train them.”
- “Be confident. Don't accept the margainalization of themselves and the importance of their work by other people, especially those in positions of power.”
Thanks to those men who filled in the survey and for these comments. Anybody else want to add anything or say something in response?