Last month, Trustee Claire Rush attended the History Makers Europe Summit with 30 other 18-30s leaders. Part of the International Leaders’ Institute, History Makers is an leadership equipping experience focussed on 8 core biblical leadership principles. It is currently delivered in over fifty countries worldwide. Claire shares her experience here:
Every so often, you come across an experience that changes your life! In 2011, I joined a group of passionate Christians for my first History Makers discipleship journey in a tiny Spanish village outside Seville. It was a week of intense study, reflection and discussion which helped me understand my God-given purpose. Now, I’m thankful to have the opportunity to be on the faculty team teaching aspects of the History Makers course in the UK and throughout Europe. One of the things that I love about History Makers is that it equips women and men to be leaders. In some of the countries, this is very revolutionary for its cultural context.
Last month, History Makers held Summit for its key leaders in Europe and it was wonderful to meet other passionate Millennials and hear how God is moving across the Continent. During Saturday lunchtime, we were able to gather the women leaders together for discussion and fellowship. Sitting around the table where women from UK, Germany, Ukraine, Lithuania, Switzerland, Poland and Czech Republic. Over lunch, we discussed the opportunities we have had to develop our leadership skills and the people who have championed us. I was inspired by their example – many of these women were pioneers in their jobs, leading social action initiatives and teaching on History Makers equipping weeks. However, it was also quite clear that many also faced obstacles because of their gender such as cultural conditioning and conservative theology.
Charlotte, part of the History Makers UK team (who also works for Girl’s Brigade Ministries), reflected: ‘The time with women leaders at the History Makers summit opened my eyes to the different situations that women find themselves in across Europe, and the limits that sometimes prevent them from fully being who God made them to be. It highlighted the importance of Girl’s Brigade as an advocate and champion for the full equality and empowerment of women - we have a real opportunity to help the girls and young women that we work with discover exactly who God made them to be, and help them to unleash their full potential.’
Desiring our time together to be constructive, after lunch we gathered together to discuss our women in leadership tool box. It was great to share books, initiatives and projects which we had found useful in developing our leadership skills. Personally it was a privilege to talk about Sophia Network as well as our In the Image of God Bible study resource. Rebekka from the History Makers Swiss team shared: ‘It was such an inspiring moment to be together with women from more than 7 different European countries. To hear what God is doing in their nations and how he uses women to do his work was fascinating! To share the successes as well as the struggles in serving God or doing ministry as women was a great encouragement. Personally, all the resources that were presented were a great help and I am so thankful that I had an opportunity to be part of this. It will shape my future as I do ministry as a woman in my country.’
It is evident that there is a need for an online community championing the equality of women and men in Church and beyond across Europe. I’m excited to see Sophia Network stepping into this role. Please continue to pray for these young women as they seek to use their God-given gifts for God’s glory.
Are you 18-30s and interested in attending History Makers UK outside London in September 2015? Click here for more information.
Dr Claire Rush is Participation & Advocacy Co-ordinator for GB England & Wales and Chair of Girls' Brigade Europe. She also serves on the international faculty team of History Makers.