A Conversation about Men and Women Working Together in Ministry
We believe that it is God’s design for men and women to collaborate as equals in the missional life.
- What if men and women were created and even designed to be co-laborers in God’s beloved community?
- What if, from the very beginning, the intention was that God’s sons and daughters would reflect the divine Image and would share in both servanthood and leadership?
- What if the sorting of men and women into different categories was a failure of imagination?
- What if placing unreasonable burdens of leadership on men and excluding women from leadership made things harder, not better?
We believe living according to God’s design is a matter of justice and a matter of missional effectiveness.
For more than 20 years, we have worked together leading, writing, facilitating, coaching, and consulting to help equip leaders and organizations throughout North America to grow their capacity for emotional maturity and adaptive change.
In the beginning, our roles were more traditional, but for almost two decades, we have worked to form a partnership of equals and have often learned the hard way how challenging that can be.
We were both formed in a conservative, evangelical context with a strong commitment to scriptural authority. Over time, while holding on to that biblical integrity, we came to see the roles of men and women to be less prescribed and more powerful than we had imagined.
This workshop series reflects our commitment to this vision and our learning over time with the hope that it will spark honest and creative conversation and re-imagining for Christian leaders.
Workshop Series Overview
We have designed this on-demand workshop series to be less about imparting information and more about testing our assumptions and imagining better possibilities. It contains five sessions, 145-minutes of studio-quality audio, and a 42-page workbook. The five sessions cover the following topics:
Session 1: Starting with God’s Design
Everywhere we see the Body of Christ at work, we see women and men serving together in ways that are sometimes beautiful, sometimes dysfunctional and almost always challenging.
Our understanding of the Scriptures and our own unique experience teach us that we can meet the challenge and grow in our ability to work together in ways that honor both men and women and the work that God has called us to do.
Where do we start this conversation? Do we start with the conversation about what women are “allowed” to do? Or do we start with God’s original intent? We believe that if we start with God’s intent, we affirm that men and women are called to use their gifts without limits and together.
Session 2: Communication Across Differences
We can’t talk about men and women working together without talking about communication. We want to avoid broad generalizations while also acknowledging that men and women are socialized and conditioned to communicate differently and those differences sometimes make it challenging for us to work together.
Our experiences of working together for many years and sharing literally thousands of conversations during that time has given us some insight into how our communication differences can affect multiple aspects of our work and our relationship.
Session 3: Supporting Each Other
Men and women share the basic human need for respect, appreciation, being valued, being heard. When we relate to each other as competitors or adversaries, no one gets what they need. As we learn to work together in equality and mutuality, we are learning to support each other in practical and meaningful ways.
We think through some of the practical ways that men can champion women in the pursuit of equality as well as ways that women can support the men who support them. At the end of the day, it’s not just a male-female issue, it’s a human issue.
Session 4: Boundaries & the Billy Graham Rule
We believe that men and women serve God together as equals in every way. While we recognize that men and women serving together in ministry comes with some risks, we take on the risk because we believe in something bigger than the risk. In the process, we grow our relational integrity and emotional maturity as followers of Jesus.
Session 5: Practices for Rich Partnerships
Because we genuinely believe that men and women are better together, we need to be deliberate about embedding those ideals into the practices of our congregations and organizations. It takes work and intentionality to make sure that our values are reflected in our systems and structures, our decision-making processes and in our power dynamics.
Better Together Workshop Series Details
The workbook is broken up into seven sections—an introduction, sessions 1 through 5, and a closing letter. Each session includes studio-quality audio content, session transcription, session summary, discussion questions, suggested practices, and additional resources. Click here to see the Workbook Table of Contents.
Better Together WorkshopOn-demand Workshop Series
- Lifetime access
- Go at your own pace
- 5 workshop sessions
- More than 145-minutes of audio
- Session transcriptions
- 42-page workbook
About the Workshop Facilitators
For more than 20 years, Jim and Trisha have worked with hundreds of pastors and congregational leaders across North America. They developed a working theory of personal and congregational transformation that they have tested in an ongoing series of pilot projects in a wide variety of contexts and with congregations from very small to very large.
When does it start?
- You can begin as soon as you download the workshop material. This workshop series is on-demand and at your own pace. If you choose to add coaching conversations or team coaching sessions, those sessions will be scheduled after you’ve purchased the workshop series.
How can I use this material once I’ve downloaded it?
- There are two primary ways you can engage with this material, independent self-study or with a group (like your team).
What if I want additional 1 on 1 coaching?
- Our one-on-one coaching is $150 per session, no long-term commitment necessary.
I have additional questions, how can I reach you?
- The best way to reach us is to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the form on our contact page and one of our team members will be in touch.