Book Study Session One

The Life-Giving Difference

Hi Ladies and welcome to our first session together! I’m delighted you’ve chosen to be a part of the FB study of my book, Life-Giving Leadership: A Woman’s Toolbox for Leading. Before we jump in, make sure to answer the questions at the end in the comment section. Let’s begin!

Chapter One, The Life-Giving Difference, open with my story of a visit to church versus Tina’s first visit to church. Wow, what a difference between the two. Share with me your first experience in church and did it compare to mine or Tina’s, and if so, how?

The stories I relate to the most in the Bible are the life-giving encounters between Jesus and women. One of my FAVORITE stories in the Bible is the story of the Samaritan woman from John 4. I love how Jesus encounters her and loves her despite her past, and gives her fresh hope and a new beginning. When have you been given a new beginning? When have you experienced His fresh grace?

For those of you struggling with being defined by your past, the Bible says that when we know Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are adopted into His family. We become His daughters. Fatherhood may be a hard concept for you to grasp if you have father issues, so begin by focusing on His promise in Hebrews 13:5 that He will never fail you or abandon you. (New Living Translation)

The secret to life-giving leadership is emotional health. Emotional health or the lack of it manifests in interpersonal relationships. Those who are emotionally healthy are friendlier, more expressive, confident, self-trusting, trusting of others, less troubled by mental health issues, and criticism.

For example, the bouffant-polyester woman’s emotional immaturity inhibited her from accepting me, a young girl visiting her church, seeking an encounter with the living God. Criticalness and judgment oozed out of her. There are several reasons for the stunted emotional growth and emotional immaturity. Here are a few:

* Poor parenting or the absence of a parent resulting in abandonment issues.

* Insecurities resulting from a weak sense of self-identity or self-worth.

* Sexual, physical or emotional abuse.

* A catastrophic event in a young child’s life such as a death of a loved one or divorce can inhibit healthy emotional development.

So what are we to do if our backgrounds include one or several of the incidences mentioned above? People that are life-giving, emotionally mature, able to love others freely have experienced the love of God. They understand that the love of God is a safe place for their hearts. Experiencing the love of God empowers you to forgive yourself and others. Forgiving others empowers you to love others unconditionally.

Life-giving leadership is embedded in love and begins within and is manifested in our relationships with those we lead. To unlock the mystery of love, just look at the healthy relational principles listed in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-6. “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and keeps no record of being wronged.” Applying these principles to our leadership creates healthy, life-giving relationships which in turn create healthy, life-giving churches that attract the unsaved, the uncommitted and the unchurched.

Questions: How many of you practiced basking in His presence as mentioned on page 33? What is your favorite verse about God’s love for you? Could you relate more to life-giving Lilly or the bouffant-polyester woman? Which tree do you lead from? How can you be more life-giving in your interactions with women?

Prayer: Father, we love you, and it’s our heart’s desire to live out of the tree of life and not out of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Help us to love others with the life-giving nature of Jesus. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Generation Eve
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Julia Mateer

Laughing hard with friends, strong black tea, quiet moments with her husband, are some of Julia's favorite things. One of her greatest joys is having authentic conversations with women about relationships, parenting, and leadership.

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