This 120-page book is one of the most powerful books on empowering women for ministry I have ever read. I might even say it is the best I have ever read. Nicole Massie Martin, an ordained minister, speaks from the trenches. The content is honest, down to earth, truthful, convicting, and painful. Her observations are so accurate and timely, that throughout the book I found myself thinking, “She sure knows what she is talking about.” One reader commented that she wishes she had had this book back when she was first called to ministry. A second one believes this book will not only unleash women in ministry but will also help unleash men to be partners and not competitors.
Martin explains she is tackling the topic of women’s leadership because women often face opposition regarding the validity of their calling. This book is about how women can prepare themselves for ministry once they accept that calling.
Martin gives a clear picture of the “stained glass ceiling” in the church, describing the stark difference between male and female seminarians preparing for ministry. While women are still justifying their places as ministers, men are developing connections in line with where and how they feel called to serve. I reacted by wanting to purchase and hand deliver a copy of this book to every seminary professor as well as denominational leaders.
Each chapter has a title, biblical observations, life application, a set of probing questions, a summary, and a short prayer. Martin divides the book into three sections.
Section one, “Get Ready!” focuses on preparing women to lead in the church with chapters entitled “Made for the Call,” “Developing Leaders like Jesus,” and “The Challenge and Charge of Women in Church Leadership.”
Section two, “Get Set!” deals with specific keys to successful leadership development and elaborates on what women believe they need most in leadership development—confidence, love, sacred space, and mentorship—and how they can achieve it.
Section three is entitled “Lead with Purpose!” The author encourages women to find a place to serve in ministry and gives various options for those who are called and prepared. The chapter discussing the importance of owning your own body is a must read for successful ministry leadership.
Her book concludes by encouraging women to cultivate other passions and desires outside of ministry to avoid burnout, stay healthy, explore their talents, and maintain a diverse and personally enlivening portfolio of interests. This book offers a challenge and direction to all women in leadership in ministry.
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