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  • Baptist Beacon

Defining your leadership

DETROIT, MI – John Maxwell says “Everything Rises and Falls on Leadership.”

Have you ever tried to come up with your own definition of leadership? I’ve always looked at leadership simply as “Service before Self”. However, recently in my studies I came across a definition for the word meek that I had never heard before. The picture of meekness that I had was of someone who was submissive, passive and gentle. To the culture during Jesus’ time, the people would have understood it to mean something completely different. It has totally brought clarity to my role as a woman leader.

In the old Grecian military, meeking a horse was not stripping the power from the horse into submission; it was to harness the horse’s power from a state of wild independence to one of loyalty so that the horse could be used as the master intended. Paul uses this same word “praus” when he speaks of the meekness and gentleness of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:1). Christ was meek in that he was submissive to the will of his heavenly father at all times. It’s harnessing your God given power while being under the Authority of that same Master, God.

There is a lot of emphasis in the church today placed on a women’s role as it relates to leading. What can a woman do? What can’t a woman do? The best and most comprehensive question I can ask as a woman is “Am I meek?” Then leadership will fall into place.

A meek woman is one who understands that they are to still go and fight in the battle. We are allowed! Women are called to be part of the fight in contending for the faith that was once and all delivered for the saints (Jude 1:3). Women are not to be sidelined in the fight. They are not mere spectators. They are called to join with the other believers in Christ and fight. Consider the life of Christ and the significant role the women had in the gospel ministry. Paul when writing to the church at Rome commended to them the deacon Phoebe. In the Old Testament we read about judge Deborah who stands firm and leads the people into battle! Jael defeated an enemy of the people of God by driving a stake through the temple of Sisera. Women are called to fight!

A meek woman is one who also understands that they are to fight under authority. The war horse was under the authority of the rider and the rider was under the authority of his commanding officer. A meek woman is one who is submitted to the authority of God and His Word. The Word then clearly outlines the other areas of authority that they are to fight under. A wife is to be under the authority of her husband, and she must submit to him (Eph. 5:22-24). This is for the good of the man, the woman, the family, and for the good of the Kingdom of God. Women are to be under the authority of the pastors/elders of their church. They are not to be out of the bounds of this, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet” (1 Tim. 2:12). There is only one place to determine the structure of authority, and that is found in the Bible.

"Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth." – Matthew 5:5-9



Lori Stewart is the wife of ONElife Church planter/pastor Eric Stewart, she serves on the board of the pro-life ministry ONElife for Life and works as a staff member at the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Lori has finished several half marathons, is a former Big 10 Varsity Athlete, and is an avid read. Lori and Eric have three young children and reside in Grand Blanc, MI.


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