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Leach questions title

1. Name one or two key factors that prompted the original idea for this book.

Throughout my years of ministry, I have discovered that we have a lot of work to do when it comes to empowering our sisters into ministry. In 2014, a series of discouraging conversations with well-intended district superintendents helped me realize I have something to contribute in this conversation.

It was as though I was standing with pastors and denominational leaders around a beautifully painted portrait, but they were seeing black and white, while I was able to see bursts of vibrant colors. I wrote Emboldened for those who could only see the kingdom portrait for women in simple black and white, in hopes that their eyes would be opened to the gorgeous portrait that is rooted in scripture and empowered by the Spirit of Pentecost.

One thing I love about our denomination is that we have affirmed women in ministry since our inception; however, the percentage of women in ministry plummeted 40 years ago, and we have barely recovered. I’m ready for us to not only return to our roots as Wesleyan-Holiness people, but I’m ready for us to return to our roots as Junia people, Phoebe people, Deborah people, Esther people, and Pentecost people. This is our story!

2. What three key takeaways from this book would you like for the reader to experience?

1. Empowering women in ministry is an important discussion. Scholars are noting a decline in church attendance, seminary attendance, and the overall church in North America. If I were having a heart attack in a hospital, I wouldn’t care if it were a male doctor or female doctor doing CPR on me. I would want a capable, gifted, smart, and talented doctor reviving me. It is mission critical that we empower our sisters to ministry, mission, preaching, leadership, evangelism, prophecy, and pastoring.

2. The Bride of Christ has an anemic imagination when it comes to the kingdom vision rooted in Scripture that gives us a vision of men and women partnering for the kingdom. The Bride of Christ will continue to limp along in the mission of God when we sideline and hold our sisters back.

3. Affirming women in ministry is not enough; instead, we, as the Bride of Christ, must creatively come alongside our gifted sisters and embolden them to places of leadership. So many factors keep women from discovering and using their gifts in the kingdom, and we need all hands on deck to creatively bring this discussion to the forefront. We need all hands on deck to push our sisters to the pulpit, empower them to places of leadership, and encourage them to discover their gifts. What we do with this generation of leaders now will have a ripple effect on our daughters, and their daughters, and their daughters. It will also have a profound ripple effect on the future of our denomination.

3. Do you have a favorite passage or chapter in this book?

My favorite chapter is Chapter 8, “An Emboldened Imagination.” It’s personal and vulnerable, but I have received feedback that it has encouraged women who lack imagination for their role in the church. Some excerpts in there could very well be from one of my journals.

4. If you were sitting beside the reader, would want him or her to spend extra time on?

Chapter 7, “An Emboldened Mission.” This chapter is important for the entire church on how to frame this conversation. In this chapter I describe that this isn’t about women strong arming themselves into leadership, and neither is it merely about justice; rather, it’s about mission. If we are truly missional people, then we will take serious the call of empowering our sisters.

5. What specific ways can this book equip, encourage, and/or instruct ministers?

This book is for men, women, denominational leaders, laity, pastors, and students. It gives practical tools to help us finally embrace the kingdom imagination for men and women colaboring for the sake of the church, the world, and the mission of God. A mission is at hand—let’s get on with it!

Leach bio

To read an excerpt from Emboldened, please click here.