Mandy Thompson on Women of Influence Week
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’m focusing this week on Women of Influence and what some different influencers have to say on the subject.
We’re starting things out with Mandy Thompson. Mandy is a worship leader and great blogger that I love following. I love her wit and I love her heart for worshiping God and connecting with others. She was one of the first women bloggers to welcome me to blog land.
Be sure to check out what Mandy is up to at Just a Girl as well as at MTTV where she and Tam will keep you in stitches.
Here’s what she had to say about what it means to be a woman of influence:
“An element of femininity that is as intrinsic as estrogen is a woman’s ability to influence. We were created, as helpmates and relational creatures, to influence mankind. I think this is a primary reason that both wisdom and temptation are personified as feminine in the early chapters of Proverbs. There are a number of examples of womanly influence throughout the scriptures, but we can easily find women that use this ability for harm, such as Sampson’s Delilah and Isaac’s Rebekah. The one qualifying factor of becoming a woman of influence is birth. The real question is will we use this ability to influence as a blessing or curse to others.”
How are you using your influence?
Yah, Mandy rocks for sure! This post reminded me of a verse about when Ruth and Naomi returned to Bethlehem…
“So the two of them continued on their journey. When they came to Bethlehem, the entire town was excited by their arrival. “Is it really Naomi?” the women asked.”
That verse has always stuck out to me. Naomi must have really made an impact and influenced the people there. So much so the entire town was excited.
I hope I have a strong influence on others like that.
Jenni, thanks for hi-lighting Miss Mandy Pants! She certainly has influenced me…for the good 😉
Tam – I love that perspective on Naomi’s return. You’re right – she must have had a significant influence to generate so much excitement for her return. I love those seemingly little, but important points in scripture!
Hmmm! Loved what Mandy said, but it brings up a lot of questions for me. Like is there a difference between “influence” and “leadership”?
The end result is the same, the person being influenced is being led, but I have been told, as a woman, not by leadership in my church, but by tons of other people….I can have “influence” with the gift of leadership as a woman, I just can’t lead. To me, that is telling me I can lead, we just can’t use that word. The other difference is if you declare a person a leader, than you have to at least listen to them. If I am just a “woman of influence” I can only influence in the relationships where I am close enough to the other person to do so………
I have issues, you can delete my comments if I start to throw off your groove, Jenni. 🙂
Tawny, great question! This is the age old debate. The best leaders in my opinion are those that have relational influence. People willingly follow because they believe in the leader.
Then their are positional leaders who people follow because they have to out of a hierarchical structure (I’m your boss so you have to do what I tell you). I don’t really consider this type leadership as much as management.
I personally feel like true leadership boils down to influence. Consider Jesus, he had no formal authority (on earth) but he had tremendous influence and as much as religious leaders tried to keep him from leading, his influence trumped that.
I would love to hear what others have to say!
So, you are presenting “influence” as good, strong, relational leadership. That is what I wanted to know. 🙂
I’m reading a book now called: The Lost Women of the Bible…
It’s filled with stories of women (some well known, some overlooked) in the bible and the significance of their stories. I’m so encouraged by you, Tam, Mandy, and Anne…I have found my leadership/influential voice in a new way by blogging.
I do believe that relational influence is the foundation for any good leader. Those “leaders” who refuse to build relationships, will fail at being a leader.
I’m loving this series of posts!
Tam: your check is in the mail. 😉
Tawny: i love you! i do think there’s a slight difference between influence and leadership. leadership has a more official, directional impact. influence, while directional, isn’t always official. the relationship between influencer and influencee isn’t always as well-defined as with those in leadership capacities. ex: i have the ability to influence my boss – “steer” him in a particular direction – but that doesn’t necessarily make me his leader.
Judi: that book sounds really interesting. Lost women. yes.
Jenni: this is really a great discussion – i’m looking forward to what other wise women out there have to say. thanks for letting be a part of this. 🙂
A man’s point
Landies and Gents. You know the saying behind a Godly man there is a great woman, but I say behind a Godly woman there is a great man. The lady that influenced me is Mary the mother of Jesus because she listen to the Heavenly Father and I will say that women listen to God better than men do unless they have been called to serve but there is always a Godly woman there to help the man serve the way God wants him to serve.
Thanks for chiming in Andy… about time the guys joined the discussion!
Mandy, I love you too! I am very sad you are working this summer.
Ok, back to leadership/influence stuff.
I guess we all just need to be faithful and do what God calls us to do, huh?
No matter what it is called. I always end up back to that!
Honestly, I like influence better anyway, because usually, more love goes with it. 🙂
I noticed that this is not the first time you mention the topic. Why have you decided to touch it again?