leading,
women,
35m 4s

Episode 7: Women Leaders, Myth Busting & Leading Across Generations

December 23, 2016

Episode 7: Women Leaders, Myth Busting & Leading Across Generations

The Saddleback Ladies join the conversation, addressing women in leadership, breaking through stereotypes, and discipleship across multiple generations.

Instagram: @mingo2 #pdctour #pdchurch

Music: Dominic Bali

EPISODE RESOURCES

GO DEEP INTO THE DIMES DROPPED, CONNECT WITH THE SPEAKER, AND CHECK OUT THE LINKS & RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  1. Instagram: @saddleback_women
  2. Twitter: @SaddleBackWomen
  3. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/womenatsaddleback/

Episode Quotable

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Episode 7 Transcript

Mingo Palacios:

I want to welcome everybody to the podcast. This is Touring for Purpose. Beth, would you do me a favor and would you introduce me to the friends that you brought to today’s conversation?

Beth Schwartz:

I would love to do that. We have Lauren and Lauren.

Mingo Palacios:

Double Laurens.

Beth Schwartz:

Double Laurens. Both Women’s Community interns here at Saddleback Church.

Mingo Palacios:

I love it. How long have each of you been operating alongside of Beth in the recent season of ministry?

Lauren #2:

I just started a couple days ago, so I’m pretty new.

Mingo Palacios:

Welcome to the team.

Lauren #2:

Thanks.

Mingo Palacios:

Lauren number two. This should be easy, because I just go Lauren and Beth, Lauren and Beth, Lauren and Beth. [chuckles]

Lauren #1:

I started in October.

Mingo Palacios:

You started in October, okay. Help our audience understand who’s sitting in front of the table today. Lauren #1, who started in October, how old are you?

Lauren #1:

I’m 19.

Mingo Palacios:

You’re 19, oh my gosh, not even 20. Lauren #2?

Lauren #2:

I’m 21.

Mingo Palacios:

You’re 21, okay. And Beth, you are the seasoned leader in ministry here.

Beth Schwartz:

41!

Mingo Palacios:

You’re 41. With pride, I love it.

Beth Schwartz:

Absolutely.

Mingo Palacios:

You go. No shame in your game. I love it. You don’t look a lick over 35, so you’re doing really well. Plus you have the coolest hair ever in the world.

You’re going to help us navigate a couple of things in women’s ministry. Beth, how long have you been here at Saddleback, leading the women’s ministry?

Beth Schwartz:

We are 18 months into this amazing journey of leading our women.

Mingo Palacios:

I love it. Your story is not a typical story of how you arrived in ministry. Give our listeners just a little bit of a history lesson on how you got here and what you were doing prior to becoming the leader of women.

Beth Schwartz:

I was a nurse for 17 years. Still am a registered nurse in the state of California. God asked Scott, my husband, and my two kids and I to leave everything on the East Coast to come here and follow Him for this position.

I always knew I’d be in ministry. I didn’t think I’d be a women’s minister, though. My heart has always been to unleash others. I really thought I was going to marry a Kenyan and live in Africa the rest of my life.

Mingo Palacios:

Whoa, go ahead. No pressure on your husband. [laughs]

Beth Schwartz:

He asked me for a date and I was like, “You don’t live in Africa. We can’t have a date.” Well, God had other plans. He’s the perfect, perfect minister’s husband. We came here. All my corporate experience has really benefited me in the role of figuring out, how do we unleash women into what God has called them to do?

Mingo Palacios:

That’s super great. I love that. I want to erase the preconceived notion – when you talk about unleashing people into ministry, I feel like you’re not exclusive to women. Although that’s your focal point, you certainly inspire me to be a better person in the ministry that I do. So your reach is not exclusive to just one gender.

I wish churches would get that better. I wish they wouldn’t draw such fine and deep lines in the sand. If you’re a leader, you lead with those that the Lord uniquely allows you to reach and lead.

Beth Schwartz:

That’s really what my partner, Pastor Tom Kang, and I are doing, the men’s pastor here. We’re trying to align and look at both needs of men and women and then partner together and not have these separate boxes of women over here doing crafts and men over here doing barbeque.

Mingo Palacios:

Speaking of crafts and barbeque we could start our conversation out just by busting some of the myths. When you are trying to educate somebody or when you’re starting to build a case for why somebody should be involved in ministry, specifically alongside of women, what are some of the big misconceptions? I’m wondering if there’s going to be a bunch of people listening who are going to be like “Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for saying that.” What are they?

Beth Schwartz:

We often hear that “women do crafts.” You’ve got to be a crafter.

Mingo Palacios:

You have to be crafty.

Beth Schwartz:

Crafty. You need to know how to bake, because there is obviously going to be a bake sale at some point.

Mingo Palacios:

Professional baking. You need to be good on the icing.

Beth Schwartz:

A hundred percent. You need to be someone who can dress in shawls or knit prayer shawls.

Mingo Palacios:

Oh my goodness, I don’t even know what a shawl is. Does a shawl go over the shoulders?

Beth Schwartz:

It does.

Mingo Palacios:

Like a scarf but thinner.

Beth Schwartz:

Yeah, but thinner.

Mingo Palacios:

Good, I’m glad I’m on.

Beth Schwartz:

Not that there’s anything wrong with baking and knitting and all of that.

Mingo Palacios:

Of course, of course.

Beth Schwartz:

We believe, though, that women are made for so much more. So much beyond that. Women want to live in Africa. They want to touch the homeless person down the street beside them.

Mingo Palacios:

For the listening audience, do me a favor and let me know if you can hear better now. I know that our feed is great through the podcast, but I want to make sure that if you’re on Facebook, that you’re not missing anything. Just let me know by commenting in our comment section, and it’ll be just fine.

So busting the myth. I’m wondering if that comes from a held-on traditional – that sounds like a church out of the ’50s. We’re going to bake, we’re going to wear shawls, we’re going to knit our clothes, we’re going to make all the school uniforms or play uniforms. That to me sounds like a church that maybe my grandmother would have loved to have gone to.

Beth Schwartz:

Sure. It’s a different time.

Mingo Palacios:

It is. It’s a different time for ministry altogether. So the question is, I’m curious to know if that ministry that you just described, the myth of women’s ministry – it could be that there are people who are living in a season of ministry where that is the reflection of their women’s ministry, and there needs to be a consideration that we’re in a different time.

Beth Schwartz:

Absolutely. It started with an assessment. We just started asking. We started going to our young girls – the two beside me, others – and saying, what is missing? Why do you stop? You go through high school ministry, go to college, and then you’re out.

We started asking questions. What do you want? How can we have a diverse representation of women in all that we do? How are we meeting you, the woman who is a CEO at her corporation and living a life on purpose? How do we come alongside you and then help you serve?

We began to find these women. They’re ready. They want to use their shape, in our Purpose Driven language, but they haven’t found a spot in church. We’re just saying, come on. We’ve got a seat for you, girl.

Mingo Palacios:

What do you think are the biggest barriers – and I’m going to ask across the channel here. We’ll start with our youngest. What are some of the biggest barriers that you think exist in a young woman’s mind when she’s considering coming to the table? Like “I’m going to come to that first thing that is ministry-based.”

I ran a young adult ministry for seven years; I had very little challenge gathering a collective of young adults, men and women. But specific to a women’s ministry, is it the person that leads it? Is it not having any friends that are involved in it? What’s the big barrier?

Lauren #1:

I think it’s interesting, because I feel like as young as Saddleback is, there are not a ton of young women that come to the events, that come to the trainings. I don’t know if maybe it’s just engaging and making sure that there’s a strong and visible community of younger women that are attending these events and saying “hey guys, this is something that we all need to be a part of, that’s going to be cool and fun and something that will help you figure out the trajectory for your life.”

Mingo Palacios:

Trajectory is such a huge one. Especially for young people wanting to make sure that you don’t miss the mark. We may not necessarily know what the next 10 years of our life looks like, but we know the general trajectory of where we’d like to be.

Somebody asked the question, “a subtle stereotype that we see in ministry is that men typically carry this visionary leader role and women are the detail and follow-up and administrators.” Can you bust that myth for me?

Beth Schwartz:

I think we’re finding that women today actually are gifted with leadership skills. I remember thinking all of my life that I was created wrong because I was a leader.

Mingo Palacios:

Because you’re dreaming and thinking and you’re pioneering, and you’re wondering, “should I be doing this?”

Beth Schwartz:

I truly felt there was no place for me at the church, and I thought I was doing something wrong. That I was created wrong, literally. I found that the Lord, over the last five years, has said “nope, you’re exactly who I’ve created you to be, and you can lead and you can follow those giftings and the skill set.” The beautiful thing is then finding men who are comfortable with that. I feel like we have that here at Saddleback Church.

Mingo Palacios:

We’re lucky. We’re blessed to have a myriad of male leaders who welcome female vision and leadership to the table. That’s what’s affording us even this conversation.

Beth Schwartz:

Absolutely.

Mingo Palacios:

What would you say, Beth, because you’re probably the most seasoned with this perspective – I’m certain that you’ve come across ladies who say, how did you get here? What did it take? How are you breaking through those glass ceilings? What are some of the ways that you would encourage women who are committed to the vision but are seeing massive roadblocks as they try to remain faithful to who God made them?

Beth Schwartz:

It’s something that the girls will talk about. For me, it took 20 years, Mingo. Twenty years. The Lord told me at 19 I’d be in ministry. I served Him, He continued to open the doors. He wasn’t opening vocational ministry doors for me, but He gave me volunteer opportunities. So I said yes. It’s not what I envisioned – for years. He taught me how to lead in the boardroom. He taught me to lead at the corporate level. He taught me to volunteer locally.

And He kept saying, “Wait. Wait. I’m refining, I’m shaping, I’m making. I’m not giving you a platform until you’re ready, until I’ve worked out a bunch of stuff in you first.” And then 20 years later – so ladies, it’s not always fun or sexy. It was 20 years of waiting and being refined, and then He was like “now I’m going to trust this with you, but girl, you’re on a short leash.”

Mingo Palacios:

And piece by piece, right? It’s piece by piece. I feel like that is the message that keeps continuing to come to the surface in every single one of these podcasts: the long journey below the surface that people don’t see, because there’s nothing really to take a great picture of when you’re going through the meat grinder, when you’re submitting your ideas and you’re hoping that somebody’s going to hear it and you’re hoping someone’s going to take a chance on you. There’s not really an Instagram-able moment.

Beth Schwartz:

Nope.

Mingo Palacios:

But I would say that you look at the life of just about every influential person in the Bible, plus all these great leaders that you get access and proximity to, and they’ll tell you chapters on chapters of stuff that the Lord was developing them through in order to have one paragraph on the page. That’s something that we can’t take lightly, especially when we’re trying to give keys and insight to a generation that’s coming to the table.

I heard this statement today from one of my favorite ladies in our department, Mary Ann. She said, “We’re at the table.” It was such a killer statement. If you’re using the theory or the visual of “Am I invited to the table? Did we have a place at the table?”, she declared – she was like, “We’re at the table. The question is, do you choose to see us or not? Do you recognize it?” The plate’s there, I’m in my seat, I’m in position; the question is, are you going to pass me the yams? Do I get to have some ham?

Beth Schwartz:

[laughs] That’s good.

Mingo Palacios:

You’re talking about reaching across generations. You guys are doing that really well. You obviously reflect it in who you surround yourself with. What are some of the benefits you’re getting from being an initiator of a multigenerational ministry leadership structure?

Beth Schwartz:

I will never look through the eyes of a 19- or 20- or 21-year-old again. I won’t. I don’t. So I have to surround myself with women of different ages, stages, races, ethnicities, because I will never know what it looks like through their eyes. In fact, I’ve had 75-year-olds come up to me and say “Beth, please don’t forget us. We want to be part of this movement as well. We want in. Don’t forget us.”

It’s been a challenge, but we are working very intentionally to make sure that if you’re 18 or you’re 75, you see yourself as a Saddleback woman.

Mingo Palacios:

Because they’re at the table. They’re at the table already.

Beth Schwartz:

They’re at the table, 100%, and how they’ve been shaped, they want to give it. They want to use it.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s good. I feel bad because I’m always sending my attention to the generation at hand, the one that’s 5 years younger than me, 10 years younger than me, but I fail often to remember that there are 40-year-olds and 50-year-olds and 60-year-olds and 70-year-olds that have a bucketful of wisdom to bring to the table.

The best leaders are the ones that can bestow value on both sides of the table and say “There’s a reason why you’re here. I want you guys to partake in one another’s perspective and vantage point.”

Beth Schwartz:

Absolutely. We have started a mentorship initiative where we’re partnering younger and older in ways that are relevant to them, organically. Connection, dinners where they’re coming together, they’re meeting one another. The older women can speak and pour into – I know, Lauren, you talked about that earlier, how that is so important, both of you, in the stage in life that you’re in, where you’re like “I don’t know what to do next. Should I go back to NYU, should I go here or there?”

Can I ask a question? Now I’m taking over here, Mingo.

Mingo Palacios:

[laughs] Yeah.

Beth Schwartz:

I’m just thinking, Lauren, you were talking about your generation. That’s a big connection point I’ve heard over and over again. The 20-year-olds want someone who’s ahead of them in life speaking into them and giving them direction. What do you think about that?

Lauren #1:

Yeah, I think discipleship is exceptionally important and it’s something that Jesus commissioned us to do. For me, getting to intern and sitting in on these meetings and seeing the wisdom that is seated around me, I want our generation to know those things. I want that to be shared, because this is the next generation of leaders that are going to come up and take over the church and who are going to run the church. What are we leaving them with? Will this information get shared? Will their wisdom and their mistakes and everything get passed on? Because that’s so important and those are all learning opportunities too.

I think with our mentorship initiative, it’s so important to have those women – whether or not they’re in ministry, whether or not they’re full-time somewhere else. What they’ve learned and what they’ve gone through as a woman and pioneering the way for women in leadership is a huge thing.

Just even that visibility of you and the women leaders in our church is so important, because I think a lot of times our generation is like “Oh wait, I can be a leader in the church. I don’t have to take that outside of the church. I can use the gifts that God’s given me inside the church, because there’s a place for women.” When they start to see that, then it changes.

Mingo Palacios:

I want to ask the question, who reached out to who? How did you guys get connected? This will probably solve a problem for some people who are wondering where the other generations are.

Lauren #1:

How did we get connected?

Mingo Palacios:

Yeah. Did you make a reach to Beth, or Beth, did you go and scout out some influential folks in ministries that were elsewhere?

Beth Schwartz:

No, I’m telling you right now – and it’s not even Godly; I don’t want this to sound like “I prayed,” but I’m serious: I asked God when I came on this journey, I’m like, “You’re going to have to bring me women that can do this with me, because I can’t do this. I cannot do this job.” I wasn’t sure – I just couldn’t do it.

So I think Lauren’s mom found me, and we found each other, and she was like “Hey, can we just have coffee?” That started me asking some questions, seeing my young self sitting there, wishing someone would’ve said some of the things to me as an 18-year-old.

Mingo Palacios:

To change your trajectories, right?

Beth Schwartz:

A hundred percent. Like “that’s your gifting, you got it, go.” And also to encourage her, like, you have the scholarship at NYU, go and get equipped and then come back. It just naturally started that way, and that’s what’s continued now into a professional working relationship as an intern.

Mingo Palacios:

What are some ways that you could recommend – I think of some of the churches that I’ve connected with, and they’ve got somebody who’s been given the responsibility of leading women but maybe not all the resources there. People might look at Saddleback and say “Oh wow, you guys have like 20,000 people going to your church. You just cherry-pick all the great women and boom, you have a great ministry.”

How did you break through some of the barriers? I love that you said you were praying for God to really bring and elevate and highlight the right people. What do you tell somebody who’s building it from scratch?

Beth Schwartz:

The thing that I’ve found, I’ve had to make it not about me. I’ll fight that every day. I think we’re all human, we want a platform, we want ourselves out there. One of the things is I’ve had to make it a goal to give it away. By surrounding myself, by God bringing these awesome women here, it was like “Go, take it. You take this, you take that, you take that.” It began to bring women who could walk in their shape, in their gifting, and we could see it multiply. Then they poured into another group, then they’re pouring into another group. It’s kind of taking off that way. So it doesn’t need to be this hard…

Mingo Palacios:

It doesn’t need to be a one-person show.

Beth Schwartz:

No. That’s what I’m getting at. It can’t be. To grow and to have women at the seat – women generally can compare, can compete, can be catty if we’re left to our own devices. But I’ve watched the exact opposite. When women are truly walking in the way God created them to live and to lead, it is beautiful. It’s like a giving. It’s humbly giving.

Mingo Palacios:

It sounds like that has to be a perspective that you have to – you stumble upon that perspective, right? I know that I wrestle with – you get a sense of attention and you go “Oh my gosh, I’m finally here! I’m due. Thank God I’m still as young as I am and that I’m not beyond my prime.”

I just think of the leaders that are tuning in, wondering – they’re finally getting a little bit of headway when it comes to recognition and it comes to followers or it comes to their ability to have a voice, and what you’re saying is when you fight yourself and you give away every single one of those opportunities – I asked you to do a podcast and you bring two other people to the table. Clearly you’re practicing what you’re preaching. But it’s not as easy as just saying “I’m just going to die today. I’m just not going to make it about me.”

Beth Schwartz:

Absolutely. Every day.

Mingo Palacios:

You gave a [unclear 00:19:24] a couple weeks ago about dying to yourself, and I feel the genuineness in that. That is not an easy thing to do. How do you use other people to remind you to not make it about you? Because it’s surely so easy to when you’re the women’s leader of Saddleback. You’re famous, right? [laughs] You wouldn’t say so, but people will look at the church and they’ll automatically assume it.

So how do you do that, and how are you learning to do that also in her wake? What does that mean for you guys as you receive things that are way above your paygrade?

Lauren #2:

I definitely think this past summer I was just experiencing a lot of spiritual growth. Not anything that I had sought out in the past, but God was starting to work in my life and I was starting to really see it for the first time. I ended up going to one of the Worship Nights. It was one of the first Pray, Love, Lead events, and Beth was speaking.

I remember sitting there and I was thinking, okay, I’m surrounded by these women that are older than me, and I feel like I don’t fit in, and my mom said, “You just need to go. Stop worrying about that. You just need to go.” So I sat there and I watched Beth, and I was like “I want to be her. That is what I want. She’s up there, she’s empowering women. She believes in us.”

Especially as she’s talking about women living the way God has intended for them to live, it is so lived out in everything that she does, in everything that every woman that I have met along the way of working in the women’s ministry and that whole realm. Every single woman has been encouraging and loving.

I was so caught up with the fact that these women might be older than me, but there’s so much that I have to learn from them because they’re setting the tone. Even if I’m speaking to the college generation, if these women that I’m interacting with are in their 30s and 40s and 50s, they have so much they have already learned. I’m learning so much from them and I’m being enriched by them passing down their knowledge to me of don’t be catty, don’t be mean, all those sorts of things.

Mingo Palacios:

Are you the exception to the rule? Are you reflective of your entire generation, or are you one of very few that reflect that kind of wisdom?

Lauren #2:

I definitely think I’m in the midst of my generation. It’s so easy to say “I’m not catty, I’m not mean,” but it’s a whole other different thing to try and not fall victim to what the media tells us and how you should have, like you were talking about, an Instagram-able life. When you’re in that low moment, it’s not pretty. The last thing you want to do is post about it, but society says you need to put on a brave face. You need to post a nice photo. You need to do the things that society and media want from us.

To that same extent, it’s easy to say “yeah, I’m surrounded by all these great women,” but it’s a totally different thing to implement it when society is wanting a totally different thing from me.

Mingo Palacios:

I think there’s something really great in discipleship. You look at the way Jesus picked his players, and he was picking people who had great potential. He wasn’t picking people who were just sitting around waiting for something to do. He went after people who had businesses. The fishermen. He went after people who were hustling like bosses. Think of the tax collectors. He went after people who had connections to tons of other people. Those were his targets.

So in any ministry, despite women’s ministry, men’s ministry, young adult ministry, high school ministry, married couples’ ministry – if you’re building a leadership team, what are some of the things you’re looking for, Beth?

Beth Schwartz:

When I started out here, I was not sure what the southern California woman was going to be like. Different from the East Coast, Amish country Pennsylvania. [laughs]

Mingo Palacios:

[laughs] Certainly all things are different from just that specific type of person, period.

Beth Schwartz:

Totally, right? After 40 years there. But I am always attracted to someone who is authentic and real and gets where they are growing. Whether it’s like myself and the anxiety or depression journey in my life, mental health, or whatever addictions you’re struggling with, I wanted to surround myself with women who were in the struggle and they were going to be real about it, and we weren’t going to all play church.

Mingo Palacios:

You’re talking about authentic as in honest, right?

Beth Schwartz:

Yep, 100%.

Mingo Palacios:

We love the word “authentic” right now. It’s the million dollar word today. When you’re looking for somebody who’s authentic, you’re saying somebody who isn’t going to word-vom all over you, like “blah, deal with my crap!” You’re talking about somebody who has a high EQ, somebody who’s able to understand their shortcomings and their strengths and bring it to the table and be, I’m guessing, coachable. It’s huge.

Beth Schwartz:

Sure. And that they would feel the freedom to speak into me. We want to be the body. I don’t have the same lens these guys do, some of my leaders who are great with details and all that kind of stuff. I was praying for a team that would collectively be one and be unified. That means low egos. We all had to have low egos to be like “okay, this one’s going to go out this time.”

The third thing is that they are willing to say “yes” to very difficult things. On the fly, “You ready to go to Rwanda?” “Yep!” That they would be women who would say “I’m going to do it. If God’s asking me” – not Beth – “if God’s asking me, I’m going to do it.” And not be fearful. Just go for it.

Mingo Palacios:

What are the biggest internal voice lies that you have to shut down on a regular basis?

Beth Schwartz:

That’s a good question, Mingo. I think for one, if I’m still in the refining process myself over something – the Lord has dealt with me with my anger. I’m in Celebrate Recovery right now for that. It’s one of the things that I’m working through as a parent. I have a daughter who’s exactly like me, a mini me. She triggers me, I trigger her. That’s the language. We walk around in the house, “you triggered me, you triggered me!”

Mingo Palacios:

“You’re pulling these triggers!”

Beth Schwartz:

Right, totally. So I’m working on anger from past stuff with my childhood. I have to tell myself that it’s not over yet, that my story isn’t written, that He is refining me, that I am growing. Even though sometimes it feels like two steps forward and one back, I’m on a journey, and I’m not going to be the same woman I was two weeks ago.

Mingo Palacios:

Even day to day.

Beth Schwartz:

Hundred percent.

Mingo Palacios:

Sorry, Rachel, you just called Beth – you got denied. You just got sent a voicemail.

Beth Schwartz:

[laughs] I think the other thing is that there’s still some times, at 41, when I have to speak in front of the group – not so much that I get nervous to be in front of the women, but I still will go back to the seventh grader who got terrible grades and feel like, is the seventh grader going to come out? “Are they going to like me?” I have to still tell myself, at 41.

Mingo Palacios:

Forget it. That’s seventh grade, that’s 17, 27, 37, 47. I think we’re still going to be asking the question, are they going to accept me here?

Beth Schwartz:

Yeah. “Do I make sense?”

Mingo Palacios:

Absolutely. That’s a good one. Same question to the two ladies to the left: what’s the biggest lie you battle on a regular basis?

Lauren #1:

One of the big things is – I think this might be true for you too, but just the age thing and “you’re too young, you’re inadequate, you’re not wise enough,” whatever it might’ve been. Satan just loves to hit with that, because it’s true that were not as experienced. It’s true that we don’t have as much wisdom.

But I think the beautiful thing about following the Lord is that that doesn’t matter. What matters is your obedience and your ability to step out in faith and follow him.

Mingo Palacios:

Totally. Preach, yo.

Lauren #1:

I think the other thing is just that being a Christ follower is completely counterculture. With our generation, it’s really hard to not have everything planned out and be like “I’m going to do four years here and I’m going to go here and I’m going to do this, and then at the end I’m going to have this career and this nice job.” Following the Lord says “All you do is just follow me. Set your eyes on me and I’ll show you everything else.”

Mingo Palacios:

Then you arrive at all these places and you’re like, holy Jesus, I can’t believe you did that.

Lauren #1:

Right. Something that Beth has really shown me and spoken into is that her life was all these different paths the Lord took her on to get her to a place that she couldn’t have even imagined or planned. She couldn’t have planned that.

Mingo Palacios:

There’s no way you could’ve self-authored that kind of journey.

Beth Schwartz:

Never. Little girl in Amish country. Never.

Mingo Palacios:

[laughs] I love it. That’s good, thank you for that one. Okay, last offering for the big lie you battle on a regular basis?

Lauren #2:

Something that I’ve really had to work on, and still working on every day, is that I don’t have to have everything planned out. Something that I really have learned in this past year, even, is that every time I go to plan something, it’s that I’m planning something. God is not the one that I’m taking into account when I’m thinking “I want this job” or “I want this major that’s going to lead me to this potential job.” It’s safe to have a plan, and that feels so comfortable to me. It’s uncomfortable to shed that plan and follow God.

Mingo Palacios:

That’s right on the inside of your lane, I bet, because for me, I get terrified thinking, there’s a plan right now? Can we get off the plan a little bit? That’s the first question I ask, like if you show me the rules, can we bend some of them? That is so good.

I was just talking to my friend Steven in a podcast earlier that there are no dream jobs, and when you realize that following the life that the Lord intends for you is the dream life, then every opportunity, every job, every circumstance becomes the best it could be in the moment you’re in it.

Planning everything out, surely there’s a balance in that, for sure, but I love that you are releasing a sense of control. That really speaks to a control-ness.

Lauren #2:

It’s difficult.

Mingo Palacios:

Something inside of you that wants to have your control of your situation/scenario/environment/context.

Lauren #2:

For sure.

Mingo Palacios:

Final thoughts. I want to give some final thoughts away. We busted some myths in women’s ministry. We talked about leading across generations, how necessary it is for a thriving ministry to not plateau and then wonder “where are all the young people?”, but also to grab a hold of the reality that there’s wisdom spread across every generation. That we cannot abandon the 40-year-olds, the 50-year-olds, the 60-year-olds, the 70-year-olds, that God is writing a unique story in each one of those lives. We would be literally better together if we spent some time talking to one another.

Beth, you’re brewing on something. You’re brewing on something.

Beth Schwartz:

I am. This is what I shared with staff the other day, Mingo – through tears and everything.

Mingo Palacios:

It was super touching. I loved it.

Beth Schwartz:

[laughs] Jennie Allen, one of the girls I follow who started the IF:Gathering, she talks about how all she has to do is create opportunities to push women off cliffs, to do something hard. Sometimes you just need that person to go “Yeah! You can do it!”

Mingo Palacios:

A catapulter. Like Mandy Tysor just said, a catapulter.

Beth Schwartz:

Yes! I feel like if you are in a small church and you’re trying to figure this out for your women – because you know women like to gather. That’s going to be different than men. They always will want to gather.

But literally, I feel like all I do is work to create spaces where women can be pushed off cliffs, do hard things, and then they find that “Oh yeah, we did that! [Unclear 00:31:26].”

Mingo Palacios:

There’s a championing something together.

Beth Schwartz:

Exactly. Women are good like that. We can come around each other and say “you got this, girl.” Or we can be the exact opposite. But I’ve watched women come around – we took 17 of us to Rwanda, experienced a ton of pain through the aftermath of the genocide and everything – but I see these young women coming up with ways to get AIDS down to zero, HIV cases zero. Or empty the orphanages.

Mingo Palacios:

Orphans knocked out.

Beth Schwartz:

Exactly. I’m watching them do it.

Mingo Palacios:

It reminds me of a quote. C. S. Lewis, in an old, old book, he said “We’re good when we talk face-to-face, but we become better when we operate side by side.”

There’s something about a collective action that I think – again, to bust one of those old school, old generation ideas of ministry that women just want to sit at a table and talk to one another, I don’t think it’s the norm anymore. Especially with the rise of the millennial, the desire to be tethered to something much larger than themselves, way beyond their own hands in the pot, I think we’re going to see better ministries focused on young women when we realize that doing stuff side by side is going to outpace doing stuff face-to-face. I’m just convinced of it. I’m super convinced of it.

Anyways, I want to shut this down by saying thank you so much for your insight. If people want to get connected to you, where can they follow you? Where can they see your inspirational lives?

Beth Schwartz:

This is when I turn this mic to the young generation. [laughs]

Mingo Palacios:

[laughs] I love it. Tell me how our listening audience can keep track with the efforts that you guys are doing for women in Saddleback’s ministry, but also maybe to get some inspiration – if people want to connect with you, get some insight – I know certainly I could drag you into San Diego and you could help a bunch of people out. How can they get connected?

Beth Schwartz:

You can follow us on Instagram @saddleback_women, and Facebook, our Saddleback Women page. We also have Twitter @saddlebackwomen. And our website, which is just saddleback.com.

Mingo Palacios:

Saddleback.com and then go hunt down the ladies.

Lauren #1:

Hunt it down.

Mingo Palacios:

You ladies certainly are a power pack. I’m thankful that we get to see the expression of your ministry right here. I work alongside of Saddleback in doing so many things, but I love that this is my home team. You’re a proud home team to belong to, and I really do love that.

Beth Schwartz:

You know what, Mingo, I have to say the last word. I want to thank you for being one of those guys that champions women. You see us as teammates, as co-laborers. You are walking beside us. You actually find ways to empower the women around you, and you see us. Just like Mary Ann said this morning to you, you do. You do that really well.

Your generation of men have come alongside all of us and have validated that we have gifts at the church, that we can be part of the church, and that we have a place. I really see that in you, and thank you.

Mingo Palacios:

Teamwork! High fives all across the table. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah! All right, ladies. Thank you so much.

If you liked this podcast, please re-share it, send it out to everybody who needs to hear it. You can follow us; our Facebook page is Touring for Purpose. We just appreciate you guys joining us in this conversation. Please share it so that other people can join the conversation about women in ministry and how critical it is to the church, not just of tomorrow, but for today. We’ll talk to you guys soon.

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