I was quite excited to read Emboldened and I wasn’t disappointed. What is so fascinating about Emboldened, is that it presents a vision of hopefulness without becoming argumentative or hostile. This charitable and uplifting tone is not unsurprising if you have read or listened to Tara Beth, but discussions related to women preaching and teaching generally lead to an uptick in blood pressure. Leach’s avoidance of that and the vision of togetherness she casts is what I appreciate most. She says
(t)he beauty of this glorious mission is that God has blessed the bride of Christ with a rainbow of colors and gifts, and the goal isn’t for everyone to get a place on the rainbow; rather, the goal is for the colors to shine fully so the world might take notice and see the bright, beautiful, and glorious light shining. The world will see the reflection of Christ as men and women labor together.(131)
As a man, I know too many men who recognize the gifting of women leaders but, out of fear that they would no longer be seen, are unwilling to create space so that the ‘colors shine.’ I know women who feel sidelined and are sick of the elbows they have to take to even stand amidst the crowd. Leach offers that the battle compromise the mission and suggests that the mission is most effective when women and men work together, partner together, and use their gifts together. This is a beautiful picture and reason enough to read the book.
It challenged me to think about my biases or ways I have hindered, rather than emboldened, my sisters in ministry and called me to be a voice to encourage and support the mission of God, in all its beauty.