Just want to share my response to this great post from Caryn Rivadeneira over at Gifted for Leadership, "What We're Asked to Change". She asks whether as a woman in ministry you feel impressed upon to change anything about yourself - particularly your appearance. Check it out. Read my thoughts. Then share yours!
A year ago, I came on staff at my new church home as Director of Children's Ministry.
I'd volunteered for many years in women's ministry (specifically to moms), and was(more or less) comfortable and confident in an all-female arena.
However, I found myself intimidated (initially) by sitting with a much-older-and-wiser-and-more-(though not entirely)-male Administrative Council (as an at-large member) for several reasons: I was female, I was significantly younger than the others serving, and I had less formal training and education than those I sat with - not to mention that my clothes were more contemporary and casual than anyone else's.
I can't say for certain that anyone else was keenly aware that I stood apart in these ways (though I suspect SOME of them must have), but in the year I've served on the council and in my position, I've found my footing and my way without altering who I am in Christ. In fact, precisely because I've made my focus the Lord and not the opinions of those around me - (though I haven't been flawless in this) I find that I'm being embraced and accepted by those around me.
And perhaps, the lesson for me (at the end of the day)is that the prejudice I most suffered from - was my own.