Pat MaierLutheran Educator and WLI Conference Presenter
Pat Maier’s leadership style is characterized by humility and servanthood—with a dose of fun!
What does it look like to be a woman in a leadership role? How does Christian faith impact leadership? And what happens when you put the two together?
Patricia Maier has worked as a leader in Lutheran education, as a pastor’s wife, and as a retreat leader. Her husband is the current president of the Michigan District, LCMS, so one of her current leadership roles is as encourager to other pastors’ wives. She facilitates women’s retreat weekends at Camp Arcadia in Arcadia, Michigan and acts as a Visual Faith Coach, Speaker, and Manager of online communication sites. Pat has a BA in Education from Concordia University Ann Arbor and Chicago. She has been a presenter at a regional gathering for WLI at CUAA in 2015 and helped organize the WLI Leaning and Leading conference at CUAA in 2016. She will be presenting a workshop on Visual Faith at the Gifted to Influence Conference September 30.
We asked Pat a few questions about her roles and her views on Christian Leadership:
What’s the favorite part of your job?
I enjoy meeting people, listening to their faith stories, and encouraging them with God’s Word and promises.
How would you define Christian leadership?
A Christian leader needs to be connected in God’s Word, available and willing to listen and encourage, and be honest in sharing both faith and faults in their own life.
How do you bring your Christian values into your work?
Conversation, example, support, and teaching – in a humble, no fuss, down-to-earth, I’m-a-regular-person-just-like-you sort of manner.
Can you remember a specific experience where you relied on your Christian faith or values to lead you through a tough decision or important task?
There was a ten-year period when my family was impacted with cancer, involving my father, husband, and son. It is only by God’s grace that I could walk that path, have those conversations, deal with my emotions and those of my family, and come through not too worse for wear and with a stronger faith than before. My husband’s election as a district president, leaving our church home, supporting him in a stressful job, and finding new purpose for my life continues to be a journey, and I continue to seek God’s guidance and wisdom through prayer and time in His Word.
Looking back, is there a time on your leadership journey where you perhaps felt uncertain about the future, but God had a bigger plan?
That would have to be when my husband’s job changed and I was no longer “the pastor’s wife” or “the 3rd grade teacher” at my own church and school, roles that I knew and loved. Not only did I feel uncertain about the qualifications for my new leadership role, but also was unsure as to what areas God might want me to lead.
How does working in a religious or secular setting change the way you lead as a Christian?
I am still who I am – the only difference is that in a secular setting I am mindful to choose my words to be understandable and clear so that I don’t make anyone feel left out; I strive to be humble, approachable, and give the best witness that I can through conversation and relationships.
Who are your biggest role models as a leader?
I admire my husband and many of the humble, mission-focused, joy-filled pastors that I’ve met; dedicated lay leaders who serve “behind-the-scenes” with no thought for recognition; and the many treasured girlfriends that inspire me with their ability to encourage and communicate God’s Word in an excellent and fun way.
Is there a passage in scripture that resonates with you as a Christian woman in leadership?
“He has told you, O man [or woman], what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)
What most prepared you to be a Christian leader in the workplace?
Certainly, my work as a Lutheran educator, pastor’s wife, and church ministry volunteer all prepared me to be a Christian leader in my workplace today, which is wherever each day takes me.
What challenges do you face as a Christian leader in your workplace?
My biggest challenge is feeling confident in where God is leading me – what invitations or opportunities need my “yes” and what need my “no.”
What is the most important piece of advice you would want to pass along to other Christian women in leadership?
Be humble, be real, be fun – and be completely devoted to Jesus and those He loves (the world!)