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7 Questions with Aleisha Reader-White
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Aleisha Reader-White
Name: Aleisha Reader-White
Current title: Director
Current organisation: Equipped for Grace
A bit about me - I love family! And I want everyone to have an amazing family to return to at the end of the day, so I’ve dedicated my life to serving others in this capacity. My company, Equipped for Grace, is dedicated to developing resources for churches, equipping our amazing people to deal with life’s toughest situations, child protection, domestic violence, suicide and self-harm, mental health issues etc. I love it!
I am a mum of two, wife to a beautiful man and love a good chat.
I am the typical eldest child, always organized, on time and studious. I love organisation!
At age 19, I was working in the finance and the entertainment industry and finding little to no satisfaction from all its attention, glitz, glamour and glory. So I started to attend church, but It wasn’t until I went on a mission trip to South Africa that I decided this is what I wanted my life to be that life really started. So what else to do…but quit my job, pack up everything and start on a new journey. In this time, I completed a Bachelor of Justice and Legal Studies, Graduate Diploma in Psychology and commenced working in the criminal justice sector, where I was for over 12 years.
1. What have you found most challenging as a church leader?
Most challenging – I have found that people bringing their helpful but very negative opinions about how we are currently running a service, or activity very challenging. I think it is because so much of our heart, emotion and our personal lives goes into everything we do for God and church, and we want it all to be perfect. But if we haven’t had enough time, or sleep, and things aren’t where we want them, people don’t always have the best tact or grace when delivering feedback – I can be even harder on myself after those occasions.
2. How did you become a church leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
There was a need in children's church and we stepped up - it really is as simple as that. To be very honest, I didn't want to, haha! But my husband did and it is one of the best thing we have done.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I am a mum of two (one baby, one school aged) and I am running a business. So not everything always goes to plan. When my children are awake and active, I am present with them. When they sleep or are doing homework or sport, I am working.
4. What's one book apart from the Bible that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
Richard Branson's losing my virginity - not a spiritual faith filled book at all, but gosh it encourages me to be bold in my leadership and vision.
5. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
To have thicker skin. Jesus had so many people praise him and ridicule him all at the same time. So just doing my doing, all for Him and those more vulnerable than ourselves and letting go of what others think and learning how to bring them along on a journey when they don't want to.
6. How do you develop a healthy leadership pipeline in a church?
Structure, structure and more structure. Having an organisational structure, communicating this along with clear expectations of people and boundaries. Constantly communicating the higher vision and objectives of our church.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a church leader so far?
Seeing our vision come to pass. We developed a goal of having people come back to our church because the children loved it. And we have seen this occur over and over again. Our leaders have been so encouraged and inspired by this, and sown more and more into the lives of our church kids - which then encourages the children more, and so the cycle continues.
What's one question you'd love to ask other leaders in our audience to generate discussion about leadership? Eg. 'How do you do difficult conversations well?', or 'What's one tip for leading a remote online team?'
How do you make sure you're achieving compliance in areas such as child protection, with your volunteer base?