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7 Questions with Lori Adams-Brown
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Lori Adams-Brown
Name: Lori Adams-Brown
Current title: International Speaker | Coach | Consultant | Podcast Host
Current organisation: Shadowmatch
Lori Adams-Brown is an International Speaker, Coach, Consultant and Podcast Host. Lori has been an Associate Campus Pastor at Echo.Church and Development Director of Echo Compassion in the Bay Area. She served as a career missionary with the International Mission Board for 20 years in Indonesia and Singapore, serving as a Team Leader in both locations. She grew up as an MK (Missionary Kid) in Venezuela, and she met her husband Jason in college, also an MK from Thailand. Lori enjoys discovering and developing leaders, speaking several languages while sharing about God’s love in all of them, and seeing how God is changing lives all around the globe.
She holds an M.A. in Intercultural Studies from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, and has B.A. in Sociology and Spanish from Samford University. She grew up in Valencia, Venezuela where she learned to love city life, island life and merengue and salsa music. Her happy place is sipping a flat white coffee while having a deep conversation or enjoying either a beach or mountain vacation with the love of her life, Jason, and their urbanite TCK kids Nico, Alex and Bella. You can find her podcasting from the Silicon Valley on the A World of Difference podcast.
1. What have you found most challenging as a church leader?
Developing female leaders and watching what divides men and women in the world creep into the church.
2. How did you become a church leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Watching my parents serve as church planting missionaries, and my mom starting a free clinic in Valencia, Venezuela that is still going strong at the church where I was baptized really impacted me. Some would say bringing a church leader is in my blood, but I had my own calling to ministry as a sophomore at a Baptist college when I went to a conference at Southwestern Seminary and felt a strong call to do ministry in Indonesia.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Days start early with 3 kids to get into online school these days. I keep my ministry zooms to their school house when possible. When I was a pastor, I took Fridays off because Sundays were full work days. Now, in my current role, I keep my weekends free to be with my kids and minimize my nighttimes to only 2 times a week. Time with my family is precious.
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?
Developing Female Leaders by Kadi Cole gave me concepts like the stained glass ceiling and the sticky floor as well as language on how to help men and women work better together. Bringing a woman in to lead is step 1. Step 2 to 1 million is addressing the diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging steps where she is part of at least 30% of women at the table with her, and where microaggressions and women’s concerns are constantly being addressed. I personally became more aware of how to help churches address issues where women aren’t being brought up to whatever the leadership lid is, and particularly where certain churches are practicing faux egalitarianism where women are more of a token hire than a leader with a voice and authority to make big decisions.
5. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
There is no substitute for listening to and deeply knowing those we lead. People remember how you make them feel, and when you listen and spend quality time with people it builds a team with trust and loyalty where much good work can be done together. Inclusion is key.
6. How do you develop a healthy leadership pipeline in a church?
You start with ruthlessly eliminating unconscious bias. Churches are full of women serving as volunteers, assistants, and helpers who are strong leaders with much potential. Find out what people’s jobs are outside the church, and encourage them to either lead seminars or lead teams with their expertise. Good leaders let others lead. Spend time with those who are hungry, gifted and love others well. The Billy Graham rule holds many women back from the coffees, lunches and golfing conversations where leaders are developed. Be intentional with women leadership development. They are typically more than half the church. It’s a big ocean of opportunity.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a church leader so far?
As a woman pastor, many women and girls told me I was the first or one of the first women pastors they had ever seen. It gave me many opportunities to show that we are all one in Christ Jesus, and that God made Eve to be a strong, rescuing partner alongside Adam as men and women were always intended to do this kingdom work together. Diversity and inclusion was God’s plan from the beginning. It is beautiful to be a part of displaying that and working for it as a leader in the global church.