This morning I was talking to a woman who was planning to apply for a place on the next Arrow programme. It's great to hear from women who want to be on the programme, and I'm particularly excited this year because we've already heard from several women who are planning to apply. So far, we've heard from more women than men!
The CPAS Arrow programme is designed to develop Christian leaders for the Church of the 21st century. It's more than just another leadership course, and through its unique blend of residential, mentoring, peer support and project work, it aims to transform leaders, addressing issues of call and character as well as competence and confidence.
If you don't know about Arrow you can find out more by clicking here. The deadline for the next Arrow programme, starting in March and running through to autumn 2011, is 3rd December.
But when I remind folks that Arrow is only open to leaders between the age of 25 and 40, I know what response I'll have. 'Why 40?'
There are good reasons, but I know that if you're in your 40s, that does not help!
We had one enquiry today, and it makes me sad that we have to say sorry to some of those who would really value the programme. Many women are frustrated, because by the time you've struggled with what the Bible says about women leaders, with people who encourage men to lead but don't encourage you, and you've negotiated selection, training and ordination or moved into some other leadership role - you find out that when it comes to Arrow, you are 'too old.'
Part of my brief is to help equip women for leadership. If you're reading this, thinking 'I'm over 40 but I'd really love the kind of things which Arrow gives', why not respond to this post? I'd love to hear what you think your greatest needs are when it comes to leadership. ... We are currently thinking about a similar 'not Arrow' leadership programme, and about other ways of helping women to access some of the teaching, insights and opportunities that Arrow gives.
And if you have not already found the resources for women leaders on CPAS's website, click here. We've got a great new CPAS site! In the resources section there are book reviews and articles, and downloadable studies to go with the book Growing Women Leaders.
If you have any comments on all this, do add them to the post, or you can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.