the shape of leadership

Success Begins With Surrender

Jess Connolly challenges women to stop trying so hard, and start trusting God

Cassie Ferren on September 27, 2019

It seems many Christian books today are all about rising to the top, ticking off all the boxes of success, creating a culture of excellence, creating and maintaining momentum, gaining Instagram followers — you get the idea. It is exhausting! Although I acknowledge the importance of personal development, I also recognize the tension between seeking God’s glory and seeking my own.

In the first chapter of Jess Connolly’s new book, You Are the Girl for the Job, she boldly writes, “Maybe you picked up this book … out of that desire to rise to the top.”

If so, she says, give it up. Throw in the towel. “We’ve got to take ourselves out of the running for His job and take ourselves out of any race that pits us against other people or ourselves. To start, we have to quit.”

Connolly doesn’t try to tell readers how to win the race. She doesn’t even encourage them to climb the ladder of success. Instead, she calls for surrender. To be right for the job to which God calls us, she explains, we have to realize we can’t do the job in our own power.

I recognize the tension between seeking God’s glory and seeking my own.

Connolly, a church planter and mother of four, shares candidly from her personal life. She relates ministry struggles and parenting fails to drive home her point: “I am no better than you! I’m not qualified for the job either!”

Connolly doesn’t hold back. In a strange, unexpected way, it’s comforting to read a book that reminds me I’m not the only one who feels inadequate for many of the challenges I face.

Lest you think this book is pure lament, however, I can assure you there is plenty of good news. Although we can’t do the job, Connolly offers reassurance that the One who is most qualified for the job has called us to be the women for the job. And He is willing and able to equip us for every good work.

To help readers embrace this hopeful reality, Connolly guides them through these steps:

  1. Let go of your ideal self.
  2. Ask yourself the question, Who am I broken for?
  3. Acknowledge and redefine your strengths and weaknesses.
  4. Fight fear.
  5. Catch the vision.

This book offers a wealth of practical advice and encouragement for Christian women in all walks of life — from CEOs and pastors to college students and stay-at-home moms. Connolly provides refreshing and biblical insight on what it means to believe the God who calls us to surrender — and accept His job offer.


Book Reviewed

Jess Connolly, You Are the Girl for the Job: Daring to Believe the God Who Calls You (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2019).

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