Jenni Catron Talks Women

Sarah Markley,Kem Meyer, Lauren Chandler, Lindsey Nobles, Thomas Nelson, Women on Women, women women, Jenni Catron, Leeana Tankersley, Ann Voskamp, Jena Nardella, Heather Whittaker, Rachel Held Evans, Lauren Chandler

I met Jenni Catron the way I meet a lot of people: over lunch with a group of leaders.

One of the things I liked about her immediately? Jenni’s not a woman to melt away in a group of men.

She’s the caliber of person who could sit down with the President or with your crazy aunt Marlene and be equally articulate, affirming and gracious.

Which is where she started with me–by beginning the interview by thanking ME for engaging this discussion.

Women Issues, Women Quotes, quotes, women, women on women, women in the workforce, gender issues, women in society

Sarah: So you play a pretty important role at Cross Point. Do you–even given your leadership position–ever find jealousy or competitiveness sneaking in? And if so, how do you stabilize your thinking so you don’t act on these kinds of competitive thoughts?

Jenni: Unfortunately, yes.  Competition and comparison seem so second-nature, especially in our American culture.

For me, the core of those issues has to do with insecurity.  One of my greatest challenges is understanding who God has made me to be and being confident in his purpose and plan for me.  I find that most often the enemies to my confidence are fear and jealousy.

When I fear feelings of inadequacy I have to choose to remember what is true about who God says I am in Him.  When I am jealous of other women and their accomplishments, I’ve found that the best way for me to combat those feelings is to generously support and encourage them.

That’s totally counter to what I want to do, but every time I choose to replace jealousy with generosity I take another step towards eliminating jealousy’s control on my life.

Women Issues, Women Quotes, quotes, women, women on women, women in the workforce, gender issues, women in societySarah: I love that. It sounds like a battle of managing our thoughts rather than fighting other people. Tell me how this plays out in your world. Any real life lessons?

Jenni: One of the greatest lessons I’m learning right now is the power of the influence I have with other women in my life.  For many years, I didn’t feel like I had anything to give.  I was so focused on my own growth and development that I was oblivious to the responsibility that I had to speak into the lives of the women around me.

I wish I had realized this sooner.  We underestimate the value of our belief in others.  Generosity breeds generosity.  When we generously speak truth and words of affirmation into the lives of the women around us, we can turn the tide of jealousy, competition and comparison.  I’m seeing it happen right before my eyes in the community of women I serve with and it’s a beautiful, beautiful thing!

Sarah: I love that you said “We underestimate the value of belief in others.” Are there any Scripture passages or Biblical stories that speak to this theme for you?

Jenni: Galatians 6:4-5 got my attention a year or so ago when I was reading it from The Message translation.  It says:

“Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given and then sink yourself into that.  Don’t be impressed with yourself.  Don’t compare yourself to others.  Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.”

I absolutely love this verse because it challenges me on so many levels.  The first sentence is a challenge to us to identify and understand God’s purpose and plan for our lives.  But then sandwiched right in the middle are these two critical statements: “Don’t be impressed with yourself.  Don’t compare yourself to others.”  Isn’t that exactly what we do?

When we start to feel a bit confident in our talents and abilities, we become prideful.  We start taking credit and we begin evaluating how we measure up to everyone around us.  I don’t think it’s an accident that God put these cautions right in the middle of giving us a pep talk to be who He created us to be.  As women, we have to understand who God has created us to be – this is at the heart of our comparison and competition issues.

Sarah: It’s funny. We don’t always think the Bible speaks right to our emotions and social behavior, but that hits right at the heart, doesn’t it? Last question. In closing, would you like to share any other insights that guide you in the day to day?

Jenni: I truly believe that our “catty” and competitive attitude with each other is the greatest thing holding us back from fully flourishing as women in leadership.  Until we put the boxing gloves down and become champions and cheerleaders for one another, I don’t believe we’ll ever fully realize our potential or thrive in our leadership and influence.

[[Note from Sarah: If you enjoyed this interview, you might want to check out the others in this series. Check out this one with author Leeana Tankersley, this one with New York Times Best Selling Author Ann Voskamp, this one with non-profit leader  Jena Nardella of Bloodwater Mission or this one with blogger Heather Whittaker.]]


  • comment-avatar
    Janice May 18, 2011 (8:08 am)


    Thank you for sharing this interview with Jenn. What a wonderfully inspiring message for us to read. I agree and especially loved when she said “Generosity breeds generosity. When we generously speak truth and words of affirmation into the lives of the women around us, we can turn the tide of jealousy, competition and comparison.” I totally agree, and as women we have tremendous opportunity to influence others…imagine a group of women joining together with no hidden agendas, just a heart to support and encourage and to bless each other and ultimately, bless and glorify God. Now that is power and how it must put a smile on God’s face. Great reminders to start the day.


  • comment-avatar
    Sarah May 18, 2011 (11:05 am)

    Thanks @Janice. Doing this series has totally blown me away. I love being able to get insights from these great women. :)

  • comment-avatar
    Ann Voskamp@A Holy Experience May 18, 2011 (8:36 pm)

    Fantastic post, friends!

    Champions and cheerleaders! YES!

    So grateful for this community…

    *Thank you*

    All’s grace,

  • comment-avatar
    Amelia May 19, 2011 (10:46 pm)

    So loving this series! Thank you for these great interviews!

  • comment-avatar
    Jenni Catron May 20, 2011 (8:18 am)

    Sarah, thank you for this conversation and the others in the series. Such great stuff! I’m grateful for you and your voice of influence in my life and others!

  • comment-avatar
    Sarah Cunningham May 20, 2011 (6:00 pm)

    Thanks @Ann and @Jenni, your voices make it possible to gather this wisdom. :) I appreciate it!

  • comment-avatar
    Sarah Cunningham May 20, 2011 (6:00 pm)

    Thanks @amelia. You’re always so positive! I appreciate you reading and be so supportive!!

  • On Women… | Lindsey Nobles June 2, 2011 (7:03 am)

    […] be sure to check out Sarah’s interviews with some of my friends and favorite ladies –  Jenni Catron,  Ann Voskamp, Jena Nardella , and Heather […]