Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Women Can't What!?

The women in ministry fight/debate is not one, that I have fully engaged in.  It is not that I do not believe that women could, should and have historically been equipped and enabled by God to lead His people, cause I certainly do.  It is simply that, as a pastor this is not the focus of the ministry God has called me to and YES God has called me to pastoral ministry, as confirmed by others, the gifts and opportunities the Lord has afforded me, and as evident by the fruit of my ministry. My focus is on preaching the Gospel, loving and serving His people, and discipling them to walk in His will and ways, allowing God to work in and through me,  that others might come to know Him in a real and personal way, so as to live redemptive lives of transformation.  Should teachable moments arise that allow me to speak to this matter of women in pastoral leadership, than I am happy to engage in the discussion, but it is not the major mandate the Lord has given me for my ministry. Rachel Held Evans among others have been inspired, equipped and enabled to do so and Dr. Ben Witherington, considered one of the top evangelical scholars in the world, has provided some theological interpretation on women in ministry.

This being said I've had a few people recently engage me in this discussion, on women in pastoral leadership.  Now I can make theological arguments with the best of them, but the answer I often close with, is the one that compels me most of all, a very simplistic understanding.  Having been gifted for, and called to pastoral leadership, I have two choices.  When this life is over, either I apologize to God, for taking advantage of the opportunities he has provided me to preach the Good news, lead others closer to His throne of Grace, build up the body of Christ, and spend my life discipling and mentoring others, even though I am a woman. Or I apologize for not not preaching the good news, leading others closer to His throne of Grace, building up the body of Christ, and spending my life discipling and mentoring others.  Which is going to offend God more? The fact that I used the gifts and opportunities He has blessed me with to Glorify Him by loving, serving and leading others in the ways that I have been equipped and enabled to do so, or not taking opportunities to do these things, because I am a woman.

Tomorrow - the other side of the story: Why I Might NOT Fight for My Right to Lead.


  1. I firmly believe that we are standing at a real cross-roads in history, and that these are days in which the Church must be willing to stand up for the radically inclusive message of Jesus. We cannot tolerate lines that divide us, be they socio-economic status, race, gender, intellect, etc.

    Either we are true to who GOD had designed us to be, and we live as we are called... or we make excuses (and it doesn't matter if others have made those excuses for you).

    To my sisters: you were made for more than polishing the bars that so often the historic Church has used to keep you "quiet, safe and tamed". If you have been gifted and called, I will serve alongside, or under your leadership any day!

  2. Well said my brother in Christ!

  3. Cathleen, after chatting with you in Kingston about the topic at hand, I was as inspired by your conclusion then as I am now, after reading your post. You're right; when we stand before God to give an account of our lives, I can't imagine there'll be distinctions between man and woman. The Great Commission is a clarion call to all Christians, not just men. It shouldn't matter therefore whether it is a man or a woman that shares the Gospel.

    In Christianity, the Message is more important than the medium. In pop culture, it is the opposite, as Marshall Mcluhan famously - and crucially - said: "the medium is the message." As I think about this, it's becoming clearer to me that the longer this conversation (read: debate) on women in ministry goes on, the more we're actually making it about us, and not God.

    Instead of wondering whether a woman should preach, I should in fact be wondering whether my account to God re: Matt 28:19 will be pleasing to Him.

    Thank you for sharing!

  4. Moses, it was the delight of my week, seeing "H" again and meeting you. The conversations that night were edifying, challenging and inspiring, I loved it.

    I appreciate that you more accurately refer to this topic as a "conversation" rather than a fight/debate. I look forward to when you both return to Kingston for another visit.

    Lifting you and "H" up in prayer in every remembrance.