Women in Ministry
As I was scrolling Facebook yesterday, I saw an article from Relevant Magazine about women who teach, lead and preach in the church. It was centered on 5 reasons why women are needed in these roles. I can remember times when reading an article like this would make me excited, proud, and fired up to lead proudly as a woman in the spheres of influence where God has placed me. This time though, I felt uneasy about it.
For some reason, as I was reading, I immediately began thinking about Amelia, my five year old daughter, and about her future. I thought about her self-confidence – how sure of herself she is, how proud she is to just be herself. My husband and I have talked about what we think she’ll do with her life. She’s pretty sure right now that she wants to work at a donut shop when she grows up. Maybe she’ll be a business owner, or a salesperson, or an entertainer – who knows?!
Whatever she decides to do, I don’t want her to EVER be questioned about what she feels she’s been called to. I don’t want her to have to read an article that attempts to justify why she’s qualified to do what she’s doing, or why people have finally realized that she might have something to contribute.
I promise I’m not hating on the article, I think I’ve just hit this point where I am SO proud to be a woman in ministry, and honestly I’m shocked that it’s even still a topic of debate. I’m disappointed that we aren’t further along in the conversation by now.
I’ve shared often that when I was in college and decided I wanted to serve the church full-time, the only role that I had ever seen modeled for women was with children. I had never seen or heard that women would ever have opportunities outside of that. (To be clear, I’m not saying ministering to children is any less important that adults....I still think Children’s Pastors are some of the most unappreciated people out there!)
If God has given each of us gifts and has brought each of us to where we are serving, isn’t that enough? He has placed us in the lives of people who need to hear the Gospel, and if we don’t tell them, what if no one else does?
Too often I have put myself in a box because people have assumed if I’m a Pastor, and it’s not with children, it must only be to women. There have been seasons of my life where I was determined to never be known as someone who only ministers to women. It was almost like I felt that I needed to prove that I could do more than that. Looking back on that now, it makes me sad. I shouldn’t be ashamed of an incredible call He’s placed on my heart to serve. I do believe He needs me to serve and lead women in the church, and that is not something I should ever diminish or claim is not enough.
My daughter is going to do big things. She might even be serving you donuts one day soon. But without strong women discipling her and showing her that it’s okay to chase your dreams and to follow where God leads even in the path of resistance, what if she wants to quit along the way? She can’t do it alone!
If you are a woman leading in any capacity - the church, a business, a hospital, your home, whatever it looks like, please keep leading and don’t be quiet about it! The next generation of girls needs to see articles and stories of women leading without hesitation, not articles justifying why we as women should have a seat at the table. ️