I had to process and chew and pray before I could sit down to this computer. Then I had to pray some more. Because nothing can clearly reveal my need for Jesus more than a person who seeks to demean, marginalize or defame another human.
I think now I’ve settled in a place of strength and worth. Because those things don’t come from a man. But from my Father. So here’s your disclaimer. If you hold to the ancient, chauvinistic, unbiblical, non-Christlike notion that women belong at home and not in ministry, you should step off this train. Or maybe you should hold on tight.
Over the weekend a video begin to make its rounds on social media of a panel of men, dressed in fancy suits, pretending to be the voice of God. A man, to a round of applause and laughter said of a female leader of the faith, “Go Home. There is no case that can be made biblically for a woman preaching. Period. Paragraph. End of discussion.” His cohort proceeded to call Beth Moore, a woman of God, whose teaching has led thousands to the feet of Jesus, narcissistic. They went on to describe the compelling nature with which Beth teaches this way: “Just because you have the skill to sell jewelry on the the tv sales channel doesn’t mean you should be preaching.” I can’t say anything more here. Because I wouldn’t represent Jesus well. Moving on.
I won’t link the video. I won’t even say their names. These clowns (that’s my daughter’s affectionate word for anyone actin’ a fool right now, and if the shoe fits…) aren’t worth the airtime. But I will climb to the very tippy top of my soap box, pick up my megaphone and answer. LOUDLY.
To those who wish to silence women in the church. Have fun with that. Here’s the thing. The ministry, the voice we have? YOU DIDN’T GIVE IT TO US. YOU DIDN’T CALL US TO IT. AND YOU CANNOT SILENCE IT.
We were not called by you and our calling does not hinge on your permission or approval. Our Father, the creator of it all, called us. Our Father called us just as he called Esther, Deborah, Lydia, Mary Magdeline, Hagar and countless other women in the Bible. Or did you skip those parts because they didn’t fit your narrative? Do you forget that it was a woman who carried probably the greatest responsibility of all mankind in raising JESUS? We don’t know much about Joseph from Scripture, but throughout all of Jesus 33 years, we hear about Mary. She was present at home for him and in ministry with him. She wasn’t relegated to cooking & cleaning & staying silent.
Sisters, if you’re still with me, hear this. The God of all creation looked at this vast expanse and said, “This place needs one of her. This place needs the voice and experience and leading that only she can give.” And HE empowers you to step into your gifts and your calling. For Him. Maybe that’s behind the pulpit in a church or on a mission field in a foreign land or in front of children or youth weekly. Maybe that’s in a classroom or a boardroom or a store front or an office. Maybe that’s rallied around the living room table instilling the virtues of the Father in future world changers. That’s the thing though. No man can tell you what your calling is. Wherever it is that God is leading, HE IS THE ONE LEADING. Cling to him. Seek his voice. Turn off the noise. The voices that say you have no position to speak? THEY ARE NOISE. Resounding gongs and clanging symbols (1 Corinthians 13:1).
If any men are here, can I have a few seconds more? (To be clear, I’m not asking your permission. I’m asking you to stick it out just a bit longer. But if you’re here you probably already know that.) Men: your wives, sisters, mothers, daughters need your voice in this. It’s not enough that we women band together in strength and solidarity and say, “WE WILL NOT GO HOME”. We need the men around us to stand and say, “WE WELCOME YOU IN”. We need the men around us to speak louder than the voices who wish to silence us. We need the men around us to encourage us in our callings and giftings and leadings. We need the men around us to be wise enough to realize that empowering us in our ministry space makes you stronger as a man and as a spiritual leader.
If there is breath in you, God has a purpose for you. If God has a purpose for you, He also has a plan for you. If God has a plan for you, no man change that or take that away. And anyone who seeks to “put you in your place” because you’re a woman is not in tune with the heart of the Father.
If you are sitting in a church body that does anything less than encourage you to pursue all that Christ has for you, you are sitting in a church body that isn’t for Christ. A CHURCH THAT ISN’T FOR ALL PEOPLE FULLY LIVING OUT THEIR GOD ORDAINED PURPOSE IS NOT A CHURCH FOR CHRIST. Read that again.
So to the men in the fancy suits and the people who sat in their audience and applauded with approval, I leave you with this. You’ve awakened a lioness. A pack of us. Many of us have spoken in our circles. Many of us sent our support to those you tear down publicly. But now you’ve done just the opposite of what you’d hoped. You’ve empowered and emboldened us to step even more confidently into our ministry spaces and press in to the Father even more. Be ready. We’re coming. Not for you, but for the world that needs to know who Jesus really is. Lionesses who are known by name to the Father and who speak fearlessly with His permission, approval and full blessing. You can go home now. We’ll take it from here.