It’s been a long held protest, about women in ministry. The debate continues even today in the twenty-first century where women can vote, hold public office, and even own her own land. However, holding any sort of position of ministering (other than Nursery Director or Bridal Shower Leader) is out of the question in many churches. I don’t want to begin yet another battle using verses like swords and slash male leaders for this ongoing oppression and rejection of women, but I do want to talk to you…my sisters…about being a minister.
Some women find it offensive to be encouraged in her position of ministering to children. Can I just say, my sweet friends, that not many men have the patience that we do to be with small children for hours on end. The opportunity that many of us have to minister to our own children and other moms at play group is just as important as preaching from a pulpit. In fact, it just may be a higher honor because we get to influence children with the tenderness of the Holy Spirit that many women can give. I’m not saying men can’t do this, but on average more women have more tenderness in ministering to children and other women than men do. Small children are like little sponges soaking up every ounce of Living Water that we can offer them. Many women are more likely to receive spiritual guidance from our own sisterhood than she will from a man.
I know there are many women who honestly believe God has called them to other positions in organized ministries and I’m not going to argue that. I would like to be of encouragement though, that Jesus wasn’t all too interested in holding any sort of position among the religious leaders of his day. I’m not going to refute holding a position in an organized church structure, but has our drive to lead caused us to drift off course and get tangled up in the show of ministry? Have we lost the heart of a quiet and meek spirit of love that embraces people where they are? Did we forget that our brother Jesus said that the greatest among you is the servant?
Yes, I used that ‘filthy’ word, servant. The word that causes many women to cringe and scowl, because it’s a trigger word that reminds them of slavery and bondage. I’m not meaning to condemn those in our sisterhood that don’t serve in the same ways other women do. I would never want to manipulate or condemn a sister into doing something she doesn’t feel is genuine from her heart. It’s a lot more enjoyable to do what’s in our hearts than to try and do something that isn’t and hope our hearts conform. It would be a travesty if a woman felt oppressed into doing something and she end up feeling like she’s in bondage.
This word we use called ‘minister’ has taken on a form that I don’t think was ever a part of what Jesus had in mind. When we offer support to one another, a shoulder to cry on, a warm embrace in tough times, or even sending a card in the mail is a form of ministering. The Gospel is the Good News that God reconciled us to himself through Christ. It doesn’t take a lofty position, title, or even a seminary degree to minister to souls. All it takes is a heart of compassion that seeks to be supportive.
While praying for and working towards female equality in ministry is important, lets not get distracted by this ‘women in ministry’ battle when there are precious souls in our everyday lives that are longing to be loved on.
With warm hugs,