I love helping to inspire, mobilize, and equip women into ministry leadership. Not only is it fun and rewarding to do for others what people have done for me, but to me it’s also the essence of the Gospel — oneness so completely restored between us and God and between one another that there no longer is male or female for you all are one in Christ Jesus.
One of the challenges, though, in being dedicated to such an endeavor is being misunderstood. The main misunderstanding being that my passion is rooted in feminist motivations. As a result, some think that my real objective is simply to increase the number of women who are senior pastors — to reach a quota, if you will; to apply the feminist agenda and metrics of the world to the things of the Kingdom.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, a gender-based, quota-driven focus would be completely antithetical to what I’m committed to. You can’t build the Kingdom — unity in the body of Christ — by platforming gender or setting quotas. It’s not that God made men and women the same — our differences are beautiful, necessary, and reflect the nature of God. But God also didn’t make us unequal. We were made for one another, in relationship to each other, one in Christ Jesus. To platform women simply because they’re women is as counter-gospel as to diminish women simply because they’re women.
Here’s how I think about my passion for identifying, training and supporting, and releasing women in leadership ministry:
Biblically-grounded. I present my position and reasoning on the authority of scripture, not predilection, experience, politics, or cultural convention. I seek to release spiritual ministry, not platform gender; I desire to identify leadership, not achieve established quotas. (1 Tim. 4:13)
(Of course, one of the logical byproducts of releasing spiritual ministry regardless of gender is that we will see more women in ministry leadership roles, from senior pastors, to associate pastors, to missionaries, to Bible study leaders, to ministry fundraisers, to prayer warriors, etc. So while it’s not about quotas, we can look at the numbers of women in ministry leadership positions to see how well we’re doing at identifying and releasing leaders regardless of gender.)
Charity. My purpose is to humbly shepherd believers toward possibilities for serving Christ, not separate believers of different opinions who each dearly love Him. My pursuit develops within relationships, not requirements; I am constrained by God’s love, not driven by human rules. (Rom. 14:19, Phil. 2:3)
Heart-felt Obedience. My position is not a compromise or accommodation to current trends. Rather it is heart-felt obedience to what I believe the Bible commands. (2 John 1:6a, Jn. 14:21)
Boldness. I am part of the Foursquare denomination. “Foursquare” means “to take a bold, firm stand, forthright, unwavering in conviction.” “Boldness” is not “brassiness” or engaging in debate or contentiousness, but is speaking God’s truth in love. (Eph. 4:15) I am completely Foursquare on the issue of women in ministry leadership — I speak God’s truth in love, boldly, forthrightly, and unwaveringly, but not in a contentious or brassy way.