I’m going to get up on a bit of a soapbox this morning. While this isn’t a topic I address much I just felt the need to here for this blog. The issue I want to discuss is women in ministry. I can’t tell you everyone’s journey, but I can tell you mine.
God called me into ministry through a divine encounter when I was in the 6th grade. Many have heard me retell this story over and over again. The idea of ever facing issues about it due to gender never occurred to me. However, it didn’t take too long for the opposition begin to pour in. I have been told by a particular denominational group that I couldn’t have a call of God on my life because I was a woman. I have been told the same by another church who is so religious about the subject that won’t even let women teach boys past the 2nd grade. I have sat and looked at the scriptures regarding the subject countless times, prayed, and discussed this topic with many.
When I entered the ministry I suppose that I had a naïve thinking that I wouldn’t have to deal with this discussion any more, but in truth I do on a semi-daily basis. We get emails to the ministry regularly looking for a Mr. Anna. I have found in many circles the idea of a woman preaching tends to be okay anymore as long as both spouses are in ministry too. People assume my husband is the one who preaches all the time, and I’m just the sidekick. Most people just don’t get it when I try to explain to them that my husband is in ministry, but he is anointed for business and if you call us to preach I am what you get. I have found still even in various charismatic circles that preachers tend to be an ‘old boys club’. That’s cool with me, I’ve always been in circles where I’m one woman in a group of men, God prepared me for this. There is a book chain that will not carry my last book because of a couple reasons, but mainly I’m a chick preacher.
Many people assume this makes me some kind of woman’s-lib-sign carrying-bra burning-protester. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I 100% believe in having a Biblical covering. My husband and I are a team, and while I’m the more public of the two, I am well aware who the head of my household is. I practice and believe in Ephesians 5:22. I am under coving by a pastor too.
1 Corinthians 14:34-35 is the scripture that is so miss quoted, and used when arguing this topic. I’ve had in shoved in my face often in a not so loving way. In this scripture Paul is telling the women to be quite in church. HOWEVER, what people don’t realize when they miss quote this scripture is Paul is not telling woman they can’t preach. These women were going into the churches and heckling their husbands when they were trying to preaching. Telling them to be quiet was about order in the church. You can’t take a couple of scriptures and make a dogmatic rule about it. You have to look at the whole. The Bible is full of a lot of woman in ministry: Deborah, Aquila, Priscilla, Mary, Miriam, oh and Anna (grin).
I find this argument and sexism in the church so beyond sad. It’s just another way the enemy keeps the churches divided. It’s another way that it’s keeping Godly anointed women from pulpits, and frustrating the call on many of their lives. As much as I get frustrated at times I think of Godly woman like Joyce Meyer and Kathryn Kuhlman and thank the Lord there are many women in ministry that have paved the way in some respects for me as well. I hope that I can do the same for the next generation. May my daughters not have to endure some of the things I have in the name of the gospel. May I break the ‘glass ceiling’ so to speak so that they can go further. To quote myself here, “Never underestimate the power of God, especially when it’s being preached by a woman in snazzy heels.”
No matter your age, gender, and race may you realize that God does have awesome plans for your life. There might be an order of things, but no one in the body of Christ is any better than the other. We all have a job to do, and we will be accountable for that job.
Remember God has awesome plans for your life. Get excited.