I grew up in a Christian home. My mother was a homemaker who taught children about Jesus. My dad was a night janitor at a bank who spent most of his “leisure” time going to church service so he could learn more about Jesus.
As a child, I saw my father bundle all manner of Christian reading materials – all my Sunday School quarterlies, Christian magazines, etc. – to send to his niece, my Tante Ruth, a single WOMAN who was teaching other’s about Jesus in Swaziland. One afternoon a week, my father would take me to the Salvation Army where a wonderful WOMAN named Captain Johnson oversaw the Sunbeam program. As a single woman, she was the “Pastor” of the congregation of Salvationists – she preached, administered, and served her corp as the sole officer. Walking with my dad we'd often encounter Captain holding a street meeting on a corner.
As a child, I read a book about Malla Moe – a single WOMAN missionary who would trek across Africa. As I got older I read and heard about Aimee Semple McPhearson. The list could be quite long if I continued.
Today I responded to a comment on Facebook. I probably shouldn’t have because I sort of knew it would start something… my bad… but sometimes impulse gets the better of me. It did start a small firestorm. On and on it went about how women can’t be preachers, or pastors, etc., etc.
It still surprises me even though it shouldn’t. I find it best not to “fight” a theological battle with folks. I did add some links for ammunition today but usually the best answer is to say I’m doing what God called me to do – if I don’t, I’m being disobedient to God. But that never seems enough – sigh….
I’ve been thinking about this all day – and I wondered – Do these folk think that one day I sat down and said – I know! I want to be a preacher! I just want to do this because it is a glamorous job – or it pays well – or the hours are good. Really??? Do you really think that anyone that really loves God just sits down and says that to themselves? Or do you think my problem is I don’t love God? And of course, as a woman, I certainly can’t have God speak to me. I think the women at the day of Pentecost would have an argument with that – or the women that surrounded Jesus, especially those who first proclaimed the gospel after the resurrection … You know those women who went to the tomb when the disciples were hiding? Yeah, those women...
So I’m delusional – I’m so delusional that I have spent nearly the last ten years of my life in school preparing – preparing so that when I stand in the pulpit (a place I approach with humility and a deep sense of responsibility) I am “rightly dividing the Word.”
Whatever the problem some folks have – please take it up with God! Ask Him with an open heart for guidance and wisdom – you may still come to a different understanding than I have – but, if you really seek the Lord He’ll probably ask you to receive me as a sister in the Lord with respect and honor.
If my being in ministry offends you, I'm am sorry you are offended. But nothing will stop me from answering the call of God on my life – like those women who proclaimed the gospel in my childhood – I’m going to continue.