A Call for Change {Women in Ministry}

Every now and again, you find a person who shares so much of your story that for a few split seconds you start to believe Seinfeld’s bizarro world really does exist. Kathy Escobar is my familiar stranger–I’ve never met her, but I’m a fan of her blog, a respecter of her passion, and inspired by the courage she demonstrates to be all she can be in God’s image. Last week she wrote this for Ed Cyzewski’s Women in Ministry series. 

Kathy says this:

Change in the church will come when women who are called to lead, lead, even when others don’t think they can or should.

Change in the church will come when women refuse to squelch their gifts and begin to unleash them without asking for permission first.

Change in the church will come when women passionately follow Jesus, not systems-made-in-his-name-that-do-not-reflect-his-image.

Change in the church will come when women bravely use their voices, power, and any influence they have to inspire others to be brave, too.

I admit, it’s still sometimes hard for me to not be the good-girl. I miss the safety. I miss the praise. I miss the security, even if it was false. Some days I wish I could make nice like I used to because it was so much easier then.

But the Kingdom of God was never about easy. It was never about comfort. It was never about maintaining the status-quo. It was never about playing nice.

The Kingdom of God Jesus called us to participate in creating–here, now–isn’t well-behaved.

Amen! I too can attest that playing nice was safer, more comfortable, but oh so less honest. Well-behaved women following the status quo while harboring silent convictions will not help the church become all that it can be. Instead, it only makes the church disingenuous and bland…that is until it becomes resentful and bitter.

I agree with Kathy that this has to be a discipleship priority for us women. Are we following Jesus into the places he is calling us? Or are we just playing the game, following others, using whatever “platform” we can get through well-crafted diplomacy? Change always comes with honesty. Thanks, Kathy for calling us to a more truthful places!

I recommend you go read Kathy’s whole post and while you’re there, check out what others have been writing in this series. Or visit Kathy’s blog and like me, be inspired by the way she is following Jesus and helping others to do the same.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this issue. If you’re a woman in ministry, how are you pressing into the brave and honest places that following Jesus requires? How are resisting the “well-behaved” life to express truthfully who you are in Christ?

2 thoughts on “A Call for Change {Women in Ministry}

  1. Thanks so much for linking to Kathy’s post and the series. I wrote a post about a year ago about a woman named Mary who ministered to me so dramatically as a Sunday school teacher for college students at a Fundamentalist church. What makes her ministry so amazing is that she loved us so deeply despite the pressure and opposition from the men who refused to open their eyes to what God was doing through her.

    • Ed, how thankful we all are for the “Marys” in our lives! I appreciate the honesty and bravery you are demonstrating to speak to this area. For one, the posts have “normalized” some of the challenges I’ve experienced. When you’re the one under the pressure and the opposition, it is super easy to feel like it’s personal. Instead, the series on your blog has enlightened me to see that this is more of a “powers and principalities” issue…much more universal than just me. That leads me to greater prayer…and a desire to be brave. Secondly, Kathy’s post resonated deeply with me because of the call for honesty. I think we women get fearful that we’ll never have opportunities to express the gifts/ministry God has placed in our hearts and it becomes far too easy to capitulate to the “systems” that serve as wet blankets in our ministry lives. For a season, I developed a very dualistic (read ‘dishonest’) view of ministry: I quietly held my personal view (women and men should serve God together in the beautiful reality of the gospel’s ‘equaling’ influence) and a necessary-for-survival professional view that included participating in a system of oppression as a “good girl.” Well, that “good girl” was a liar and while my convictions led me out (to far fewer ministry opportunities), it has been worth it to live with greater transparency about what I think is right. Thanks for your visit here, Ed! I love the questions you are requiring the Church to ask and answer.

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