10/11/2010 9:22 AM
Does it bother me that so many men and Christian denominations still believe that woman should not be pastors?
Of course it bothers me! Anything that interferes with God’s work and God’s people going forth to bring more light into this dark world in which we live bothers me greatly!
We can argue what scriptures say or doesn't say all day long but the bottom line friends is it makes absolutely no sense (according to the whole Gospel) why God wouldn’t call women to be pastors. (Oh yes, I will tackle this subject often in this blog and for good reason, it’s part of what God has called me to do! :- )
The fact that it makes absolutely no sense for God not to call women as pastors and church planters is a BIG spiritual truth that I want to point out today. The problem with the idea of women not being pastors puts the focus on what man can do and not so much on what Christ can do.
The question should not be what gender but the question should be is that person following Christ and led by the Spirit of God? It really seems insulting to God and certainly to women to say that God can’t use women as leaders and pastors in His church. God can use anyone! That’s the gospel message, right?
And here’s the truth. The work I do is the same work that any male pastor does. The work is the same, or at least it should be.
I will revisit this subject often in this blog (along with many other controversial subjects) but for now, I want to share a little more about the work of a pastor by sharing my last few days of doing His work.
Last Friday and Saturday was the Women of Faith Conference in Rochester, NY. BHCC had around 35 women go together as a group. It was an absolutely amazing experience for the women of our church.
Now remember, our church reaches many unchurched and dechurched people. Most all of our people are either on the edges of finding faith or are brand new to finding Christ.
I often think of Paul’s illustration of how new Christians are like babes and infants in Christ and so in many ways, it feels like most of our church is a giant nursery full of precious little ones in need of much love and attention.
My calling often feels very much like a spiritual Mom. God gives me such a great heart for these people, I feel like they are like my very own children regardless of their earthly age. It’s spiritual age and maturity that I see in them.
So having so many of them together in such a place felt almost overwhelming to me because my heart is so full of love and mercy for each one of them.
I am ever aware of the pain that each one carries. In sitting in that large group of them in such a highly emotionally charged atmosphere with the presence of the Holy Spirit moving in such powerful ways, well, let’s just say I felt over-stimulated to say the least.
We laughed and we cried a lot together. And my own tears flowed often as well, sometimes for them, sometimes for my own issues that surfaced, and sometimes just because I felt the love of God flowing so powerfully.
It was a lot and I’m still unpacking and processing it which is part of my writing about it.
In the midst of experiencing all those things, I had a huge moment of spiritual clarity. It was if God suddenly opened a window and let me see all of us through His eyes. No words could adequately describe what I saw in that moment, I can only tell you what I felt.
Joy, love, peace, healing, forgiveness, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness; all the fruits of the Spirit at once it seemed.
There was an amazing supply of fruit forming before my very eyes. And In that moment, I understood the why of so many questions about faith and life, especially my life.
You see, in the weeks leading up to that moment, I had been feeling frustrated and discouraged. The sheer volume of work and stress that I had been dealing with in my ministry had been weighing heavy on my heart.
I saw the day to day grind of details, but I was losing sight of the bigger picture. And of course, God knew that. And He knew I needed a moment of clarity from Him exactly like that. He opened the window and gave me His vision, and in that moment, I saw it crystal clear.
The Kingdom of God does not come in a moment of time. The fruit that God is growing in us is a mystery to us. We cannot see it growing day by day. Sometimes it seems like there is no growth at all. But it feels as if one day you look and there it is, right in front of you is this incredibly large amount of fruit hanging on the vine.
How did it get there? When did it happen? It seems a mystery to us, but not to God who was the One growing it all the time.
This is what the Kingdom of God is all about. It’s something that’s growing. It’s invisible at times. How it happens is a mystery to us.
That describes how I feel about what God is doing at our church and in each one of us. Sometimes it feels so frustrating in my flesh because it seems like day after day the work in the field is being done and often there seems little evidence of any of it.
But then God gives us a supernatural kind of moment. You open your eyes and suddenly you see what you didn’t see before. The Kingdom of God is all around us and the fruit is hanging heavy on the branches. What a beautiful vision!
Come Lord Jesus, let Your Kingdom COME!
Jesus also said, “The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, while he’s asleep or awake, the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens. The earth produces the crops on its own. First a leaf blade pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally the grain ripens. And as soon as the grain is ready, the farmer comes and harvests it with a sickle, for the harvest time has come.”
Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.
Anyone dealing with discouragement in ministry that is reading this today, please let this encourage you! Don’t trust what your eyes can see. Be patient. Be faithful and wait on the Lord. You will see fruit someday! It may take a long time, and it may not even be in this lifetime, but it will come! And that day is so well worth the wait. Continue to be faithful and God’s promise to you is that you will be fruitful in His name! I’m praying for you that God will open a window and give you too; a moment of His incredible vision!