Some of you might read these posts and wonder why this whole issue of women in ministry is such a big deal to me. You may assume I am simply an advocate for women's rights. You may wonder if I am embittered by past hurts. As a woman, I am of course concerned about any issue that affects us. I have obviously been shaped by my experiences, but it's not all been a negative thing. I continue to serve with so many godly, wonderful men and I truly thank God for them and love serving alongside them. They are a great gift in my life and dear friends. They've shaped me and been the hand of God to me in more ways than I can count. All along the way, God has taught me much on this journey. As I have sought the heart of God, I can honestly say that He has birthed a dream in my heart of what could be for the church at large. You might say I am simply hungry for more.
I care so much about this issue because I love the church that Jesus died to save and I believe this is an issue that impacts it's future deeply.
I wrote about my dream for the church in a previous post entitled "I Have a Dream". As you read this, may God speak to your heart and give you the courage and love for your brothers and sisters that it will require for us to walk into the reality of this dream together:
I have a dream.
I dream of a church whose love and passion shines as a light to the world around it. A church where believers live out the words of Jesus, "They will know you are my disciples by your love for one another". I have a dream of a church where race, income, background, education and gender no longer TRULY matter - in deed and not just in word.
I dream of a church that humbly lives out "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." I dream of a church where we serve and love one another with humble hearts.
I dream of a church where we can rejoice with one another, pray for one another, be for one another - without reservation. I dream of a church that preaches the gospel by how we treat one another - where there is no jealousy or gossip or envy, but simply encouragement, patience, grace and partnership and of course - LOVE.
I dream of a church where the relationships between men and women are marked by mutual respect and mutual submission and love and are not marred by sexual innuendo, manipulation, control issues, power trips, aggression, sexism, or biting sarcasm. I dream of a church where we rejoice in how others are made and gifted by God. I dream of a church where we can truly treat one another with the grace and gentleness and joy of true brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus.
I dream of a church where we treat one another with reverence because Christ is in all of us. I dream of a church where we look at one another and we no longer see race or gender or any other outward sign, but only Jesus Christ.
I have a dream. I believe this dream would preach the good news loudly and vividly.
This is why I care.....because I have a dream. And that dream will take us all.