|Sunday, Jan. 06, 2002 || Women in Ministry|
Luke 8:1-3 "Not long afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby cities and villages to announce the Good News concerning the Kingdom of God. He took his twelve disciples with him, along with some women he had healed and from whom he had cast out evil spirits. Among them were Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons; Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's business manager; Susanna; and many others who were contributing from their own resources to support Jesus and his disciples."
Why would God take the time to make sure that women were listed, by name, in this particular passage?
Having been in Baptist churches since becoming a Christian, I learned quite early on that women are to just "sit up and shut up". But over the past few months, the Lord has really been stretching me in this area. What is a woman's place in ministry?
I am just going to share where I am in this right now. After our song leader left in April, I began to lead music...well, sort of. I was already picking the songs for each service, but now I was to be the lead voice. So, I hid behind the mike, allowing Rob to speak if he so got the inclination, and every once in a while inserting a word or two.
Fast forward to the month of December and my bright idea to have the missionary who was speaking in our service one Sunday speak to our Praise Team. You see, Jerry was the worship leader at a rather large church in Springfield before surrendering to go to the mission field. Rob and I had heard him speak before, and I knew he would give a great "charge" for the new year to our team. I was excited!
Can I just say now that I hate Jerry!? Why did he have to encourage me to make the song service more than just some songs to sing? A worship set, he called it. Talking, Scripture, prayer, instrumental leads into each song.
I took the challenge, even enthusiastically. I began to read my Bible and devotional with a new purpose in mind - what was God trying to speak to my heart concerning worship this week - and how might I incorportate that into our service? Oh, and guess what, that meant speaking. Yes, in the service. Me. A woman. Yup.
So, what is God teaching me? First of all that He is in control and I am not.
Second, worship is so much more than just a few songs to be sung on a Sunday morning. It is a lifestyle. It is an encounter with God. THE living God of all the universe Who spoke the world into existence! "Let there be..." And it was. The same God wants an encounter with me!
You see, God's passion is to be near us, as near as our very breath. His PASSION! As near as the air we breathe. A relationship. Personal, real, intimate, life-giving, abundant. Day to day. REAL.
And that has meant stepping out of my box. Discarding tradition and bowing my spirit before a Holy God. Remembering what it's like to tremble in His presence.
Oh, I can handle the singing. I can perform - hit all the notes, close my eyes and raise my hands and lift my voice. But is that worship? In and of itself, no. Because in order to worship there will be change. Because in true worship you meet with God. And if you meet with God, you will be changed.
Isaiah 6:1-8 says: "In the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Hovering around him were mighty seraphim, each with six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with the remaining two they flew. In a great chorus they sang, "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty! The whole earth is filled with his glory!" The glorious singing shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire sanctuary was filled with smoke. [An encounter with God!]
"Then I said, "My destruction is sealed, for I am a sinful man and a member of a sinful race. Yet I have seen the King, the LORD Almighty!" Then one of the seraphim flew over to the altar, and he picked up a burning coal with a pair of tongs. He touched my lips with it and said, "See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven." Then I heard the Lord asking, "Whom should I send as a messenger to my people? Who will go for us?"And I said, "Lord, I'll go! Send me." [Isaiah was changed!]
Perhaps some of you reading this are thinking, "OK, enough of the God-stuff. That might be ok for you, but I am just not into that." But today, my friends, I encountered God! And I am changed. And I can not help but share that, even if only to a computer screen, to a place where I may be the only one who reads it, or the only one who cares.
Because, you see, tomorrow will come. And then God may seem far away. And I want to remember what it felt like to be basking in the glory of an encounter with Him. The God Who made me, Who made everything, cares enough, loves me so much, that He reached out to me, today, and touched me.
Yes, me. One person. A woman. But more than that...a child of the King.
Just a reminder - Friday, Aug. 10, 2007
Rockin' Girl Blogger - Wednesday, Jul. 18, 2007
A good end - Friday, Jun. 01, 2007
Moving on? Yes and no. - Monday, May. 07, 2007