this one's for the girls

public speaking is not my favorite. not at all. my heart beats fast, and i turn bright red. it's not pretty. while i enjoy leading informal small groups, standing up in front of a crowd with all eyes on me is one of the last things i'd pick to do.

but, i definitely notice and am sensitive to a lack of visible, up-front female leadership, especially in the church and christian ministries. when i was a youth pastor in pittsburgh, i attended a monthly networking meeting, and i was one of only two women in the whole city who wasn't a spouse or a volunteer in a ministry led by a man. not only were most of the youth pastors men, they were also mostly middled-aged. as a twenty-something youth leader fresh out of college, i would have loved to have had female mentors to show me the ropes, but there just weren't any.

my heart longs to see women using their gifts in the church--not only teaching children's sunday school or providing hospitality at coffee hour. i believe that Scripture reveals that women, like men, can also be gifted as pastors, teachers, or evangelists, and i desire for the church to encourage young women to discover and use their gifts to serve the Kingdom of God in a variety of creative way. girls should grow up seeing women in leadership as a natural thing.

so, when i was asked to speak at camp's worship in an intentional effort to diversify our speaking roster, i didn't want to turn it down. (even though, of course, i did!) and that is how i ended up giving the sermon this morning at camp's worship service in the chapel of the pines.

because of fourth of july, our one-week camp went an extra day, meaning that kids who would ordinarily have gone home were there for worship, too:  300 kids and 100 staff.  (my heart!)

my text was Luke 5:1-11, where Jesus calls Simon Peter to follow him, and he leaves everything to do so. i got to talk about how God chooses us, even though we are ordinary and sinful, and equips us for ministry.

i know for a fact that he does.

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)
(photo: america)


TAMI said...

How joyful that you were asked to use your gifts - the ones given to you by God, that you're accountable to use, and the church is charged to help mature and facilitate!! As a female pastor I hear you loud and clear, though I respect the struggle many have with it. May the Lord be glorified and multiply the fruit! Blessings.

bethany said...

im proud of always :)

Debbie said...

Good for you! You should be pleased with yourself.

michelle said...

preach it, sistah!

dave and i share your same lament. we wish there were more female (and male) role models for believers. high caliber people that we can strive to emulate...who we can respect and who show us even more of Jesus than we already see in ourselves...

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