Saturday, January 29, 2005

Thoughts about being a woman pastor

My life feels very full. I am married. I have two adult children. One of which is leaving on Monday for a seven week tour of Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. Tomorrow we will have a going away party for her. Spaghetti and wine. Her choice. Family and friends to wish her well and send her off.

I have five adult stepchildren of which three are married and between them we have seven grandchildren.

I have my seven year old son, Alex and his dog Mr. B.

I co-pastor a faith community that is going through change. And with that said my role will drastically change for a season. Funny, I was prayed for by a woman back in October that does not know me. She had a sense, a strong sense, that the Lord was giving me new marching orders. I didn't know then how true that would come to be. May I just say, I love it when the Lord speaks into my life, even if at the time it makes no sense, and then as I go on with life, I come to a place where I remember that moment. Then the lights go on and I feel a sense of peace because I know somehow this is the right road.

I sit on the board and work with a parachurch org, Off the Map, which is led by my friends, Dave Richards and Jim Henderson. I am going to San Diego on Monday to participate with OTM at the Youth Specialties/National Pastor's Conference. While there I get to spend a bit of time with the Emergent Women's Leadership Initiative. I have wanted to meet more of the women leading this, so hope I get the chance.

Women in leadership. Sometimes a hot topic. Depends on what circle you're in as to how hot. I have such mixed views on this topic. Not "if" women can be in leadership, no, my conflictedness comes more from where you find your voice. You see, I have many places where my voice is accepted and heard. In other arenas, (I am talking within the church at large) my voice is resented, ignored and sometimes looked on as having an "agenda"

The best of being an ordained woman, in a lead pastorate is I truly get to experience freedom in my gifting, talents and calling. It was not a very hard road to get here. Sadly, this is not the case for many women. You see, at age twenty-one I found myself in a church community that the co-pastor was a woman. This was my first adult experience in church. It was modeled for me right out of the gate that in the church, there was no male or female.

I had both men and women, speak into my life, encourage me on my path. I did not know at the time how controversial, in some arenas, this issue about women in leadership was.

Ten years later, I began attending a church in my current association, the Vineyard. And I will have to continue this story later because my blogging time is over for today...

9 comments:

Antony Hanson said...

I really hope you do continue this story. I was really getting interested. :)

beth wacome keck said...

So glad to see you're writing again .. Im with Arlen ... keep it up - this is intriquing ...

Anonymous said...

Please finish your story because I believe God is calling me to pastor as well. My father is a pastor, my mother co-pastors with him. I have preachers all through my family. I am already an ordained minister, an evangelist. God moved me to another state because of my husband's job. I was comfortable and very active in my previous church. God has given me several gifts/talents. I am not sure why I am here. I sense a strong need here in this small community. I came from a place of contentment and a large community to a very small one. However, I know not how to get started, nor have the income. Question is how did you get started and when did you know the time to? I know I have to trust God and if he is calling me to pastor it will happen. I am confident in my leadership ability as I have been raised in church all my life. Please give me some advice on how you got started. I am married with 3 kids. My husband is not a minister but is a child of God and knows the word like the back of his hand. However, he is not interested in my ministry at all. He states that this is something I would have to do on my own.(and I hoped we could do it together, Im praying that God will speak to him regarding this). If God is calling meto pastor, shouldn't my husband be in agreement? Please help!!!

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