This article inspired me today. Check it out. http://sarahbessey.com/why-not-have-a-woman-preach/
In this article Sarah Bessey is asking the question, “Why not have a woman preach?”
I remember when I was younger my mom read me a book. It was one of those golden books and it had a sweet girl on the front I think. I can’t remember the details but I remember there were characters in the book doing different jobs. There was a mailman, a doctor, a nurse, a teacher, etc. The doctor was a woman. That must have been pretty radical for the 70’s but it wasn’t radical for me. It wasn’t radical for my mom. My mom told me I could do anything. My mom preached.
My dad preached too. With his kindness and his belief in me. I saw no difference in the amount of love that could be given from a man or a woman. There was no difference. They loved equally and powerfully.
My mom told me about Jesus and His plans for me. She taught me right from wrong. She modeled kindness. She hugged and laughed a lot too. She welcomed people in to our home. Make no mistake, she preached.
As I got older, I had teachers that told me I could do anything, be anything, achieve anything. They encouraged me. They were men and women. They preached. They preached about opportunity and possibility and hard work and dedication and taking risks and trying my best and believing in myself. Men and women, they preached.
These people did not need permission. They did not need a degree in encouragement. They did not need a board of directors or a council of decorated clergymen to tell them they were good enough. They knew it. God approved them. God. Not man. And He gave them an assignment. He said, “Go love the people in front of you”. AND THEN HE PUT THE PEOPLE IN FRONT OF THEM! They heard His voice saying, “Encourage that child”, “show up”, “be an example”. They did not wait. They could not wait. It was time.
All we have is this moment. Are you going to wait? For permission to preach? From whom?
In college, I knew a sorority sister that preached. She talked about Jesus, she shared His Word and His promises. She encouraged us to know Him. It was the early 90’s. She was 19 or 20 and did not yet have a college degree. Age and education have nothing to do with preaching.
My kids preach to me! The other day my oldest daughter laughed at me when I said I’m not a hypocrite. She laughed. I asked her why she was laughing and she said, “Mom, did you not hear what the preacher said? We are all hypocrites!” BOOM.
That’s my girl. Preach!
As an adult, there have been so many! There are women pastors who have made an impact on my life. There are writers and speakers and organizers and women fighting for the victims of sex trafficking. Women are on the front lines wiping tears and fighting for justice. Some are in the court room and some are in the church. Together we preach.
I have been abundantly blessed by everyone in Holy Yoga. That is some serious preaching. Mind, Body, Soul preaching! All the women who have been set free by Jesus and know His love and grace can’t help but preach!
There are too many to name here. Think about the women that have helped you. Think about the moments of grace. Consider the examples in your life and thank them for their obedience. Because when they were called to be an example, they answered that call. Many of them did it afraid.
I would not be who I am today without these preachers. Whether they ever stand behind a pulpit or speak on a large stage or publish their writings…it does not matter. God gave them gifts and opportunities and they answered with a GREAT BIG YES! Yes I will love that person. Yes I will listen. Yes I will tell them about Jesus. Yes I will encourage them. Yes I will be kind. Yes I will forgive. Yes I will repent. Yes I will pray. Yes I will read Scripture. Yes I will spend time alone with God. Yes I will listen for His voice. Yes I will live in joy. Yes I will be grateful. Yes I will open my home and my heart and my life. Yes.
And if you call me to it Lord, I will preach with words on a blog and on a stage and from a yoga mat. I will get to know you so I can hear your voice. I will not shrink back. I will not be afraid. You go before me and show me the way. Yes, Lord, I will follow you.
See, God does not speak only in the church. He does not only use priests as conduits for sharing the faith. He does not speak differently to men and women. He is speaking to you and me right now.
Our humanness makes us look to the center stage waiting for direction from someone who is “smarter” or “more important” or “ordained” or “better than us”. But God is standing there, in the margins, in the hallway, by the bathroom door, beckoning us.
Preaching looks like helping with homework and making dinner and loving your spouse. Preaching is a hug before school or a ride in the rain. It’s a phone call and a text and a Facebook post. It’s cheering from the stands and standing at the gravesite and bringing flowers to a friend. Preaching is sharing coffee or wine or chocolate. Preaching is putting down the phone and listening with your eyes. Preaching is holding your tongue and choosing kindness. Preaching is staying home and staying out of trouble. Preaching is standing in the gap for your friend who no longer believes and reaching out to God on her behalf. Preaching is choosing to be different so others see that they can be too. Preaching is honoring commitments for the long haul. Preaching is seeing the good in others and pointing it out to them and everyone else. Preaching is not competition. Preaching is love.
So in answer to the question, “Why can’t women preach?” I say, they can and they do and they will.
1 Thessalonians 5:19 (ESV) it says, “Do not quench the spirit.”
I was in a Beth Moore study and she always has a great way of explaining things. She was talking about what happens when someone is on fire with the Holy Spirit and the people around them (or maybe one, big, powerful person) come in like the fireman with the hose and just start spraying to put out that fire!! What a shame! People…that is not our job! Let the Holy Spirit work through all people as God sees fit. Guess what? Man does not decide who is promoted to speak God’s Word and encourage others. GOD DECIDES.
Now go. Preach.
The world needs you.
©2015 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved
photograph by Stephanie Moors Photography
video by Echo Star Cinema