JUST A WARNING: I truly believe that this is far more transparent than I’ve ever been in my writing on any form of social media. I think this matter is important, and the last thing I want to do is put myself in the spotlight for a matter that still has quite a bit of controversy. I’m not doing this for a sense of entitlement, I’m doing this because I see young women around me who struggle with the idea of women in ministry because it’s not the norm. I’m thankful it’s on the path to becoming the norm, but there’s a confidence in women that has yet to be built up.
To be completely honest, I’m nervous writing this as I think of the responses I may receive from it. But, here I am. Take courage my heart.
I’m a woman, and I am going to be a pastor in the future.
I’m a woman, and I am not confined to the calling of a children’s pastor.
I’m a woman, and I feel called to take a leadership role in the church.
And the future of the calling that I have is controlled by God.
I understand the appeal of certain days or months where there is a certain subject for a target audience to focus on – such as International Women’s Day. I can also admit that I am not one to take the most action towards these days. I think they are important, but I also think it is a hollow focus if everyone treats this matter with a simple picture and a hashtag on Instagram or Facebook. So if I’m going to make this meaningful, I thought it’d be most appropriate to share the things that God has done and called me to (and if I dare say it), as a woman.
When I was 12 years old, I felt God call me into ministry. I had not one idea in my head as to what that would look like or be like, and I especially had no idea who or what I would encounter as I work towards it. As years passed I began to notice something was off about my calling: I was called into a leadership position, but I didn’t see too many relatable leaders around me.
I was tomboyish, but not masculine. I was struggling with weird hormones that I couldn’t exactly figure out. I was facing something from my past. And the biggest thing: I was a girl. I still looked up to my youth pastors with respect. I still learned about the gospel, and I could relate with them on some senses, but there are factors that stood between us, inevitably, because we were the opposite sex.
I remember thinking one day:
“Wait, where are the women in leadership.”
“How am I called to this if I don’t see it around me.”
“Maybe I was wrong about this whole ‘calling’ thing.”
This is my first year in Bible College, and as a class we took a trip to the Dominican Republic for a cross-cultural study. Each church service I couldn’t understand a single word, but there was something that I did understand: the women of the church took leadership roles just as much as the men, and to them it was a normal reality. This realization made me incredibly emotional later that night as I realized that far too often in North America, the pastor’s wife is a pretty face to sit in the front row on Sundays.
To the girls who feel called into ministry, are in ministry, or who are married to a pastor, you are more than a pretty face on a Sunday. You are a leader.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)
We all fall short of the glory of God. We all don’t deserve grace. And leaders, we all don’t deserve to be in leadership. But God has called us according to HIS PURPOSE.
Not our pride, our desires, or the purpose we feel for ourselves, but His divine purpose.
I’ve gotten the statements, “You’re a female, you can’t be a pastor.”
I’ve gotten the questions, “So, are you going to be a nun or something?”
And most of all, I’ve gotten a confused look, and a lack of response.
But I’ve also gotten, “Wow, that’s amazing. We need more female leaders in the church.”
All in all, the most important statement that has gotten me through this whirlwind is the promise that God has for me. It is a promise to prosper me and not to harm me, a promise to give me a hope and a future. When I preached for the first time I didn’t think to myself, “Wow, look at me go; a woman preaching.” I thought, “Wow, this is insane. I get to experience God by taking part in the plan He has for me as one of His children.”
So girls, if you are called into leadership, do not deny the calling of the Heavenly Father. If you are afraid, call upon the Lord and He will comfort you and help you. If you doubt, stand firm in your faith, and fight the good fight.
Leadership does not fall under a job title, it falls under the authority of Christ. Remember the times that you needed a Christian female leader in your life, and realize that God has called you to that.
You have been called according to His Purpose.