I have been thinking about what keeps women from answering God's call into full-time, church-sanctioned ministry. There are a variety of reasons. Could I get some feedback from some of you as to what your fears are related to determining whether God is calling you or what are the difficulties in answering the call? If you are an "onlooker" but have ideas based on your observations of women dealing with this issue or the church's resistance to women in ministry, please weigh in as well.



In Portland, when it snows everything stops. Today is one of those days. Schools are closed. Children are sledding and making snow angels. All regularly scheduled television and radio programs are being overridden by local weather information. They are telling us to stay off the roads unless you really need to go somewhere. Make sure you have staples in your home in case you can't get out for a few days. If you do go out, make sure you know how to drive in this weather. Bring along a flashlight, food, water, warm clothes. Go prepared...as much as is possible. This made me think of women entering ministry. Heed the caution "don't go unless you really need to." If you do go, make sure you are prepared. Make sure you know how to drive; how to navigate the terrain of both leadership and opposition. Bring along courage, thick skin, scriptural grounding and an optimistic attitude.
Make sure you play in the snow too!
Soon, the freeze will be over and the sun will shine again and these hunkering-down moments will wait until the next snow. Just know it may snow again. And things may shut down and you may be "snowed-in" another time. But fortunately it is seasonal.


Catherine Booth

"..when the true light shines and God's words take the place of man's traditions, the Doctor of Divinity who shall teach that Paul commands woman to be silent when God's Spirit urges her to speak, will be regarded much the same as we should now regard an astronomer who should teach that the sun is the earth's satellite."-Catherine Booth, co-founder of the Salvation Army with her husband
I do not believe the day has yet come when this is the case that those who teach against woman speaking "when God's Spirit urges her to speak" will be considered out of step with reality. Yet, as we continue to pursue our call we may help to move the thinking and perceptions toward that goal.


A Redeemed Community

Genesis 3:16b: Also, to your man shall be your desire, but he shall rule over you.
"Some Christians have used this verse to justify the exclusion of women from significant participation in the life of the church. But the church is a society of the redeemed. The church should model the Orders of Creation and Redemption, not of the Fall. In creation, female and male are formed equally in the image of God. In Christ, the Redeemer and Lord of the church, there is neither male nor female. In the church, the body and bride of Christ, that should be the basis of polity and practice." -Joseph Coleson
The idea that we are part of a redeemed society should be a matter of celebration! Both male and female being made in God's image and then being redeemed fully back to that image is important to our understanding of the affirmation of women in ministry. So many times the sin of Eve, being the tempter, is used to show that women are weak and incapable of leadership. But we do not live under that curse! When people use the argument of Eve, the tempter, I need to remember that I am redeemed, and so are you! And so is our community of faith!