In the circles that I run in, it seems like there has been a lot of talk lately about women in ministry. And there’s good reason for that.
- Gina Abbas recently released the book A Woman in Youth Ministry.
- Sarah Bessey’s Jesus Feminist is still making waves.
- April Diaz is busy being awesome with a women in youth ministry cohort and the Women in Youth Ministry Campference.
- Christine Caine just launched Propel Magazine for “women who lead.”
- And Emma Watson just made us all ugly-cry with her speech to the UN.
So there is a lot of positive conversation happening about the need for women to stand up, to lead, and to be strong. But, as is often the case when this topic comes up, there has been a bit of negative conversation happening, too.
But I don’t really want to talk about controversy right now, if that’s okay.
I don’t mind having hard talks, but I’d rather have them over coffee than over the internet. I just think there’s something significant about looking into someone’s eyes when conversations get difficult. It helps us remember (especially when we disagree) that we are all real people, with real stories… and that we matter, more than we could ever imagine, to the God who made us and re-makes us.
So I don’t want to talk about controversy right now. I don’t want to debate.
I just want to say something to the women who are trying their hardest to make a difference for Jesus and His Kingdom. It’s something I wish I had heard more often when I was trying to figure out my place in the Church.
Thank you. Your voice matters.
The leading, the mentoring, the discipling, the pastoring that you’re doing? You were made for this. You are called to this. And if someone tells you that you’re not… well, get on with it anyway. Do the Kingdom work that God has called you to do.
And if it gets hard (because it might), don’t let bitterness or cynicism crush the beauty of your spirit. The Church needs you to lead. But we need you to lead out of wholeness and courage, not anger or frustration or competition or a need to prove yourself to the world. Let your life and your ministry overflow with the graciousness and the joy and the strength of the Jesus that you love.
Be strong. Be brave. Be kind.
And in case you haven’t heard this recently… You matter. You’re needed. You’re loved.
And I’m so glad I get to do ministry alongside of you.
“Let us be women who Love.
Let us be women willing to lay down our sword words, our sharp looks, our ignorant silence and towering stance and fill the earth now with extravagant Love…
Let us be women who take courage and sing the song in our hearts.
Let us be women who say, Yes to the beautiful, unique purpose seeded in our souls.
Let us be women who call out the song in another’s heart.”
– Idelette McVicker, Let Us Be Women Who Love
And ladies, if you’re a youth pastor or church leader looking to meet some other women who do what you do, I’ve found at least one little community for that purpose. And you’ll probably want to get acquainted with the amazing women I linked to at the top of this post, too.