Women in ministry. Those three words have the potential to ignite a firestorm in some circles, while in others unprecedented strides have been made to acknowledge a woman’s value and the contributions we make as co-laborers in the body of Christ.
I believe that women have value at the leadership table within the Church–not because we’re women, but because we’re followers of Jesus. Each follower of Jesus is equipped to serve him in ways that are uniquely his or her own, and God has given each of us a voice and talents that he expects us to use as he directs. While I’m so pleased that more and more women are being invited into leadership conversations, I’m not a crusader for women’s rights. Do I want women to have a voice in the Church? Absolutely! But I don’t think we have to fight for it. God is the one who promotes and brings opportunities into our path, and it’s up to us to either squander those opportunities or capitalize on them.
As those opportunities arise, we have a choice to make about HOW we’ll respond. And, like it or not, our decisions can affect whether or not we remain in the conversation, or if any other women are invited after us. What do we do with that voice when we’re given the opportunity to speak? Do we charge in like an angry bull, talking over others and never taking the time to listen (or even form a thoughtful response), or do we engage in conversation in a manner that’s productive and helpful (these are good guidelines for everyone, not just women! by the way). We don’t have to strive to make our voices heard. Let’s be content with every opportunity the Lord brings, be it large or small, and choose to be faithful stewards of the voices God has given us.