Some would declare that the phrase "women in ministry" is an oxymoron or unscriptural. Others might opine that the words women and ministry are mutually exclusive.
I am a gentle woman in ministry who believes that male and female have been created equally in the image of God. I am a woman who believes strongly in the call that each one of us—both men and women—has to serve the Body of Christ, the Kingdom of God and those under our watch.
A woman's voice in the marketplace, in the church and in the home offers a perspective and a tone that is valuable and unique. We are not fragile clones of our male counterparts, but we have been outstandingly fashioned by the God of the universe for a role in the story of humanity that is utterly feminine, powerfully impactful and undoubtedly irreplaceable.
God used women for specific purposes and assignments in the Word of God and His methods have not changed because He is a God that never changes.
God fashioned Eve as the mother of all the living in spite of the troubling fact that Eve had doubted God and then gave in to sin.
God chose Sarah to give birth to a baby boy although her cheeks were wrinkled, and her body was about as ripe as a dried up prune.
God chose Esther, a victim of sexual trafficking, to save a nation. He chose the obscure Deborah to judge a nation, and He magnificently used the answered prayers of a desperate housewife named Hannah to change the course of one nation's history.
God appointed Rahab, a prostitute, to help the people of God win a great victory, and He chose to use a young, grieving widow named Ruth to believe quietly for God's intervention when all natural hope was gone.
God chose Elizabeth, a righteous, older woman, to raise a strong-willed boy who would prepare the way of the Lord.
God chose Mary, a teenage virgin, to give birth to the Savior of the world.
God chose Mary Magdalene to demonstrate that a woman who had been trapped in the demonic darkness of sin could lavishly love the Savior and minister to Him when others chose to judge and ridicule.
Have you seen yourself in this list yet? Do you feel that God just might be calling you out of your insecurities, past your place of pain and into a new season of ministry?
My encouragement for women who are floundering with purpose is this:
"Awake, awake, clothe yourself in your strength, O Zion; clothe yourself in your beautiful garments ... Shake yourself from the dust, rise up, O captive Jerusalem; loose yourself from the chains around your neck, O captive daughter of Zion" (Is. 52:1-2l, NASB).
Awake! Clothe yourself! Shake yourself! Loose yourself!
Awake to new purpose and to God's plans for your one-of-a-kind life! Clothe yourself with joy and with the power of the Holy Spirit! Shake off the dust of your past!
Loose yourself to freely give encouragement and power to those in your generation!
Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. She has written five books, No More Ordinary, Holy Estrogen!, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart and Defiant Joy!" Her most recent book, Refined: Finding Joy in the Midst of the Fire," will be released on August 1. Her teaching DVD, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart, won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming.
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