Hi you guys, 

I wanted to tell you how ridiculously hilarious it is to me that I preached in church the same weekend the internet went crazy over the topic of women in the pulpit. I mean, God’s got jokes, right??

schmoedown That's hilarious GIF by Collider

I am honestly so tired from speaking in four services on Sunday, that I hardly have the energy to write much in defense of my whole life. But there is a well-thought-out, legitimate biblical defense for women in the pulpit and in leadership in the Church. If you aren’t familiar with the arguments on both sides, I encourage you to educate yourself and decide what you believe is right before God. We will all be asked how we stewarded important issues like this one someday, and we need to be able to honestly say we listened to our Father’s voice in all things.

understand anthony anderson GIF

In the meantime, I can tell you I wept when I read the words John MacArthur said about Beth Moore and about women in general. I was walking around the track at my gym and I cried big, sobbing tears for all of us. We struggle so desperately here, as we wait for Jesus to come back for us. We are at His mercy and we need Him so deeply.

Ironically, my message about Our Common Humanity on Sunday was about allowing other people the space to mess up and even be awful to us. I specifically told a story about another time my daughter and I were offended by sexist and racist words a leader spoke in the media. I thought a lot about the repentance and forgiveness I preached as I walked in circles, sorting out all the ways this issue feels so personal to me.

I suppose this is just one more hurdle like the others I’ve had to pass over to have the courage to stand in a place many people say I shouldn’t stand. I walked around the track and thought about the time and study and prayer I had to do to believe it was acceptable for me to lead in this way. I thought about how many times I have wanted to just go home and be done. I thought of the emails people have written after I have spoken in the past, expressing disappointment that a woman was allowed by church leadership to preach in our church. And I thought about the support and encouragement so many other people have given me over the years.

The church world sometimes involves a strange mixture of approval and outrage that makes me want to do this:

amy poehler popcorn GIF

Over the years I have had conversations with very supportive male leaders who have been shocked that I often feel insecure about preaching. They have been so surprised when I’ve told them about the challenges women speakers often face in Christian church spaces: lack of opportunities in general, lack of opportunities because of other leaders’ fear about pushback, inequality in compensation, lack of promotion, etc. 

In a way, I am grateful for the brashness of John MacArthur, because his words are proof that I haven’t made it all up.

I have been playing with an idea for a second book for women leaders over the past few weeks. I want to write it more today than I did a week ago. I want to write it for all the women who want to answer God’s calling on their lives as Jesus carries them all the way home. I want to tell them that it’s impossible to do this without Jesus, but that He is worth pursuing in the midst of every inequality and injustice we face. I’m hoping and praying that someone will publish it once I iron out the idea. But alas, in the publishing world, there are no guarantees.

Thank you for all the support you’ve given me by reading my posts and subscribing to my emails. Thank you for preordering my first book! Thank you for sharing my posts and being my friends. It emboldens me to know that I’m not alone and that we ‘re on the road home together.

Here’s to a great week of obeying God’s command to walk in continual repentance and forgiveness, and then to go and make disciples everywhere– at home, in our workplaces, in the grocery store, in our schools, and even in our churches. May we honor God in all we say and do.

XO,

Carrie

 

P.S. I shared this on Instagram today, and it is everything I know best about my life today:

There are lots of days many of us would love to go home. Go home to a place where we don’t have to risk failure and criticism. Go home to a place where we can be comfortable & safe & happy. Go home to a place where every tear has been wiped away and every injustice has been swallowed up in righteousness. I want to go home all the time. But there’s a lot of work to do and God told me to open my mouth up and be His storyteller. As long as I’m alive on this earth, obeying Him is the only way to find the path home. On Sunday, after I preached in our church, I went home and ordered pizza for my family. As I added a medium thin crust pepperoni with pineapple to my cart, I took this jewelry off at my desk. What looks like some nice silver jewelry is really a kind of soul armor. The bracelet and earrings and silver ring were gifts from my husband, the man I respect most in this world, who believes in me even when I’m not sure I believe in myself. The turquoise ring was bought by my grandfather and was a gift to my step-grandmother. It reminds me that there have been many men and women before me who woke up every day and did what they had to do to to make it home and that after my life is over, & I am at last home with God, I want to leave behind something of value for all the people who take my place. After all, none of us can find our way home alone. The turquoise in the ring also reminds me of what God spoke to me one day when I told him I was uncomfortable trying to be a leader in a church. He said inside each one of us is an ocean of living water, and no one can hold back the flood of His Spirit when He calls for it to flow out of us into the world. If you know a woman who is leading God’s people well today, text her & tell her you are thankful for her. Tell her you’re inspired by her courage and sacrifice. Tell her the world needs her voice and her love for Jesus. Then tell her you’re with her, all the long, hard way home to Jesus. Offer to be her armor-bearer in whatever way you can. As strong and capable as she may seem to you, it’s possible she needs more encouragement from the people around her.