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