Celebrating High Heels in the Pulpit

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As a preacher, who is a woman, it grieves my heart to see women, called of God, denied the opportunity to preach. My grief is not only for the women who struggle to find a place where they can use their gifts, but I grieve the lost opportunity for the congregation to experience the fullness of having both men and women proclaim the word of God.

 

Having said this, I am grateful that I am part of a congregation that not only tolerates having me preach, but embraces and affirms my call to preach. I am grateful to be part of a congregation where both women and men lead worship, both women and men preach, both women and men lead and participate in children’s and youth ministry, and both women and men dialogue together to discuss the future ministry of the church.

 

I celebrate the fact that young girls witness that there is no restriction on how God can use them. As they see both men and women participating and leading in all areas of ministry, they will not question the legitimacy of God’s plans and purpose for their lives.

 

I celebrate the fact that my boys see that church is a place where we embrace and celebrate the gifts of everyone, regardless of gender. They will grow up without a preconceived notion that there are certain roles in the church that are ordained for only men.

 

I want to lift my thanks to God for the many congregations that embrace women in all roles and leadership within the church and for the great witness that they are providing our young people. I lift my thanks to God for congregations that accept and celebrate high heels in the pulpit!

 

If you have had the opportunity to hear a woman preach, would you consider sharing how this has benefited you?

17 thoughts on “Celebrating High Heels in the Pulpit

  1. Michelle- I LOVE this message. Opening the doors to opportunity through women in the pulpit, and the impact this will have on the youth of our Churches is an amazing perspective, and not to be dismissed. I believe that finding “…the legitimacy of God’s plans and purpose for their lives…” is an honest and valued reason for pursuing the very goals that you are today. Thanks for sharing this message – this is some awesome stuff!!!

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    1. Thank you, Dennis! I appreciate your comments. I don’t think we realize how much of a message our “actions” provide to our youth. What we say is important, but we have to follow through with our actions. God bless you!

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  2. Michelle- What an awesome message.Women have been a major force in the developement of who I am in Christ,from my Grandmother,my Mother,my Aunts,my Daughters,and my Wife. Most of these women, in my own life, were preachers and were not aware of it at the time!!!There absolutely is a place for women in the pulpit. All we need do is look at the women of the Bible and how a Holy God used them time and again!!! I consider it a privelege to hear God’s word from any source,female ,male or even a donkey!!!

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    1. Greg,
      Thank you for your encouraging message! There is much we can learn about God from both men and women in our lives, as you said. We need to be as willing as you to open our ears to God’s word regardless of the gender of the person preaching 😉 Thank you for sharing.

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  3. When I was on faculty at a Bible college, I preached in chapel several times. I received feedback from many students who said I was the first woman they ever heard preach. I was particularly glad this encouraged some of the female students to persue their calling more directly (as opposed to thinking they had to choose more “usable” degrees). Praying this will not be such a novelty for future generations. Thanks for the post.

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    1. Lisa, thank you for sharing! I share your prayer that women in the pulpit will be a norm rather than novelty. It is wonderful that you were able to impact so many students! God bless you.

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  4. I celebrate this, too! And this reminds me of one of the most special things I experienced when I was in seminary and first went back to my home congregation (in which I was under care) to preach. A mother of a 7th grade girl came up to me after worship and said with tears in her eyes: “The whole time you preached, my daughter was staring at you with this admiring look on her face. I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to have my middle school daughter choose a strong female preacher/pastor to look up to as her role model.”

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    1. Emily, what a great story! My eyes got misty just reading it. I’m so glad you had the opportunity to speak so powerfully into their lives. God is so good! Thank you for taking the time to share. God bless you!

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  5. Thank you for sharing. I have been blessed by several female ministers in my life. My campus minister was an amazing women whose lessons spoke to my heart. Her preaching never really felt like a sermon, it felt like a conversation. She brought the personalities of the bible to life for me. She could address the text, but she had such an amazing read on the emotional cues in the room. After our campus experienced a terrible fire, she taught us about loving one another, specifically about looking after our roommates and friends (as it is common for those who struggle psychologically to have a greater difficulty after experiencing a natural disaster). Her lesson has stuck with me for years, it opened my eyes to seek to understand the emotional state of others and try to reach out and care for those who are in need not just physically.

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    1. Jessica, thank you for sharing. Your campus pastor sounds like an amazing woman. I also appreciate the different voice that a female pastor can share with the congregation. Addressing emotional concerns is an important part of pastoring to the whole person. We are not just intellectual beings. Thanks for sharing your experience!

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  6. I have been preaching for for almost 20 years, and also am a woman. Most of those whom I have grown up under have been very affirming of women in ministry so why this blessed me SO much.today, I have no idea…but it DID!!! Thank you!

    Preach Sister!

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    1. Dr. Shannon, thank you for sharing. I’m sure that many women have been affirmed by you as well! Blessings to you!

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  7. I would never dare wear pink high heels like the ones in the photo in the pulpit !!!

    I’ve only started preaching recently, & by allowing me to do so, my husband is deliberately challenging the status quo in our denomination…

    I know you’re using high heels as a metaphor, and this will probably sound really trivial, but I actually find it quite hard to know how to dress ‘in the pulpit’! Part of me wants to look feminine so I’m not accused of dominating my husband – but then I’m afraid of not being taken seriously; part of me wants to look as ‘sober’ and ‘serious’ as possible – but that’s not me at all.

    My mother-in-law has kindly given me some money to buy ‘smart clothes’ (my personal clothes budget being practically non-existant) – but I’m at a loss what to go for!!

    Here’s some (real!) advice I heard from an older pastor’s wife : ‘When I go out to buy a new dress, I get the ugliest one in the shop – in order to please the Lord by my modesty.” Oh dear.

    But yes! I celebrate the fact that I now have this minor ‘problem’ ! 😀

    It was touching that the first couple of comments came from men. I feel a very strong burden for the men of our congregation, the Lord has given me a great love for them and their needs – but I’m still a little shy when it comes to exhorting them directly (I have done it though).

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    1. Vicky, thank you for your comments. Dress is a tricky issue. I’m not sure there is a “correct” answer to the question. I dress in what I feel is right for me. I wear my best; sometimes it’s a pant suit and sometimes it’s a skirt. But I dress the way I would for any important event-as myself. In my context I would be comfortable wearing hot pink high heels, but I know the congregation would not mind. They would even welcome me in jeans, though I personally wouldn’t be comfortable preaching in jeans. I think it’s important to be yourself and preach as yourself. God called us as we are, not to preach and present ourselves as another :-). It is so wonderful to hear of your husband’s support of you! God bless you!

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