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?