My pastor, Jim, lifted his hands to give a word of blessing to the daughters of the house. It was an emotional moment for me. He told each of us to keep our eyes open as he gave a formal blessing over each of us. “Maybe you have never received a formal blessing from your father,” he said as he prepared to pray. I hadn’t. Tears began to well up. I was overwhelmed.
It’s a beautiful feeling to be a part of a church family where women in ministry is not only accepted, but encouraged. “As pastor of this house I believe in the authority of the Bible. God is no respecter of persons. There is no Jew, no Greek, no male, no female. We believe in women in ministry here.”
I know that about my church, but there is something empowering about hearing the pastor declare these things over us. I felt a surge of confidence. I felt like if I did not walk fully in my purpose, it was not because my church structure was oppressive to me. I felt a sense of responsibility!
Then it began to make sense to me. The church wouldn’t ask women to be courageous if they wanted to keep us under the iron fist of fear. They wouldn’t ask us to be brave if they didn’t want us to accomplish great feats of faith.
As my pastor blessed each of us, I could tell that he had experienced scrutiny as a result of his stance on women, but with the confidence of our Savior, Jesus Christ, he follows his example of lifting up the very people that the world counts out.Church is a safe place for me. I couldn’t always say that. My church is a place that will push women and stretch women and build women and lift women. Our calling and purpose has not been shoved under a rug, or pushed to the side. We are important to the body of Christ!
Pastor Jen often says, “Courageous women make history.” I am reminded of the women who anointed Jesus with the expensive perfume. Everyone didn’t understand her actions. They questioned her motives. They looked at her with disdain. They wished she would disappear. They wanted to re-purpose her gifts. They wanted to change how she ministered. But Jesus – knowing full well the power of her actions spoke up in her defense. He said, “For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial. 13“Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”
The world may not understand the power in the role of women in the church, but Jesus did. He made it known that because she used what she had to bless His body, that she will be spoken of wherever the gospel goes forth. Her gift will not be diminished. In Christ, it is MAGNIFIED.
The blessing of my pastor, reminds me of this blessing of the Savior. Both empower women to pour out their gifts, in a dying world, to share the Gospel. I will never forget this blessing! Wherever the gospel is truly preached and embraced women will be honored.
I pray for healing for every woman who has ever been silenced or marginalized under the banner of the cross. I pray for restoration for every woman who has questioned their call to preach or to pastor or to lead or to sing simply because of their gender. I pray for the lifting of women whose heads have been made to bow by men who don’t understand God ‘s purpose for women. I pray for churches that have made the choice to celebrate, encourage, and train women! I thank God that Jesus showed the church how to love women into empowerment.
We are praying for women all over the world to received the revelation from Christ and Christians of their value from the Father!