Recently there has been much to read about the changes that are happening with the Church of England and female bishops. I have enjoyed reading, thinking, praying and discussing. I understand in my limited knowledge that these changes are welcomed, needed and although really good, there is still a bit to go. I would love to discuss this more and my lovely friend Claire Bent would really want me to know more so I could say more, but she loves me in my ignorance and will fill me in all with exactly what is going on when she is over and we are having a cuppa.
Back here in little Bangor in a little church called Kings we are grasping ‘team’. When Glen and I were prayed into leadership last September we stood at the front of our church family, held each other’s hand (tightly) and took the authority of this calling in our hands and prayed that God in His mercy would help us to do this together, as a team.
We are a team, him and me.
Unfortunately the case has been that women have been suppressed for too long and for too long haven’t had a voice about many things that they could indeed speak into powerfully. We realised this recently looking at our leadership team and although our theology hasn’t changed we did realise that the women weren’t included in the elders (leadership) meetings and how much the church missed out in the voices of women who were godly, wise and had a perspective that was different and new. The old way didn’t seem to fit anymore. We want our church to be ‘family’ and our meetings especially in leadership need to be ’family’. In our family good leadership means we shoulder the burdens and decisions together, and so it should be in the church.
Some of my greatest chats are with really good friends of mine who are male and I know we both gain beautiful insight in these moments. Don’t get me wrong I have never ever felt suppressed in ministry and actually I have always felt very free from the start to move in all that God called me to. Prayer, cleaning, preaching, leading etc.
I get uncomfortable with the tongue in cheek jokes and how we can demean our men by stereotyping them and making fun of the little things that make us different. Our words always need to build up, encourage and edify. Making fun of the other gender never ever reaches this goal no matter what or how it is said. Words are spoken and the enemy gets a foothold. I never want this for my daughters or my sons. I want them to be proud of who God has made them and be respectable for how He has made everyone else. I want them to see us actively pursue for each other all that God has called us to be. Glen and I are a team, yeah we argue and disagree (yes the pastor and his wife actually argue – sometimes very loud – shock horror!) but there is no one I pray for more or get more pleasure watching move in the gifting that God has placed in him. I want to release him to do the things he loves – travelling, teaching, learning and being alone sometimes for more than five minutes. I love him you see not for he does around the house or with the kids. I want my kids to always know they should do what God has called them to do, I want my sons to clean the church if he is called to clean the church and I want my daughters to preach if she is called to preach. I want my daughters to make the coffees if she is called to make the coffees and I want my son to lead if he is called to lead. I want them to do whatever God has called and released in them to do.
We are a team, him and me.
We lead the church as team, we could not do this without each other. Glen releases me everyday to do what I am called to do, he looks after the kids if I have to go and do whatever it is that day God has asked me to do. That goes both ways I carry the load at home to release him to be what God has called him to do. Every day is different but every day I wake up expecting God to use us both in ways that brings His kingdom to earth. Recently I read a blog ‘in which this was also about the men ‘by a favourite of mine Sarah Bessey and Glen read it too, we sat in the kitchen and discussed it and I shed a tear (he laughed – in a nice way) because it was beautiful, respectful to the men in her life and it spoke of team and honour the whole way through. I loved it and took a lot of it as my own. I couldn’t do this without the men in my life especially my male friends who are as much part of my life as my female friends are.
God is doing a new thing here on earth, He is sees an army of both men and women to bring His kingdom here on earth. I am here on earth to make a difference to bring glory to His name. I can do that by looking after my 5 kids and my husband or praying and prophesying with someone on Sunday morning. Its about my heart, my hearts cry to honour and serve the King of Kings. We as a church want to see people released into their gifts and calling male or female, married or not, kids or no kids, the list goes on. We want people to know they have a destiny, a purpose and God wants to release them into more and more. We need to grasp truly how much God loves us.