Someone very near and dear to my heart told me of a recent church service she attended. When the altar call was given the pastor asked those to come forward who felt that God was calling them into ministry. My dear friend along with several other females lined up at the altar.
The pastor told everyone that God could use women to minister, but insisted that they were to support the men who were called to minister. He again pleaded for the men that were called by God to get out of their seats and come forward. When a few more men accepted the invitation he totally skipped over the ladies and prayed that God would help the men to fulfill their calling.
My friend said her heart sank as she stood there feeling as if God could only use her in a purely supportive position, or only as a default because so few men stepped forward. My heart broke for her, and I could relate to her feelings because of similar experiences I have had. In my visual mindset, it was akin to someone dangling candy in front of a child and jerking it back when the child reached for it, and the treat then being given to someone else.
I encouraged my friend by telling her that God knew what He was doing when He called her. He had destined to use her before the beginning of time. [Psalm 139:16] And, I assured her that she was not chosen by default. Our God is a God who acts intentionally, not carelessly. He is, He was, and He always will be God. He knows all things from the beginning to the end. As women ministers we are not His second choice.
Joel 2:28 tells us that God will pour out His Spirit on all people, sons and daughters. Peter reiterates this point as he addresses the crowd in Acts 2:17-18. God chooses whom He uses, and how He uses them. It’s not man’s choice or man’s opinion that matters, it’s God’s.
I’m not telling you to try to assert authority over men. My husband is and always will be the head of our household. But, God has not called Him to preach. He called me to preach. God uses Bryan in different ways. Bryan doesn’t have a desire to preach because that is not his calling.
On the other hand, I have an intense desire to preach and share the Gospel of Christ with those who are lost. Bryan sees the anointing that God has placed on my life for ministry, and He supports me 100%. He is not intimidated by me or my ministry, he is my support. I am so grateful for the many male pastors who have also been a support, and have invited me into their churches to speak. I believe they will be blessed because they followed the direction of the Holy Spirit, and not the influence of peoples opinions.
God used many women in the Old and New Testaments, and He is not done. I know all the verses people quote to prove that women are not allowed to speak in church, and maybe I will revisit this topic in a later post. I will just say that if you study the context of the Scriptures, the customs of the time period, and the audience being addressed in the Scriptures you will see that this did not apply to all women from then until Jesus comes.
There will always be those who disagree, and choose not to accept women as preachers, teachers, or evangelists and that’s fine. But, I have seen the Holy Spirit move in the lives of both the saved and the lost in response to sermons I have shared. People are being saved, delivered, healed, baptized in the Holy Spirit, and experiencing miracles in these services.
It’s certainly not due to any ability I possess, for in myself I am weak and worthless. But, God chose me, and I responded in obedience to the call when Jesus asked me to preach His Word. It’s not because I’m a female, and it’s not because of the lack of men in ministry. I wasn’t His second choice, and I wasn’t called to minister by default. It was God’s plan and His destiny for my life. I was destined to serve Him in this capacity, not defaulted to. And neither are you whether you are a male or female. Be obedient and answer the call.
Donna Sparks is an International Speaker and Evangelist. She is the Author of Beauty From Ashes: My Story of Grace, and, No Limits: Embracing the Miraculous.