Here in Austin, we’re prepping for the simulcast of a leadership summit that is completely about women and men leading in the church. The live event will be in Pasadena,California. If you’re interested in registering, or in finding a local venue near you, click here. (Now my shameless plea for my Austin people to join us! It will be so amazing and having you there will make it even more amazing!! Come see me, you guys!!)
When godly men and women work together, side by side, in the full expression of our callings, we become a fuller expression of God’s unity and grace. This is important work.
It’s never easy to do important work. Work that will make the world better, more beautiful, more just, or less devastatingly painful often cost us a great deal of time, money, pain, and effort.
Many times our callings fall to us unexpectedly, as if dropped from the clouds above. Few people can walk away from the call that comes like that. Those who do usually stumble on until they return to the place where God plucked their heart with purpose.
I never really felt called to vocational ministry. But alas, here I am. All Christians are meant to love the broken, the lost, the hurting, and the poor of the world. All Jesus followers are called to go and make disciples of every nation. When I married a minister I stepped out of the marketplace and into the church, but didn’t really consider it a leap of any great distance.
I just loved a man, and loved the God who brought him to me. It seemed obvious and natural that if I was called to be his wife, I was also called to this life of ministry.
But people can make titles like “minister” or “pastor” or “pastor’s wife”, that are meant to define our responsibilities, into labels that swallow our identities.
I read a lovely words by Sarah Bessey years ago that said this:
“I don’t for one moment want to be a Preacher, not really. (And I’m not really good at it, not yet anyway. I have a lot to learn.) Instead, I want to be Sarah, I want to be God’s beloved one, to walk wherever he walks, and follow the scent of his presence, discern where he’s moving and move there.”
I don’t know Sarah Bessey, but she wrote my own heart in those words. This is exactly how the kind of leaders we need in the church. Others would love to define our lives by the roles we are required to play. But the best leaders are people who want Jesus most of all in the deepest places of our heart, and set about making much of His love in the world.
It is our deep desire for Him that qualifies us to minister, whether it be vocational or not. It is love that makes a leader great in the church and in the marketplace, and it is God’s love that calls us out of the comfortable places into the fray of the broken, messy places that He is needed most.