Kingdom Women

A phone call to remember (part 1)

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Tony and I were enjoying a weekend lie in when
his cell phone rang.  It soon
became apparent from his end of the conversation that the person the other end
was interested in publishing a book called An
Army of Ordinary People
that I wrote some time ago.

“Put it on speaker,” I whispered to Tony, eager to hear what
was being offered.

The conversation continued.  Then the person the other end said, “Of course, we’ll put
both your names on the front cover. 
This book is far too important to have been written by a woman!”

It was at this point that I lost my sanctification.  It wasn’t that I minded Tony’s name on
the book—we’ve written together before. 
It was the insinuation that a woman could not write anything of
significance that frustrated me.

(Thankfully, An Army
of Ordinary People
has been rewritten and updated and is being republished
by Tyndale House Publishers on May 3rd .)

Sadly, even in these days when our society generally
recognizes women as equals, the attitude towards women in the church is often
medieval.  Over the years, I
remember being told:

        A woman can lead—she just does it through her

        A woman is equal to a man.  It’s just that her role is different and,
by implication, not as     important. 
Kind of like George Orwell’s “All animals are created equal but some            animals are more equal than others (Animal Farm).

              God will use a woman—but only when there is no
man available to do the job (my                          personal favorite!)

has long been patriarchal in nature. 
For the most part, I don’t believe this is deliberate misogyny.  A patriarchal interpretation of the
Scriptures has led to the belief that women cannot hold any position of
strategic leadership within the body of Christ.  For some women (as for some men), this does not matter to
them.  However, God has placed in
the hearts of many of us women a longing to hear His voice, to think
strategically and to lead out—not in any lording it over sense, but in humble
service to His body—to be of significance.

10 replies on “A phone call to remember (part 1)”

Wow, that is crazy! Why is the church the last to get the memo?!? I feel
so fortunate to have parents and a husband who don’t think that way, so
I have never felt pushed down. I am raising 3 little men of God who will know the truth.

Felicity…Thank you for your excellent posts. My wife and I served in a church that became very hard on my wife. The mentality that women shouldn’t lead became so difficult on both of us we resigned as a result. I say we because when I married her we became one. I’ve never understood this women can’t stuff. I’ve been encouraged on my spiritual journey through women and believe strongly they have enormous things to offer the body of Christ. Again, thank you for your post and blogs.

Posts like these need to be written. Thanks, so much, Felicity, for writing them. I am “divinely designed” and totally wired as a leader–in the business world as well as the Kingdom. And like you (and countless other women leaders), I’ve felt the sting of demeaning and belittling remarks (for being a female) as well as outright “disqualification” for certain opportunities to minister in the Body of Christ due to my gender. These things should not be so.
Thanks, again, Felicity for the post.

I think you’ll enjoy the book, “The Forgotten Desert Mothers: Sayings, Lives, and Stories of Early Christian Women” if you haven’t read it already.
Our foremothers need to be recognized for what they did, for how they LED, I truly believe–in the earliest days, there were women present. (After all, the Last Supper was a seder supper, which the eldest woman in the home often and traditionally presides over in several ways.)

Felicity, Thanks for your example of gifted leadership
in the many settings that God places you. You put it
well: “not in any lording it over sense, but in humble service to His body.”
And thanks to Tony for encouraging you in all the things
that you do.

Michelle, I believe a generation will rise, your children’s generation maybe, when the patriarchal attitude towards women will be as outdated a notion as slavery (which is mentioned frequently in the Bible) is today!

I do not disagree with your statements. I interpret those passages different than what you have listed in the examples on your blog. But out of curiosity, exactly how do you interpret those passages which bring up these questions to begin with?

You get an “Amen” on this one, Felicity! Praise be to Christ, who redeemed us to be daughters in the household of our Father! There is where our “significance” truly lies. I believe He will always bless our humble service to His body even when our brothers don’t validate it.

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