A response to the discussion on women in leadership

The following comments were made by Carolyn Spence in response to a very active discussion on simplechurch.com on the subject of women speaking in meetings. They illustrate what the last few blog posts have been trying to do.

“This discussion has allowed freedom to develop in me, because it wasn't until I had to answer the claims of the "scholars" that I understood what God had been saying to me all along. It hasn't been the posts that really spoke to my situation. It was answering others’ dialog and discussion that brought out some things the Lord wanted me to see. I began to see what I had avoided because I wanted to "fit in." It has been really fun to ask God, "Well, see what he is saying? How do I reply to that?"  and then to find a new perspective on a scripture that I had not seen before.

In that process, I also saw that I was living and practicing a form of submission and quietness which I didn't really believe was what God had planned. I am not sure why I don't believe it, because there are certainly enough passages that could be interpreted the way I was conforming to them. But, I began to see that something deeper was working in me. 
 
The freedom for which Christ came to set us free began to well up in my heart, and I saw areas of responsibility in which I have allowed others to assume roles that God has placed in my authority. I own a business, and have about 18 associates who work for me. I have often deferred to males within my own company and God has been shining a light on why, in those areas, he was not able to bring me into the fullness of peace and skill and prosperity that he had planned.

It is beginning to really crystallize… the understanding of my place in business, and family, and in the coming together of the body of Christ to worship him and to manifest his presence, his gifts, and his kingdom. My place is never really under another although we really do submit to one another in love. It is under the Lord Jesus Christ. It is directed by the Holy Spirit. It is founded on his word, and it doesn't matter whether it is business or simple church. I am to be what he has called me to be in every place.

I have tried for four years to get something going, but it fizzles every time. At last I see why. When you won't take the role God has given you, and when you won't move in the authority he has placed in your hand (you will know it if your heart is right) then he will not help you go forward to accomplish his plans. I will no longer look for a man to start church planting, but now rather I will be a part of that "army of women" who will announce the good news. 

Timing is everything. Yesterday Peg (Batcheller) arrived from Albuquerque. I had heard some consider her a woman apostle, and after talking with her for hours, I must agree. There is in her the capacity to begin things, and to develop them, and to lead, and to admonish. She is here to help us begin to walk in simplicity of form and in depth of relationship with God and with each other. I believe God has prepared hearts, and that we will see the kingdom of God in a new expression among the body of Christ in our area, and all over our area. It is time. 

 

2 thoughts on “A response to the discussion on women in leadership”

  1. I appreciate this post and all of Felicity’s on this subject very much. I spent the first 49 years of my life as a very active leader, both in the institutional church in various roles (primarily as a worship leader and cell group leader/teacher) and as a self-employed business woman. Then I married David–the man I waited 24+ years for.
    Now, I find myself in a totally different role as a wife, co-owner and manager of our apt. business, and “partner” in every way with my husband as we seek to follow the precise leading of the Spirit in an organic/simple church we helped to start (with another couple) while praying about the next one. (We have a vision for starting a network of house churches in the area.)
    I can’t say I’ve necessarily struggled with what I think you’re articulating here, Carolyn. However, I do feel my heart stirring with a renewed and even more emboldened sense of “I can and will do ALL He puts in my heart to do…whatever that is.”
    Like what you said about Tony, Felicity–that he’s a Barak–so is my David. We met on the internet (BigChurch.com), and one of the things he said (via email) that “nailed it” for me (that he was the one God had for me) was how supportive of my gifting he would be. And he wasn’t just saying that to win my heart. He was absolutely telling the truth.
    Thanks, again, to both of you (Carolyn and Felicity)!

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  2. Sharon, the blessing of a supportive husband is worth so much. I love hearing of men who are able to reach the heart of relationship with the Lord enough to lift up others, especially their wives, to the place God has for them. Thank you for sharing. Carolyn

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