Jan 20, 2012
We’re welcoming Jamie Wright as this week’s guest blogger in the Women in Ministry Series. You probably know about her incredible blog Jamie the Very Worst Missionary.
I’m just gonna come out and say this: I never, ever, in a million years, wanted to be a “woman in ministry”. Never. And I never in my wildest dreams imagined that one day I would actually be one.
I grew up far from any church influence, so the very narrow example I had seen of women in ministry came mostly from television, where they were often portrayed in the form of nosy, judgmental, gossip-loving Bible-thumpers. As a teen, when I finally crossed paths with some real live women in ministry, I found them to be…well…nosy, judgmental, gossip-loving, Bible-thumpers. (“You know who’s going to burn in Hell? You, honey.” That’s how a youth pastor’s wife so gingerly shared the Gospel of Jesus with my 15 year-old self.)
Many years later, when my husband and I began the process of moving our family into full-time ministry, I wasn’t exactly aching for a chance to join the ranks of Pastor’s wives and Missionaries – at least not the ones I’d been exposed to, with their Bible tracts and sensible shoes, and their strong, loud opinions about who is going to burn in Hell.
The truth is, the women who ministered to my own wanting soul weren’t “women in ministry” at all. They were good neighbors and generous friends. They were soccer-Moms who took my babies off my hands for a few hours at a time, when I most needed help. They were steaming coffee dates where no subject was off limits, where laughter flowed freely and tears of anguish were met with tears of empathy. They were gentle spirits who whispered the Love of a Savior into my life, slowly and sweetly, because they understood that, through friendship, Grace abounds. It just does.
Those women didn’t work in churches. They had government jobs, they were part-time consultants, some were homemakers, one was a personal trainer, another ran a daycare. They taught me that there’s a really big difference between “women in ministry” and “women who minister”. And they showed me that a woman’s ability to deeply impact the world around her, her value in ministry, isn’t limited by her job title (or her husband’s).
That means that Missionary or not, I am a woman who is called to minister. Pastor’s wife or not, you are a woman called to minister. Sunday school teacher or not, your wife/sister/daughter/friend is called to minister.
Our neighbors and co-workers are counting on us to use our God-given gifts and abilities to bring Hope to this broken world. Our families and our friends are depending on us, with our uniquely feminine voices, to speak into their lives with wisdom and authority. And the God who created us, in all our girly glory, has released us to feed the hungry, care for the sick, love the unlovely, and guide the lost.
He has invited each and every one of us into ministry. Even the chick who never, ever, in a million years, wanted to be a “woman in ministry”.
About Today’s Blogger
Jamie writes from her home in Costa Rica, where she lives with her husband and three sons. She is best known for candid conversations about life and faith on her blog, Jamie the Very Worst Missionary.
If You Appreciate Jamie, Read This
I (Ed, the owner of this blog) couldn’t invite Jamie to contribute to this series without thinking of some concrete ways to support her and her husband Steve in their ministry. Jamie had no idea I was going to do this, but I’ve been plotting a special ask of this series’ readers. Here it is:
- Steve and Jamie are trying to figure out their next step in ministry. Will you commit to praying with them?
- Whether they stay in Costa Rica or move someplace else, Jamie and Steve are going to need some serious bucks. They have poured themselves out in ministry to others, and I would like you to prayerfully consider donating toward their ministry. In particular, can you give at least $10? They have some major expenses coming up that we can help them meet so that they can focus on their ministry and family. Go here to donate: Donate at PayPal Now.
About the Women in Ministry Series
The Women in Ministry Series is a collection of guest posts that aims to:
- Provide an alternative to the women in ministry debates by telling the stories of women in ministry.
- Encourage women to explore their God-given callings.
You can stay updated on the latest post each week by signing up for the weekly e-mail list. (You also get a free E-book if you sign up in January)
Comment Policy: Everyone is welcome to leave a comment. However, this series takes for granted that women are called by God into every facet of ministry. This is not the place to debate that point and such comments will be removed. Women have been told “no” in far too many places. This is one place that is committed to saying “yes.” For more about the comment policy, read here.
Next Week’s Blogger: Alise Wright