Deep Thought – a bi-monthly feature in reCharge
Working Together in Ministry
Let’s be catalysts to change and transformation
When I stepped into the position of President for Baptist World Alliance Women 2020-2025, I sensed God asking me to find and/or create spaces for women and men to flourish together.
This would mean creating ministries that are open to both, affirm both, have mutual respect for one another, and give equal voice one to the other.
For too long, women have been asked to be the silent contributors to the Kingdom. Their ministries and efforts have been greatly appreciated, yet their voices have been hushed. That time has now finished. It’s a new day.
For too long, women have been asked to be the silent contributors to the Kingdom.
Back in July 2019, the Baptist International Conference on Theological Education met in Nassau, Bahamas. The decision was made to not only re affirm the resolution of the Baptist World Alliance entitled “Women”, adopted in Nassau in 1988 but to take it further.
READ the resolution here: Recognizing and Affirming the Calling of Women in the Church.
There was a call for churches, and church leaders, to repent from the teachings and practices through which they have prevented women from flourishing as human beings created in the image of God and full members of the body of Christ.
The call went further – to be open to the Holy Spirit to bring conviction, inspire discussion, and provoke transformation in individual lives and communities by affirming the God-given call of women for service in the church, so their stories may take rightful place in the wider story of Christ’s body in the world.
The All-encompassing Challenge
The challenge? For all of us to learn, and then use, language which is affirming to both women and men in worship, communications, and publications. In addition, to work intentionally to create equal space for women in all leadership roles in the church, Baptist conventions and unions, and across the entire Baptist World Alliance.
As I look at the place women have in our Baptist churches, and with this call being proclaimed globally, I believe there is a need for us to understand how to stand together and discuss issues together. As well, we all need to learn how to make room for one another, and how to avail each other of the others’ gifts.
God has a Kingdom-purpose for the entire body of Christ to flourish – male and female alike – and we are being ushered into that era where we will see it come to pass.
I, for one, am excited that we get to not only see it, but be catalysts of change to bring this transformation.
So what do I see?
I see a global ministry where women and men . . .
- Champion one another and stand together (Zeph 3:9)
- Understand the responsibility in the Kingdom and encourage one another forward (1 Thess 5:11)
- Meet regularly (Heb 10:25) and are aware they are not alone (1 Cor 14:26)
- Gather and await the move of the Spirit of the living God. (Acts 2:1)
- Stand firmly alongside one another (Gal 3:28), in the one Spirit,
- Strive together as one for the sake of the gospel (Phil 1:27).
Men and women alike have a mandate to love God fully and love others with acceptance and dedication. So let’s do this! Let’s:
STAND RESPECTFULLY and confidently together in the calling God has given us.
SEEK OUT spaces of commonality to work for the mutual benefit of all.
OPENLY SHARE tables of discussion for the strengthening of the Kingdom.
LET’S STAND alongside the Next Generation
TOGETHER SEEK the Kingdom first.
GO INTO ALL THE WORLD with a spirit of unity to proclaim the name of Jesus.
It’s a new day.
More Deep Thought
* This article was originally published in the Summer 2020-21 Heartlands for Women, newsletter.
Day of Courage
Karen and Mark Wilson live in Perth WA. In addition to being the President Baptist World Alliance Women, Karen
is also the CEO of the Global Leadership Network Australia/NZ, and this year founded the Women Leaders Network.
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