John and I were recently discussing the hot-button issue of women leading and preaching in the church. He asked me why so many women seem to be looking for excuses to opt out of being an ambassador for Jesus. I shared that I believe some are simply afraid of the backlash they would receive from speaking up.
For centuries, a select few verses in the New Testament have been held over women to effectively limit their role and contribution in the church. But is this really what Jesus intended? If men are the only ones who are to preach, then what do we make of Jesus telling Mary Magdalene to go proclaim the news of His resurrection to His disciples? And what about when He gave the Great Commission? Jesus didn’t just give it to the men in attendance—He gave it to all. In case you were wondering, all includes women. In fact, I believe the Great Commission is exactly that—a co-mission, one that will take men and women working together in unison to fulfill.
That being said, after decades and even centuries where women have remained in the background, how do we begin to bridge this gap?
For some, the first step is to brave this conversation. Many women have been taught that submission is silence. But godly submission honors our husbands while obeying God. Perhaps others just need permission to step into their God-given strengths. I believe the capabilities of many women lie dormant because no one has ever acknowledged their giftings or taught them how to steward them.
We should actively be training up our daughters in godliness and obedience, equipping them for the high callings on their lives. And for those who ask how this is in keeping with 1 Peter 3, which outlines that women are to be meek and of a quiet spirit—I absolutely agree! I have examples of how to be meek in the lives of Jesus and Moses.
Now the man Moses was very humble [meek], more than all people who were on the face of the earth (Num. 12:3, MEV).
Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me. For I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls (Matt. 11:29 MEV).
Both Jesus and Moses modeled meekness as an example for us to follow—but this does not mean they didn’t have a voice. Far from it. The answer is not for women to live in silence. There may even be times when silence equates to disobedience. We can’t keep quiet about what we’ve seen and heard.
There is a hurting world that needs the glorious hope you carry. You’ve been commissioned by God to go into all the Earth and preach the gospel. What greater permission do you need?
Lisa Bevere is an international speaker, best-selling author, and co-founder of Messenger International. In her transparent style, Lisa shares God’s Word woven with personal experiences to empower lives with freedom and transformation. Her heart breaks over social injustice. As an advocate for change, she rallies others to be an answer to desperate problems near and far. Lisa begins her days with mochas and ends them laughing around the dinner table. Lisa lives in Colorado Springs with the love of her life, author and speaker John Bevere, and their family.