Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"The Power of Perception and Denial Part II"

In response to the question, “What does it mean to be true to one’s self?” An anonymous writer shared this comment,

“People tend to live life like theater, acting with masks that read other than what they truly are.”

Regarding denial, Shakespeare’s words expressed in Hamlet may have said it best, "This above all: to thine own self be true,: and it must follow, as the night the day,: Thou canst not then be false to any man. ...”

One would think that we, bearers of the “TRUTH,” – the Word of the Holy God –above all others would walk, live and breathe truth as a way of being. However, we (clergywomen), because of human frailty also fall prey to the power of perception and denial. When we wear masks to hide the truth of our inward and outward struggles, we not only deceive others, but ultimately, we deceive ourselves.

The fear of what others may think, the concern over how we will appear, the dread of being pushed out or locked out of certain places, the “superwoman” syndrome all play a part in our tendency to deny our struggle.

In today’s blog, I’d like us to consider how over 100 female clergy surveyed responded to a couple of questions/statements regarding the pressures of ministry in the local church.

The questions(statements) were posed to senior female pastors. The answer selections ranged from “Strongly Agree” to “Strongly Disagree” (in between were “Moderately Agree/Disagree,” “Agree/Disagree”)

Here are the statements:

“I find myself wearing many hats to handle the day to day operation of the church”

An overwhelming 83% fell within the “Agree” range (ranging from Strongly Agree to Agree).

“Wearing many hats” may mean different things to different people. However, I believe we can all agree that the word picture describes a juggling act of sorts! Women by nature tend to be multi-taskers. In previous blogs, we have already established that women tend to pastor smaller, struggling, financially unstable congregations.

Resultantly, many female clergy find themselves with minimal resources available to do the work. Many use their own money to fund activities, to pay church bills and to support mission efforts. Many are without associate staff or laypersons that are willing to help conduct necessary matters of church operation. Therefore, the pastor may find herself, in addition to the necessary roles of preacher and pastoral caregiver, conducting most meetings, answering phones, developing and printing bulletins, visiting the sick, “raising the dead…” You get the picture!

Many of the clergywomen surveyed, in addition to being pastors are daughters, wives, mothers, sisters, friends, involved in community activities, associations, etc. We are parceled out into many and varied areas of service.

Having said the aforementioned, what I found to be both interesting and simultaneously disconcerting was the majority response to the next statement…

“I frequently feel frustrated because of the lack of resources and finances to carry on the ministry of the church.”

Over half of the clergywomen surveyed (56%) disagreed with the statement. Now, one may argue that the statement was misunderstood or interpreted differently. However, this is what I observe about us (female clergy/pastors)…

We would rather “wear the mask” that all is well, that we are well, that nothing is falling through the cracks (including our physical, mental and spiritual health) and that we can keep the ball rolling at any expense.

To continue to wear the mask, to continue to pretend that we are unaffected by the intense pressures of minimal resources, to continue to behave as if “it’s all good” is not only denial, but deadly!

Why do we do wear the mask? We are afraid of other’s perceptions. Why do we wear the mask? We don’t want to appear weak and inadequate. Why do we wear the mask? We don’t want someone to say, “This is a man’s job and a woman can’t handle it.” Why do we wear the mask? We want to prove that we are good enough, strong enough, and smart enough to get the job done.

Ultimately, we wear the mask because we don’t trust God. We are afraid to be vulnerable. We have bought into the lie that the false perceptions and negative opinions of others somehow control our destiny. We have given up hope that God has folks who will help us.

The God who called us said, it is not good that we should be alone (Genesis 2:18a). While this scripture is in the context of the creation of a helpmate for Adam, it also speaks to the need for human beings to live in community. The lyrics to a popular song, “Long as I got King Jesus I don’t need nobody else,” is enjoyable music, but bad theology! When we continue to wear masks and live in denial concerning our struggles, our frustrations, our pain, our need for help, we miss opportunities for God to bring support, assistance and healing into our lives.

Truth be told, when we try to do everything by ourselves we set a bad example before the people of God. We model unhealthy behavior. We rob them of the opportunity to render their reasonable service in the church. God has a support system for you in human form. Won’t you remove the mask of denial, be honest with yourself first and then others? In faith, ask the Lord to reveal the system of support He has available to you today.

I’d like to hear your thoughts. Whether you agree or disagree, write a comment, share a word of wisdom, or give a testimony concerning your experience with the power of perception and denial. Send me an email at

In faith, hope and perseverance,
Pastor Chris

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"The Power of Perception and Denial Part I"

The other day, I was privileged to meet a pastor who’d been following the Shepastor Blog. I asked if she’d be willing to share some words of wisdom for the blog and she graciously agreed. We spent some time talking about her call to the ministry, precious nuggets of wisdom gleaned from her years of experience and words of guidance and encouragement for others coming along. During our conversation, it occurred to me that perception plays a powerful role in how we go about our lives.

Sometimes the fear of how we will be perceived or viewed by others, hinder our obedience to God. Our perceptions are greatly influenced by our world-view, i.e., cultural mores, how we were taught, our sense of right and wrong, how we experience relationships etc. If the fear of what others think dominates our decisions, it is less likely that we will step outside of created boxes – created sometimes by others, sometimes by ourselves. However, if we perceive that others “see” something in us, we value their insights and take their positive views to heart. Pastor Pat Ludwig is a wonderful example of how women can push past stereotypical perceptions and expectations of others to fulfill God’s calling upon their lives.

Over the next several blogs, I will share conversations between individual clergy women and myself regarding the issues of perceptions, fear and impact upon a woman’s decision to accept the call to ministry. Also, we’ll look at how denial plays a role in unhealthy behaviors among female clergy.

Today’s focus shall be upon perceptions - how they impact our self view and actions.

Interview with The Reverend Pat Ludwig
Pastor of First Baptist Church
Newfane, New York

“Something touched my heart because I heard a missionary and I thought I wanted to serve in that traditional role. That was in 1958 (age 13). I was not totally aware of the ‘call,’ but I was drawn to missionary work – a traditional role for women. God however had a different idea.”

Pat has served two solo pastorates including this one, not including interim work. She’s been in the ministry for 38 years.


How long have you pastored at this church?

Answer: "12 and a half years"

What are some struggles you have encountered as a clergy woman during those years?

Answer: "Acceptance, or lack thereof until they got to know me. Knowing that I was a woman was a put off for some even before they got to know me personally. That was a struggle. Irrational stereotypes. For example, when I was asked to perform a wedding ceremony, the couple didn’t want me because they didn’t think it would be legal (that was in 1973). At that time, I was serving the United Church of Christ. Clergywomen were pretty rare no matter what the denomination during that time."

When did you become a Baptist? 1997.

What are some of the issues regarding recognition, and calls revolving around clergy women? “Many of the committees that would deal with women coming into ministry are made up of conservative male pastors, who while they say ‘God calls people to ministry, God gives gifts for ministry, God wants you to go out and talk about salvation and grace…’ These are the same committees who say to women desiring to serve in the ordained ministry, ‘but not through you!’ They say on the one hand, this is happening, but on the other hand, it can’t happen with you. Sometimes those are the obstacles we face.
That’s where we need to be our own advocates."

How did you overcome some of these obstacles?
“One of the things I just kept doing was to keep saying to myself, ‘I am called by God’. I kept affirming myself. Simply being present where people would see me at clergy meetings, association meetings, area meetings, volunteering to serve on committees so that my skills and my leadership abilities and my gifts could be seen. Just get out there – ‘Strut your stuff!’ ”

Do you think it is ever appropriate for a clergy woman to “step into” arenas without invitiation? “I think we have to. When we see any injustice it is always the time to step in. When we see inequality and hatred, it is always the time to step in. Jesus allowed Mary to wash his feet in spite of the criticisms. Mary crashed the party to do the right thing. Mary was not invited, however, she saw a need and stepped in. The right thing was to honor Jesus and to prepare Him for his sacrifice. The others present were not interested in doing the right thing.”

How would you respond to persons who say that women should not push themselves forward, that if it is God’s will for them to become a pastor, or to become ordained or to obtain any particular position in ministry, God will open that door for them?

“The first thing we have to do is dispel the stereotype that this will make us look like ‘pushy broads!’ ” Remember that we are not just bragging on ourselves, it is saying, ‘God thank you for these gifts, now help me get out there and share them.’ We always have to affirm that these are gifts from God. If we don’t remember that God has called us and given these gifts then our struggles are for naught.”

What would you say to sisters who are angry about being denied ordination or other ministerial opportunities?

“When I graduated from seminary, a lot of clergywomen were very angry. They were angry because even though we’d studied and completed seminary there were few places for us to go. They expressed their anger and hostility in ways that did not represent Christ. There is a place for righteous indignation, like when Jesus chased the money changers out of the Temple. However, if our anger overshadows our witness for Christ, it is not beneficial to anyone. Always remember that we are called by God and are representing the Spirit of God. While we can express some genuine anger, it always has to be done in love, with a listening heart.”

At the beginning of our conversation, you said that when you were called, you didn’t quite realize what was happening. You shared a story about stumbling and tripping in a hallway when no one was present. That was symbolic for you. Could you say some more about that?

“While in seminary, originally studying to be a missionary (since that's what I perceived I was called to do, since I am a woman)I began to sense that God was leading me into a different direction. As I pondered and prayed about these feelings something strange happened. Once while I was walking down the hall, I stumbled when no one was around. It felt like a shove or a push. I knew that it meant something so I began to talk to others about the experience. I felt I needed more insight from friends, professors at seminary and family. I discovered that the Spirit works through those people that share their insights. In talking to these other people, I realized the ‘stumble’ was God’s continuing to push me into parish ministry. We have to remember that discerning the spirit involves other peoples insight into our lives. Sometimes we need the ‘push, the shoves, the stumbles of life’ to help us discern God’s call upon us.”
(end of interview)

How have the perceptions of others helped or hindered your acceptance or view of the call? Do you have a story or insight to share? Please write a comment or send me an email at

Also, a few days ago, I received an email from a female lay pastor in Nairobi, Kenya. She is requesting "words of wisdom" concerning her personal struggle against bitterness, confusion and feeling misplaced because of the belief that women should not pastor based upon the oppressive misinterpretations of scripture.

Read her comments on last week's blog. Won't you share some words of support and encouragement with her today?

In faith, hope and perseverance,
Pastor Chris

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

“Can We Talk? Honest Considerations for Sisters in the Ministry”

We know that many and varied obstacles hinder the process of women serving in the ordained ministry.

Today, let’s talk about our issues as women and how we, at times, make the journey for sisters more difficult.

Let’s now consider some of the more inconspicuous reasons for resistance to women in ministry. Some realities that hinder the process are unspoken. Even those who rail against females becoming a senior pastor remain closed lipped regarding deep truths about the matter.

Common reasons given include:

- A woman is not strong enough
- It’s not God’s will for a woman to pastor
- A woman should be at home with her husband and children
- A woman can’t handle the church
- Men will not follow a woman

Here are some reality checks:

-American society is patriarchal in nature and women, although having made great strides, still lag behind in top level positions and salary

-For some communities, the church is the only place where men hold power and influence. They may be considered as “nobody,” on the job or in the market place, but when they come to church, they are “Deacon,” “Elder,” “Bishop,” “Pastor…”

-For some women, the pastor is the only man in their lives. He is the only one for whom they can bake a cake or a pie, get a big juicy hug or kiss (on the cheek of course!), fantasize about what it would be like to be his wife, talk about the deepness of his voice, how tall and good he looks in a suit and how proud he makes them feel as he represents them in the larger community

-The male pastor serves as a good role model for young men who may not have a father figure at home

-He makes them feel safe and taken care of

These realities are quite formidable and extremely difficult to overcome. To further explore what stands in the way of progress for female clergy, we must consider the circumstances that breed divisions among women.

Complexities of the “Imago Dei”

Like men, women were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Women, however, have been consistently denied access to the inherent blessings of God’s endowment to humanity.

“Imago Dei” is a Latin phrase that means, “image of God.” It is a theological concept that asserts humans, made in the image of God are “god-like” in nature. God placed within each of us a mirror reflection of Himself and therefore we have some of God’s traits. He has given us dominion over the earth. Therefore, we desire to lead. He breathed into us His Spirit. Therefore we have a consciousness that we are more that what is readily apparent. God has imprinted us with His likeness for a purpose and a plan, therefore we desire to become more than what present circumstances may dictate.

Although not worthy of the praise that is due to God’s holy name – we too desire praise. No matter how we try to deny it, we love, need and expect healthy praise. As Christians, we know that to walk “in the Spirit,” means that we are not selfish, self-serving, pride-filled, or arrogant. However, if we are honest, we all desire recognition, appreciation and praise.

I would like to suggest that when an environment is healthy – where honor, praise, appreciation, respect, opportunity and unconditional love is appropriately given, issues of jealousy, “power playing” and envy are minimal. Because of our fallen nature, some residue of sinful pride and envy may exist, but it will not dominate.

When individual gifts and talents are truly recognized, when opportunities to grow and rise are present and when honor, respect and praise is appropriately given, rivalry is negligible. However, when any individual or group is disrespected, or under appreciated, denied opportunities and/or consistently underestimated, the “crab in the bucket” mentality will thrive. A tendency to push others down in order to grab one of the few places in the upper echelon will abound.

When individuals are hungry for recognition, when they are weary of being passed over, when they have had to struggle and fight for any kind of spot or crumb, divisions and strife will prevail. Oppression produces strange fruit. Oppression produces unfortunate results. Often the oppressed become that which they claim to despise.

Germane to our discussion, women have become senior pastors. A few have been able to pierce through the glass ceiling and pastor churches that are financially stable, over 300 in average attendance and are thriving. However, there is a certain lure to elitism – being in the “Look, I made it – I did it club!” Sometimes we as women are our own worst enemies. So often those who have broken through the glass ceiling neglect to reach back and help others to climb through the cracks.

Often when a struggling female minister reaches out to be mentored by a successful sister in the pastorate, phone calls, emails and cards go unanswered. When preaching or workshop opportunities open, those in the “circle of influence,” such as a popular male clergy or another sister who has “made it” are given the spot. Little attention or effort goes to unknown sisters who are trying to come along.

Sexism and Racism have some tragic similarities. Minorities, for example would be given “compliments” such as “You are so intelligent! You are not like them. You are different!” As if to say, “You people are usually ignorant and incapable, but some how you are not like most.” What an insult! Sadly, many did not take those words as insults, but rather a reprieve from oppression – a welcomed affirmation, a hint of praise. Out of extreme thirst, they did not reject the patronizing remarks. Instead they drank them in. It is very tempting to be drawn into the sick pat on the head and think you’ve joined the upper crust.

The feelings of superiority, notoriety and the sweet taste of acceptance above the rest is far more attractive than getting back into the trenches and advocating for others to share perceived glory. After all, martyrs die and who wants to make that kind of sacrifice? Sometimes, we as women do more to keep one another down than any male chauvinist. Sometimes, we stand in the way of our own progress.

Ministry is about service. Certainly we don't need to be in the spotlight or on center stage to do the work of the Lord. However, Opportunities, encouragement, and honor, if we are honest, are desired.

Let's pray together for deliverance from the unfortunate biproducts of oppression. Today, decide to encourage some sister hungry for support, affirmation and love.

I'd like to hear your thoughts. Maybe you have an experience or a testimony concerning female issues you'd like to share. Post a comment or write me at

In faith, hope and perseverance,
Pastor Chris

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"Sharing in the Struggle: Female Clergy Sharing Insights and Triumphs"

As shared in our two previous blogs, doors are opening for female clergy to move into the pastorate as well as other ordained ministry positions. Sister clergy from across the country are asking, "what specific things can I do to gain greater opportunities to serve?" "What attitudes or behaviors should I avoid?" "What avenues ought I consider?" "How long does it take?"

Below are some insights from research as well as female pastors currently working in the vineyard...

Be Open

Everyone will not pastor a 1,000 member plus church nor does everyone desire to do so. The reality is that women in general, pastor smaller, struggling, frequently dying (until God uses the women to revive them!) congregations. According to Sociologists, Dr. Mary Ellen Konleczny and Dr. Mark Chaves, in their article, "Resources, Race and Female-Headed Congregations in the United States,"

Several studies of clergywomen have shown that female-led congregations are small and have fewer economic organizational resources than congregations led by men. Women ministers most often serve as sole or senior pastors in small congregations, only rarely pastoring large congregations.

Even among those denominations that more readily receive female pastors, the percentages of those leading large congregations are very low. An article in Christian Century entitled, “Breaking the Glass Ceiling at Large Churches,” states,

One mark of acceptance for women
pastors is lagging—only some 7 percent of
Methodist congregations with more than
1,000 members are led by a female senior
pastor. Methodist statisticians releasing this
month the most recent data (from
December 2007) said that 81 of the
denomination's largest congregations were
led by male pastors and 1,055 by female pastors.
Another eight large congregations
had men and women serving as co-pastors.

Our own survey revealed that 42.3 % of our respondents pastor churches with between 50 and 100 members. 31% pastor churches with less than 50 members. These numbers are consistent with national statistics. Females desiring to pastor freewill congregations should be open to pastoring a small church. Other possibilities certainly exist, but being open to what is currently most prevalent will provide opportunities. If one’s circumstances permit, one should be open to moving to another geographical location. Flexibility with regard to location may provide greater options for females seeking to become senior pastors. Female clergy should also be open to pastoring churches of another culture or denomination. Minority female pastors, for example, may find more acceptance from historically Euro freewill congregations (eg., American Baptist, United Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ) than more traditional African American or Southern Baptist churches.

Many small congregations were once thriving, mainline, financially stable churches. Now, however, due to changing demographics, death and lifestyle transitions, their numbers have decreased dramatically and they find themselves on the brink of closure. Unable to attract male pastors who most frequently command a higher level salary to support their wives and children, they often turn to female pastors. While it is a disturbing reality that females tend to be relegated to small dying churches, many female pastors who have accepted these congregations have nurtured, developed, strengthened and built phenomenal ministries. They, along with their congregations have found great fulfillment, empowerment, energy and spiritual renewal.

One female pastor shared,

“Do I wish that we had greater financial resources and a few more hands to carry on the work of the church – YES! However, the opportunity to know every member’s name, work closely with families, experience the intimacy of a small group and follow a child from birth to college far surpasses looking into a sea of faces each week and only knowing a small percentage of the people I serve. Ministry is done one soul at a time. The small church can and does do great work for the kingdom of God!”

The Reverend Dr. Robin E. Hedgeman, Senior Pastor of the Bethany Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, in Cleveland, Ohio, shares these words for our sisters…

"Find a place that’s healthy and serve faithfully with the pastor and the leaders and the membership. Be prayerful and wait for God to open the door - not for man to open the door because often that will be with strings attached. Those that God calls, He will prepare a place for them to serve. Be open to the opportunities that God places before you.

Often we miss out on the places of preparation. God opens some doors and provides some places for us to serve that are places of preparation for greater blessing that He has in store. But we are always looking for the greater and think that the smaller is insignificant. We have to crawl before we walk. The smaller opportunities are venues for greater blessings. If you are faithful over a few things He’ll make you ruler over many, the Word says."

Pastor Beverly Frank shared the following concerning how we "present..."

"When women go out to speak they must speak loudly and clearly, Women must also present themselves as strong, but they must be careful not to 'act like a man.' I know that each person is gifted in a different way, but somehow a woman, more so than a man, must find out what her audience would like to hear from them. When trying to make a good first impression it probably would be better not to make gardening and pottery metaphors the central theme of your message or to speak as a woman character from the Bible. This is where education plays an important role. A congregation may may like your metaphors or Bible character, but that style will not convince them that you are capable of leading. A strong sermon, shall I say not too feminine sounding sermon grounded in the Scripture is needed to convince others you can be a strong leader. Those other messages should be saved for women's retreats or until after you've been called to a church."

Do you have some words of encouragement, wisdom or caution to share? Do you have a question or a struggle for which you would like support? Post a comment or email me at

I don't pretend to have all the answers, but together with prayer and faith, God can and will show us the way!

"Be not weary in well doing, for in due season you will reap if you faint not!" (Galatians 6:9)

In faith, hope and perseverance,
Pastor Chris

P.S. A wonderful resource for women in ministry is an American Baptist podcast series called, "Real Women, Real Leaders." The host is the Rev. Sandy Hasenauer, Associate Executive Director of American Baptist Women's Ministries. Below is an interview/podcast I was privledged to do with Sandy concerning women in ministry. To view the entire podcast series, please visit the Real Women, Real Leaders website

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Words of Wisdom from "Clergy Sisters"

“So what’s a sister to do? That may be the question on the minds of many women who discern that they have a calling upon their lives to preach, teach and or pastor. However, they may not know how to go about moving forward. As mentioned in my previous blog, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to survey and interview over 100 female pastors. I wanted to gain insight and wisdom from the sisters that could be shared with others.

What guidance can we give to our fellow sister clergy who feel called to become pastors, but lack direction and opportunity? What specific ‘equipment’ would we suggest is important to have on the path to becoming a senior pastor or some other form of ordained ministry? What words of encouragement and insight can we share with those who have already become senior pastors but are seeking encouragement, suggestions for enhancing their ministries and/or additional pastoral opportunities?”

This week I’ll focus upon some basic, practical matters.

While each pastor’s journey is different, several factors emerge as common…

Get an Education!

In our survey of female senior pastors from freewill denominations, 71.4% had a Masters Degree in some area of pastoral preparation (M.Div, M.A of Religion, M.Th., M.A.,Pastoral Care and Counseling, etc.) 21.4% had a doctorate degree. These numbers suggest that earning a degree beyond the Bachelor’s level is critical. Many denominations such as ABC/USA, UCC and Disciples of Christ strongly urge congregations to call clergy that have at least a Master’s degree in religious studies. While autonomous congregations may call whomever they choose, having excellent credentials can help to move an application closer to the top of the pile.

Get Connected!

According to several of the pastors we surveyed, one of the greatest mistakes that women make is to remain isolated. Certainly, “no woman is an island.” Particularly in the freewill denominations, female clergy are still in the “trail blazing” phase of history. Many of the pastors surveyed were the first female called to their particular church (66.7%). Churches are still having first licentiates and first ordained women. As a result, women often find themselves searching for connections within clergy circles. Those circles that are most often male dominated are not always the most welcoming places to “firsts.” Therefore, many of the women go it alone, unaware of networks and relationships that are available to them.

Most denominations have local or regional associations. Most have regional, state or national conventions. Female clergy desiring to get connected should be proactive by becoming involved in one or more of these groups. A regional executive minister, director or organization president can be very helpful in this regard. They can share information concerning national pulpit openings, scholarships for seminary, continuing education workshops, other female ministers in the region or nation etc.

It is also important to prayerfully seek out other female clergy with whom one can share common experiences, struggles, victories, questions and answers.

Isolation can produce bitterness, confusion, misplaced hostility, unforgiveness and bad judgment. Without knowledge of resources, protocol, proper procedures, or technicalities, some women have left a church and became “church hoppers.” They go from church to church looking for affirmation and acceptance. However, before they can get sure footing in the ministry, they develop reputations for being contrary, unstable, demanding and “trouble makers.” The word gets out on them and pastors, not wanting to get entangled or involved ignore their very presence. Healthy connections are essential for success.

Be patient yet persistent

It is important for female clergy desiring to become pastors to be patient and persistent. One respondent put it succinctly, “Be prepared to wait for many years to find a church, and be prepared to work twice as hard in your training and education as a typical male will.” Many of the female pastors serving freewill denominations reported that there were fewer than three (3) senior female pastors (autonomous denominations) in their city (52%). Several hierarchical denominations such as United Methodists, Presbyterian and Lutheran are much further along in the process of calling women to serve as senior pastors (19% Presbyterian, 15 % Methodist, 12% Episcopalians, 11% Lutherans). Although those numbers are still low, they surpass, for example Southern Baptist that have fewer than 5% of females serving as senior pastors. Therefore, if a female clergyperson desires to remain in a freewill denomination, she may have to wait longer to be called by a church.

Below are some comments from female clergy currently serving as senior pastor…

- “Be completely certain that the call is from God - not just because you love the church and church work. Unless it is truly a call from God the frustration is not worth it. When it is a call from God, there is still frustration - after all you are working with people - but it fits in.”

- “Get as much student experience as you possibly can - and unless you’re leading is to children, youth or music - stay out of those specialties. It is too easy to be type cast and never seen as a senior pastor because all your experience is with youth.”

- “Take a unit of CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) even if it is not required. It's hard - but you learn a lot about yourself and how you respond to people and crisis and hopefully how to keep your stuff out of the way of God's work.”

Other Pastor “Sisters” shared…

- “Stick with it, if God has called you He will provide a place of ministry even when it seems impossible….”

- “…Trust the Lord. If God has called you to the pastorate, then God will supply all you need for the pastorate, regardless of whether you are male or female, so don't focus on being a female. I was called to Seminary, thinking that I would teach Hebrew and O.T. Background in the Religious Studies department of a State School. The Lord changed my plans as I was working on my doctorate. A male pastor encouraged me in ministry--I hadn't given it much thought--and things just opened up. Following the Lord's guidance will lead you to the ministry you are being prepared for.”

Next week, look for more words of wisdom and insight from “the Sisters!”

In faith, hope and love,

Pastor Chris

P.S. A wonderful resource for women in ministry is an American Baptist podcast series called, "Real Women, Real Leaders." The host is the Rev. Sandy Hasenauer, Associate Executive Director of American Baptist Women's Ministries. Below is an interview/podcast I was privledged to do with Sandy concerning women in ministry. To view the entire podcast series, please visit the Real Women Real Leaders website