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You Can’t Do That at My Church

How I found my voice and answered God’s call to preach

We have embarked into the 21st century. We have witnessed amazing discoveries in science, medicine, and technology. Despite all the advancements, some churches still permeate with prohibition of women in spoken ministry.

Maturing in biblical knowledge, it baffles me how the church ever got blindsided by the "let your women keep silent" philosophy. God has always achieved miracles, deliverances, and healings through women. Who sent the memo that women were to be "muzzled"? From Sarah in the Old Testament to Phoebe in the New Testament, God used these women and many others to change the course of history. Having read the Bible from cover to cover countless times, I have never seen women forbidden to be used by God. Contrary to popular belief, it was and is the tradition of men that have eloquently crafted the muzzle made for women.

Despite what you may feel about a woman's proper place in the church, I would like to share my story with you.

Where It All Began

Although my parents were both Christians, their worship styles ranged from conservative to charismatic. My parents divorced when I was five, and I lived with my mother. I was privileged to experience God through good old church hymn singing and energetic, exhausting worship. Our church was charismatic, possessed dictatorial leadership theories, and was very legalistic. Needless to say, wearing pants, make-up, and jewelry was unacceptable. Despite the legalism, I served the Lord and the church faithfully.

Then It Happened

At 19, I sensed a call to ministry. Well, that would seem great, right? Wrong. God was calling me to preach. In my church, that was an emphatic no-no. Women were permitted only to pray, sing, testify, and teach Sunday school. If she were undeniably gifted, a woman could have "a little ministry." Allowing a woman to preach in my church would have been like issuing a passport to doom. We were warned God does not use women to preach. These words bombarded my brain, and the call of God pounded inside like the battle of Armageddon. If I obeyed God, I would be labeled a devil. Anyone who walked contrary to leadership was considered a devil.

How was I going to explain this? I mentioned it to my mother; she was indifferent. My father, a seminary graduate, was skeptical. I was in trouble. God was calling me to preach, and the tomatoes were already splattering on my face. I resisted for fear of rejection, but the Lord provided confirmation. In the face of obstacles, like the prophet Jeremiah, the calling burned like fire. A muzzle had already covered my mouth. I had some tough choices: Would I obey God or chicken out to please men?

February21, 2013 at 8:00 AM

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