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Three Lessons for Women in Ministry from Catherine Booth

The co-founder of The Salvation Army lived out her calling and left a lasting legacy.

One of the ways she did that was through her writing. In Catherine’s time, women were generally not allowed to speak at all in church. They were to be silent and submissive. Only men could discuss things and ask questions. With her husband’s encouragement, however, Catherine wrote Female Ministry: Woman’s Right to Preach the Gospel. In her writings and public speaking, she insisted that women are not naturally or morally inferior to men, and that Paul’s advice to the churches in his epistles was not meant to prohibit women from ministering. This turned out to be a powerful apologetic that influenced many at the time and expanded her ministry—as well as the ministry of many other women.

Whether you believe women should be ordained in the church is beside the point. Whatever your theological framework, help women use their gifts in meaningful ways in your context. Have you noticed a woman that you're certain God has called to speak? Help her seek God’s wisdom for using that gift. Or have you noticed a woman who’s gifted in administration? Challenge her to keep the books at church or for a certain ministry. If you can tell God has gifted a woman with leadership, then encourage her to start a ministry she is passionate about or to lead a committee. The important thing is to defend women who are called to minister and lead, cheering them on as they serve.

Thank you, Catherine Booth, for courageously carrying out the mission that God gave you and paving the way for us to do the same.

JoHannah Reardon constantly seeks ways to use the gifts God has given her. Find her family devotional, Proverbs for Kids, and her many novels at www.johannahreardon.com.

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