So when do I feel anonymous in ministry? Ironically, it’s when I attend Christian conferences or other events for church planters and pastors. I am happy to be Rich’s wife and I am thrilled to be introduced that way. Meeting and marrying Rich continues to be one of the best parts of my life. At the same time, I can’t help but notice how Rich rarely gets introduced as Dori’s husband, though I know he’d be just as thrilled with that introduction. Rather than fight this or face being misunderstood, I tend to adjust in these moments, to think of what Jesus would do and to err on the side of humility. After all, God doesn’t seem too bothered by being anonymous in the book of Esther.
But does this anonymity have to continue? As the mother of two girls, I can’t help but wonder, What will life in the church be like for them? I see my daughters as two incredibly strong people, made in the image of God to reflect the glory of God in the unique ways God has gifted them. In a world where their bodies are often treated as tools and their minds are often seen as threats, what will the church offer them? What will the Bride of Christ give to these girls who may or may not become brides themselves? Whether or not they ever start a church, my hope is that we begin seeing the role of women within the church as vital to the mission of God. My daughters are not anonymous. None of our daughters are.
So why did I write Anonymous in partnership with Sara McGue? May it not be for fame nor for glory—it is Jesus alone who deserves our praise. No, when Debbie asked me and Sara McGue to put our names on this book, she validated us as women, as ministers, and as writers. That’s what naming does—it validates the one being named. She also validated the other women whose stories fill the pages of Anonymous. Just like there are many characters in Esther, there are many people who are a part of the book—21 to be exact. The bulk of writers who contributed their stories to this book are Bloom church planting women, some with titles and some without, but make no mistake, all significant. In addition to these Bloom church planters, several other women—from different countries, denominations, churches and ministries—have added their stories. It is my hope that this diverse group of often-anonymous women will reveal the handprint of the often-anonymous God. It is my hope that by naming God in the story of Esther, we will find our names in the stories of church planting. It is my hope that all of our names will come together to lift up the Name above all names, Jesus Christ.