It seems more women than ever in our history are accepting the call into ministry. According to information provided in the Spring 2014 issue of Enrichment Journal, “From 2011-2012, The Assemblies of God had a net growth of 384 ministers in the U.S. Of these, 294 or 77 percent were females, 112 or 38 percent were ordained; 125 or 43 percent were licensed; and 57 or 19 percent were certified.” Whether married or single, women with a call into ministry face challenges that are, needless to say, gender specific. How do you, faced with certain obstacles, stay true to your calling? I'm sharing this article from pastor’s wife and professional counselor, Gabriele Rienas, that just might help us answer that question.
My Pastoral Calling is Fulfilling, Yet Challenging...Rienas, Gabriele (2014) "My Pastoral Calling is Fulfilling, Yet Challenging." Enrichment Journal Spring 2014. Online.
Q: I am a woman who is a pastor. I hold a full-time staff position at a church. I feel strongly called to this ministry, and I love what I do. My husband and family are supportive, but I have few role models to follow as examples of what this should look like. Sometimes I feel alone, especially when struggles arise surrounding ministry. Both men and women in our church are generally supportive and affirming of my contribution. There are moments, however, when I become aware that they have not walked in my shoes and cannot relate to my experience.
A: You are a pioneer in a rapidly expanding ministry group — women who hold ministry credentials...(read more)
Seasons of ministry may change, just as the seasons of nature change...especially here in Missouri! After raising our four daughters, and pastoring the same church for 25 years, I find myself in a different season, serving in a leadership role alongside my husband in district ministry. My call to serve has not changed; how I live out my call has.
There's a beautiful ornamental tree outside my window. I first observed it when we purchased our home last spring. It was gorgeous! I had never seen a tree so full of such exquisite blossoms. As I have watched it this past year, it has gone through many changes. It's purpose has not changed, but the seasons have taken it from a tree bearing white blossoms, to one full of emerald green leaves. It then went through the leaf-dropping fall and the bare limbs of cold winter. Now, I anticipate the approaching life-giving spring to once again bring my bud-laden tree into a full eruption with those beautiful fragrant white blossoms!
Seasons bring change and with that the need to accept and adapt to those changes. I invite you to read this interesting article written by a young pastor's wife who is learning to live out her call through the season of motherhood.
A trip back to 2008 …March 14, 2013 by Tiffany Cooper
What is the role of a pastor’s wife? Thankfully, there is not a “one size fits all” mold for pastors’ wives. When we started People’s Church 6 years ago, I put every ounce of my energy into serving in any capacity I could. I loved it! When my first son was born (2003), I went through a difficult transition that altered my role as pastor’s wife.
I had to work through 3 issues: (read more)
Have you ever doubted your calling as a women in ministry? Are there days when you think, "I'm just not cut out for this!"? There are no doubt times when we need God's call reaffirmed in our lives. Let the truth of His word, through Paul's writing, encourage you today.
Taken from YouVersion Bible Reading Plan, She Reads Truth: 5 Favorites, Day 1 - On Special Assignment, posted on Nov. 5, 2012 by Raechel Myers in #SheReadsTruth, Colossians, Daily Devo.
Verse 1 of Colossians in The ESV reads, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God”. The Message reads, “I, Paul, have been sent on special assignment by Christ as part of God’s master plan.”
Yes, there is a whole lot more of Paul’s letter ahead of us. Yes, this seems like such a inconsequential afterthought of a verse, and to stop just one verse in seems silly.
But it’s not. I want you to write it down - I want you to say it out loud:
“I, ______, have been send on a special assignment by Christ as part of God’s master plan.”
Do you believe it, sister?
I mean truly... do you?
Because it’s true. Your special assignment is different than mine. It’s different from your sister’s calling, it’s different from your mentor’s, and your neighbor’s and the girl who sat in front of you in church last week. It is as unique as you are, this calling to point the world to Christ.
And no matter how old you are, and how many days God has written for you on this earth, sister, YOU are a part of the MASTER PLAN. He has willed it. It is written. (Psalm 139:16 says, “in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were not of them.”)
Can I share something personal with you? Really personal? The Lord has graciously given my husband and me seven precious babies. I have delivered and held and kissed three of them, and only two of them have toothbrushes in the upstairs bathroom, shoes in the hall closet, and dirty clothes in our laundry room.
And do you know, that even those fleeting little lives - those longed-for souls whose hearts beat for 212 days or less - they were on special assignment by Christ? That at the end of their lives, God said “Well Done. Mission Complete.” (and “PS, I’m still working on your Mama...”)
So what about us? What does this mean for us? Paul lived his calling with conviction and submission. He knew it in his head, and he knew it in his heart. He acted his calling and lived it with zeal!
Do you sometimes forget your high calling in His Kingdom? Do you ever wonder how your obedience could possibly be critical to the master plan? Do you ever question how God could use you, yes even you, as a vital cog in His plan and in the furtherance of His kingdom?
Turn off your screen and sit quietly with the Lord this morning. Submit yourself to Him. Report for duty. And trust Him to stir within you a confidence and surety that He will use you.
Because every day that your heart is beating is a day to live your calling as a daughter of the King! And we are so grateful that he chose you to serve along with us!
The view was amazing! My heart was pounding and my legs were nearly ready to collapse beneath me, and then my eyes drank in the captivating view as I reached the top of the tallest spire in southern Germany, Ulm Munster Cathedral.
With no elevator in sight, my husband, our three friends, and I had no choice but to climb all 768 stairs - one at a time. Excited for the adventure that awaited us, we lifted our out-of-shape legs to make the climb that required several stops for catching our breath and resting our aching muscles. The view at the top was worth every bit of energy and determination required to succeed!
A quick jet to the top in an elevator would have yielded the same view, but not the appreciation and satisfaction of having made the grueling climb one step at a time. Much of the reward was in the journey. As we ascended, we savored the sites through the slatted stairwell, indulged in somewhat giddy conversation, took time to rest along the way, and encouraged each other to keep going. No one was in a hurry to leave the others behind.
Our unique roles as ministry women place us in situations where we need to be reminded that there is a view at the top of the stairs. We need to find joy in the journey, realizing that we will also need stops along the way to catch our breath. Allow yourself opportunity to savor the experiences and anticipate the good things ahead.
Where are you on the stairs? Are you just beginning? Have you stopped to catch your breath? Do you need encouragement to keep going? Remember, the view from the top cannot be attained unless you take that first step. It may seem daunting, even scary. You can count on being stretched...and strengthened,,,as you continue upward. Realize the climb is not about how quickly you get to the top, but how you take the stairs to reach the top. Determine to "...press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called (you) heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:13)