What part can the men play in this? If this is just a movement of women, it will by default become a feminist movement. This is not what we want. However, if the men will join is in promoting women and encouraging them to take their place alongside them on the front lines, it will become a kingdom movement. Where are the men who will join us?
On the few occasions when we speak on this subject, we find women coming up to us in tears, deeply hurt by the attitude of the church toward women over the years. Several times more recently, however, we have been in situations where the Lord has led the men in a gathering to repent over the attitude of the church to women. They, often with tears, have confessed, both at a personal and a corporate level, the wrongs done to women and then released them to go out and be everything God is calling them to be. These times have always been profoundly healing for the women involved.
My husband, Tony, has long been a champion of women. He is a very gifted communicator, but he came to realize that the only way I would speak out was if he kept quiet. For many husbands, the best way they will help their wives to contribute meaningfully and strategically is to willingly stand down and joyfully promote their wife’s gifts. At first the women will not do as well as the men would have done, but in the longer term, this will allow the women to take their rightful place as equal ministers alongside them in the kingdom.
We have some African-American friends whom God is using in remarkable ways. But they have chosen service as their way of operating within the kingdom. They have willingly embraced slavery (to Jesus and His body). As women, we have many centuries of service in the body of Christ behind us. We could demand our rights and militantly seize position or prominence as a reaction to the injustices of the past. I do not believe God will bless this. Let’s humbly, and with a spirit of service, move alongside the men into whatever God chooses to bless us with.
The day of women in the kingdom is approaching fast. We have seen how some men have approached leadership in the church in the past—with competition and rivalry, lording over and putting down, forging ahead while ignoring women. Let’s not go that road. This is a time for us to bridge the gap and bring healing to the body of Christ. Let’s choose to die to our ambition and agendas. We don’t want the limelight or the prominence. And let’s serve Jesus with all our hearts alongside the men and see His kingdom come.
Adapted from Felicity Dale’s blog, Kingdom Women. Felicity Dale is the author of numerous books including Simply Church. She is an an advocate for women in the church and trains people to start simple, organic house churches around the world.