Thursday, January 8, 2015

What If We Linked Arms Instead of Locking Horns?

I read an amazing post this week. I'm so mad I didn't write it.

If you don't click over and read the article for yourself, allow me to summarize (and probably totally destroy the writer's eloquence in the process.)

It's time to take our women's ministries seriously. 

It's time to dig in and study the Word of God with a voracious appetite, single-mindedness, and purpose.

It's time to get serious about being ministers of the Word and stop "playing church."

Not all churches or groups are guilty of this, but so many are.

So often we exchange depth and "meat" for comfort and entertainment. In the vain of "community" we carve out Jesus and add in fluff.

Last night I texted a friend this:
I'm so tired of these writers, speakers, bloggers, teachers, and leaders who write/speak a bunch of emotional fluff, sprinkle in some scripture, and create a catchphrase, and they blow up because women eat that up.
I don't want to be one of those writers or speakers who spins fluff and emotion with some scripture cleverly woven in. It's a dangerous mix. We were never meant to be driven by emotion. In fact, we were given a spirit of love, power, and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7).

I see so many women leaders on national levels who have massive followings of those who will stare at blatant heresy and pump a fist of solidarity while saying, "I see your heart and I know you mean well..."


If you ever "see my heart" and it's not in line with the will of God, have my permission to address it with me.

My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins. James 5:19-20
Let's get focused. Let's roll up our sleeves and prioritize our ministries.

Do I enjoy getting together with women in a beautifully decorated venue? Sure I do! I enjoy well-thought-out and clever decor and good food, but if that's where the experience ends, I'm at a loss...and so are you.

If I leave the meeting/conference/study--one that is specifically heralded as a "church" event-- and I know nothing more about Jesus or His will for my life, I've wasted my time.

If more thought went into entertaining or creating an experience than it did sharing who Christ is, how the Bible applies to our lives, and equipping our attendees with God's Truths, then we've missed the point.

If we spend more time discussing the details of table decorations, wall hangings, and crafts than we do Biblical Truths and praying for those in attendance, I believe our priorities are misaligned.

Hear me: there is certainly a time and a place for leisure and activities that we enjoy. 

What I am addressing here is not that. What I am addressing here are those events that fall under the banner of "Christian" or "church."

I have this vision of women who strengthen one another and look for ways to celebrate one another in ways that glorify God.

I see women linking arms and joining together to complement each other's gifts and talents in a way that brings attention to the Lord...and not to ourselves.

Instead of gossip, I see connection.

Instead of back-biting, I see collaboration.

Instead of fluff, I see substance.

Instead of attention-seeking, I see humility.

Instead of surface, I see depth.

Instead of dissension, I see unity.

And at the center of it all I see Christ.

Each one of us is a puzzle piece.

We are each gifted differently. We each were formed in the Father's loving hands, and He breathed in each of us the breath of Life.

We each have a purpose and a calling.

We each play a different part in the body of believers (Romans 12)

With any one piece missing, the puzzle isn't complete; there is a noticeable hole.

Alone, we only hold part of the big picture. But together, when we are placed purposefully alongside the correct pieces, we form a whole.

When you put us together, each individual piece becomes part of a greater and the picture forms.

I wonder, if we took the time to really dig deep into scripture and figure out what our gifts are, and worked toegther to complement one another with our respective gifts, how amazing our churches and groups could be. How many women could we lead to Christ?

What kind of an impact could we have if we focused our energy and attention squarely on Christ?

Decor, themes, refreshments, and frills are fun...but if they take precedence over presenting Christ, they are misplaced.

I'm ready to steer the focus to Christ-centered ministries. I'm guilty of expending more energy on creating a mood, an experience or in creating "connections" between women than I am in sharing the gospel with them.

And that's shameful.

But my eyes are opened. I'm all in.

Let's commit to making and keeping our churches, ministries, Bible studies, relationships, and events centered on the reason for them all: Jesus.

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