Brothers & Sisters Flourishing Together: Why We Need to Keep Talking About Women

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It seems like the internet and evangelical churches can’t stop talking about women. As a woman leader this can be exhausting, but at the same time, I think we are having vital conversations that need intentionality, grace, and understanding. My point in this post isn’t to dredge up a bunch of theological should and should nots, but to bring us back to the foundation of how God allows us to serve alongside one another in mutual ministry and mission. 

The Church and its members are not fully representing Christ and His church without the mutual flourishing of both men and women in discipleship processes and the collaboration of their giftings.

1) Both men and women bear God’s image. 

In Genesis 1:26-27, we see how God created humanity in His image and are both created to rule and reign together. In Genesis 2, we get to see the intricate detail of both Adam and Eve and how they are created. There is a distinction not only in how they are made, but also in the biological differences that come with their God-given genders. As God brings Eve to Adam, his song is not of distinction but of sameness: “Bone of bone and flesh of my flesh.” 

2) Both men and women carry out the mission.

Shiphrah and Puah defied the most powerful man on the planet to protect life.
Ruth faithfully teaches us covenantal love and the hope of a redeemer.
Mary learned at the feet of Jesus and was one of the first to proclaim an empty tomb.
Ten women are woven into the celebration of names mentioned in Romans 16 by Paul for their ministry, hard work, and faithfulness.

Women have been and will always be a part of the great redemptive story. I write in my book, The Calling of Eve, that the Great Commission is not gendered. Jesus’ final words to teach, disciple, and baptize have been given to all of us whose lives have been changed by the Gospel.

The church is described as a family with fathers and mothers (Titus) and brothers and sisters co-laboring alongside one another for the sake of the gospel (Phil. 1). How we work together, cling to unity, and walk out our daily sanctification is a picture of God’s heart for the world. 

When we siphon off responsibilities, diminish value, or control one another in fear of slippery slopes, we take away from the power of the Spirit and the beauty of mutuality. 

3) Both men and women need each other.

I would love to see more familial language in our conversations as we relate to one another as brothers and sisters in the family of God. Family is committed to one another, sticks up for one another, and seeks out the good of the other. When we focus on the ability to come together with our unique gifts, wisdom, and experiences, we are both stronger and wiser. We truly are ‘better together’ and more equipped to meet needs, move the mission forward, and celebrate the work God continues to do in and through each other.

We offer an incomplete picture of our loving Heavenly Father when we pridefully diminish the value, gifts, and wisdom of the other. In the same way that I hope my brothers would want my perspective or wisdom when it comes to teaching a text or dealing with a difficult leadership decision, I need them in the same manner. We all have weaknesses, blind spots, and biases, and it is God’s gift that he gives us one another to navigate life’s struggles and high points. 

A Quick Note to My Brothers:
I’m often asked, “What do women in my church need?” (I’m so grateful when I’m asked this!). This is just the tip of the iceberg for a response but a few things to look toward as you start to answer this question:

1) To Be Shepherded: Who and what systems do you have in place for women in crisis? Oftentimes women do not feel comfortable talking through issues of abuse, health concerns, parenting, or past circumstances with a male leader. 

a) Create a safe space for women to know they are protected and welcome in your church.

b) Provide visible women in the Church that are trusted and trained to meet with and counsel women.

c) Have a list of counselors and resources for them in the community. Here is a list of the resources I make available to our women

2) To Be Given Clarity & Opportunities to Use Their Gifts:

a) Whatever your framework or theological belief around women in ministry may be, there is an opportunity to utilize women in the church for mission and ministry. 

b) Be mindful of only communicating about women through the lens of what they are not allowed to do.

c) Think through what positions and areas of leadership women are able to serve in.

3) To Be Celebrated: Highlighting and elevating the value of women’s contributions in the church not only affirms the work that women are doing in your church currently but also helps to call out and call up those that aren’t yet fully functioning in their giftedness.

4) Invest in Your Female Leaders:

a) Enroll her in our Women’s Discipleship Certificate at Church Answers University

b) Purchase conferences, books, and resources to develop her as a leader.

c) Meet with her to listen, connect, and coach her through her own development as a leader.

A Note to My Fellow Female Leaders:
I hope you see the value, worth, and dignity God has infused within you as you serve and lead in diverse ways for the Kingdom of God. Oftentimes we can be held back by our own insecurities, questioning what God has for us, and isolated in the journey. 

My biggest encouragement is to continue saying ‘yes’ in big and small ways to the doors God is opening for you. Be a constant learner. Connect with other men and women in different areas of leadership. You are needed in Kingdom work. I’m cheering you on and here as a resource for you. 

Cheering you on,

Jacki C. King

*For more resources on equipping women in the Church check out ChurchAnswers.com/Women 

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