Mary Audrey has been pastor of Equipping Ministries and Women in Ministry at Catch The Fire Toronto (formerly TACF)...
In these days we see the Lord bringing wholeness to the Body of Christ. Religious and denominational walls, racial walls, and gender walls are breaking down. It seems that the last to really feel the impact are the issues surrounding the roles of women within the home, the Church and the world.
“The Lord is equipping and releasing women into their callings and full potential”
Old, traditional, non-Scriptural concepts of value and acceptance of women are being exposed. Did God really design the female as an after-thought relegated to silence and domination as a result of the fall? We believe the answer is a resounding “No!” Scholarly, Spirit-filled men (and women) are looking at the Bible with new eyes as they consider the most accurate and fruitful pattern of careful study. These include historical setting, grammatical structure and critical evaluation of passages in the light of all other Scripture. Without careful consideration of all three steps, one can make any verse mean anything one likes. There is an ever-increasing understanding of God’s Word and His heart toward liberty for women in the Church. Our eyes are being opened to see what was said and done through Jesus and Paul.
Paul must be one of the most slandered men of the faith. Until I did some research, I used to think he was like a little “banti rooster” who didn’t like women and wanted them muzzled. Now I know he respected, released, encouraged, promoted and valued women as they moved in their God-ordained roles bringing necessary correction in specific situations as needed to both men and women.
The Lord is equipping and releasing women into their callings and full potential not just in ministry to other women alone, but to the entire Body of Christ. Weights of bondage, shame and perceived inabilities to function alongside men in declaring the Word of God and doing the works of the kingdom are lifting. God’s divine order is being re-established as women come alongside men (note: alongside, not to take over). Mutual respect frees women from the need to defend themselves or seek for a platform.
“As we respect the anointing on each other we can rejoice in releasing them to be all that God has designed them to be.”
Ministry can flow out of the life of the One who lives within us. Often we women have a difficult time believing that when God anoints, He appoints. It’s apparent that God appoints His “daughters” to prophesy, preach, teach and assume leadership roles alongside His “sons” in the local church, the Body of Christ at large, and the world “out there.” We long to see men and women mutually submitting to and encouraging one another, expressing humility in character and trusting God for His promotion and placement. As we respect the anointing on each other we can rejoice in releasing them to be all that God has designed them to be. Areas where we see more women moving into freedom as the outpouring of the Holy Spirit continues are the prophetic, intercession, teaching, preaching, discipling and evangelism. All of these, of course, require the release of the spoken Word.
The enemy has thoroughly deceived large segments of the Church to prohibit Christian women from spoken ministry. However God’s Word brings light, liberty, hope and vision. Just as Mary brought forth the Word of Life to set mankind free, so God desires for His daughters to bring forth words of life empowered by the Holy Spirit. My heart as far as ministry is concerned is very simple — “find a need and fill it!” Too many hurting, wounded, hungry people out there need to see and hear the life of Christ manifested in and through us. They need to hear releasing words of life spoken by women as well as men. Unfortunately, some think that ministry is to be carried on only in the local church and that one can’t do it without a platform, an ordination, or committee approval. What a paltry, inhibiting idea!
For men and women, the work of the ministry is wherever we are, whether we are teachers, nurses, lawyers, clerks, homemakers, factory workers, bus drivers, and so on. Believe me when God says “your gifting makes room for you (Pr 18:16) He means it, and in His perfect timing, every door that needs to be opened, will be opened. Who can close a door that He has opened? Only our own disobedience or fear can keep us from going through, but that’s our choice, not someone else thwarting the purposes of God in our lives. If God has a purpose and plan for our lives, no man can stop Him.
A dear, liberated, fruitful sister, Fuchsia Picket, said recently, “Where He guides, He provides; where He provides, He promotes; what He promotes, He protects. If He doesn’t guide, then forget the rest of it... you don’t have to promote yourself.”
This archived article was written by Mary Audrey Raycroft for release in Nov, 1997. Circumstances and situations may have changed regarding the author, locations and ministries. This content may therefore be outdated or misinformed.
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