Women Who Minister

Yesterday I attended the #SheLeads Conference held at the First Church of the Nazarene in Pasadena (or PazNaz). Two of my Theology teachers were attending who have had a tremendous influence on me so I decided to go.

One professor is Dr. Kara Lyons-Pardue. She is in her mid-30s and reads Greek as a first language. She received her PhD from Princeton and I have to say she is nothing short of kind, welcoming and the most non-judgmental person I have ever met. I remember my first day of class as a Master of Ministry student scared to death to be a woman learning with men (some of them pastors). My fundamental church background taught me well about a woman’s place and this step of attending school challenged me greatly. On the first day of class, I was shocked when female Professor Lyons-Pardue walks into the classroom with her belly beautifully 8 months pregnant. Not only was her belly adorable but her confidence and intelligence seemed to lift me right above my fears of advanced learning with religious men. I still remember many of her sentences and she still remembers me crying in class as I described a horrific, painful experience from a pastor in North San Diego County.

In time, I then met Dr. Rebecca Laird. She was the first woman I had met who was an ordained minister in addition to a Theology Professor. Rebecca changed my life by her counsel, her confidence and her experience. She looked at me and said something to the effect of, “The church world is like a big ocean. You need to learn where you fit in the ocean. You are a woman evangelist and you’re presently trying to swim in cement.”

Through the years of learning at Point Loma Nazarene University and now at Nazarene Theological Seminary, I have lost the chip on my shoulder. I don’t need to defend the gifts and callings God has given me. The education has allowed me and my female peers to grow and thrive without apologizing.

Well, I say all that to talk about yesterday’s #SheLeads Conference. It was the first time I sat in a room with female senior pastors, a female president of a Theology School and so many young female college students pursuing a career in ministry. Amazing! Could it be that we are entering a time of androgyny—a world without gender limits? Could it be that the Pentecost Anointing to both men and women is now being released? Could it be that God who pours out His Spirit on both young men and women is now opening up the flood gates to bring women into true leadership and ministerial roles? I kept thinking of Acts 10 with Cornelius’ family being anointed in the Holy Spirit by Peter. It took time for the Jewish-Christians to accept Gentiles becoming Christians but in God’s timing and in His way, the Church embraced the goodness of God to extend salvation to all.

As a woman who ministers  (Daily Disciples) and as a woman chaplain ministering, I can say there are a few things about women ministers that we all have in common:

  1. We have no doubt that we are called by God and we have a firm conviction to be faithful to Him.
  2. Our first desire is to please God, despite the words and opinions of others.
  3. We do not want to be men. God made us as women and we are happily female.
  4. We are being obedient to God, not rebellious to the church culture.
  5. If we have children, we love and care deeply for them. God did not have us choose between our children and His will. It was His will for us to have children within His calling. As a result, God works with us and through us to mother our children.
  6. Pastors are shepherds. There are both male and female shepherds in the Bible. The body of Christ is not complete without having both male and female pastors.
  7. We needed to learn how to wrestle the demons back to hell while living in the wilderness to fulfill our calling with grace and peace. We know that Christianity is the only religion that places women upon an equal platform with men, as initiated by Jesus Christ.

Yesterday’s #SheLeads Conference is summed up best by a testimony I read in Phoebe Palmer’s book, “Promise of the Father” written in 1859:

“Soon after this another preacher came to…desire I would give over speaking and praying in public, to which I replied, ‘I will, if you will answer for me at the day of judgment for the one talent God hath given me;’ but he went away saying, ‘That I cannot do.” And she responded, “I counted the cost, but concluded to obey God rather than man. I valued the having my name among God’s people, but I thought more highly of its being enrolled in the book of life.”

For women who minister and women ministers, we stand before God alone someday and we will give an account for the gifts and calling He placed upon us on this earth. Isn’t it time to stop asking God why He called you and to start asking God how to fulfill His call for you? Let’s step out together and turn the world upside down for Jesus Christ. Let’s continue to bear fruit for His glory. Let’s continue to pray that someday we may hear from Him, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

And pray for me…Bobbye has asked me frequently to teach women how to teach the Bible and how to be leaders and speakers. I believe it’s time to start organizing a conference to embolden and encourage my sisters to be about our Father’s business! If interested, let me know.img_0958

–TL Adamson

 

 

Joy

photoYesterday, I had the privilege to hear Meadowlark Lemon from the Harlem Globetrotters speak at a Thrivent Financial Seminar.  As a kid through my adult years, I remember watching him do all those fancy basketball moves and amazing hoop shots. He was entertaining, talented and very inspiring!  Today he is not as agile or as tall as I had pictured him, but Meadowlark still has a radiant smile and a contagious joy. He is a humble and kind man.

He opened his message by quoting Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.” He then opened his Bible and said that he is an ordained minister today. Wow!

His main point became evident.  This legendary basketball player was very humble, thankful and still amazed by the opportunities he enjoyed throughout the years. It always surprised him that others took notice of him and thought he was special. Meadowlark shared two stories of how he overcame the pressure to find peace in extremely stressful tryouts when first starting his basketball career. He said that it had to do with the encouraging words of others who spoke to him by name. I immediately thought of the Lord saying that He knows our name and calls us by name (John 10:3) as He is our Good Shepherd. Am I listening to the Lord and trusting His lead? Does His voice calm my fears? Do I hear Him call my name louder than I feel the stress of the situation? Does peace reign over panic and trust reign over turmoil because He promises to love me, lead me and protect me? Is the gospel so real in the depths of my heart that I am not ashamed of it and can I say that I am not ashamed of the work of God in my life–even through the traumas and dramas day to day? I could really sense the Lord’s presence as Meadowlark spoke. God clearly had a message for me. I prayed, “Lord, are you telling me that I need to be joyful in all circumstances? Are you telling me that I am not finding peace through Your presence? Let me know and change me.”

He then gave credit to Jesus’ words in John 15:11, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” It was clear that his life experiences did not make him humble and joyful; instead, it was his relationship with Christ that made him joyful to appreciate his life experiences.

Meadowlark Lemon closed by saying, “I give away a basketball at every speaking event and today I am choosing this woman in the front row who has been smiling at me.” It was me! To my amazement, he threw the basketball to me and then said, “You catch like a girl.” I did not think that was so bad since I am a girl. But I thought it was great that on the basketball, it has his signature with his number 36 and “Hall of Fame 2003.” Later, he wrote my name above his name. Wow, he chose me and by it, the Lord confirmed to me that I too need to maintain and sustain the joy of Lord as evidently as this amazing man.

There is no reason why God chose us to have a relationship with Him. However, He sees our faces before Him, knows our name and calms our anxious hearts (if we choose to let Him). Does our attitude reflect the joy of the Lord?

In our travels of the United States with the women’s friendship tour, we receive prayer requests from women who are struggling with many, many very serious life circumstances. All of us will struggle in this world: debt, death, divorce, depression, health, relationships… BUT the joy of the Lord can be our strength. God has given each of us gifts and talents to be used for His glory on earth as it is in heaven. We too can be thankful regardless of our circumstances. God loves us and He is faithful. Set your mind on things above as God understands your deepest hurt. Let Him heal you, keep His commandments, abide in His love and allow Jesus Christ’s joy to fill you. (And let me tell you…I am preaching to myself and now I have a basketball sitting in my favorite chair to remind me!)

Please know we are here to pray for you…www.dailydisciples.org

Video Clips from Past Conferences with Bobbye and Tonilee…A Good Laugh

As we embark on a nationwide tour with the Power of Friendship Women’s Conferences, (for dates and cities, please visit www.FriendshipConference.com), we thought we would share some of our favorite moments with these videos. God is so faithful and amazing to keep us going. As you will see, it is not always easy on this journey of walking in faith and following the Lord’s leading. We are so grateful for God’s patience and mercy, as we continue to serve through the ministry of Daily Disciples. We hope you enjoy the clips and maybe get to know us for who we truly are….a little crazy.

 Bobbye and Tonilee Discuss their first Time on Radio

Bobbye and Tonilee Share Their Very First Webcast Test

Bobbye and Tonilee Discuss the Challenges of Having a Prayer Partner

Bobbye and Tonilee: Friendship is Not Easy

Bobbye is NOT from Southern California

We are looking forward to seeing you across the US this year. Please check out the cities and dates at www.FriendshipConference.com. We launch in Phoenix on Saturday, February 8th! Tickets are still available but REGISTER HERE as seating is limited.

Our 9th Annual Women’s Conference will be held in San Diego on Saturday, February 22nd. Tickets are on sale at www.DailyDisciples.org.

Come out and let’s have some FUN together!

The National Network of Youth Ministries

Tonilee and I have had the privilege over the past several years to work with and assist numerous organizations in the areas of marketing, business development, social media and branding. Non Profits, especially ministries, have one major common cause…serving the Lord through serving others. After spending some quality time with the executive leadership team at the National Network of Youth Ministries, their levels and networks of service are nothing short of phenomenal. But, you or the average person may not be aware of just how much they have done over the years and how many youth ministries they have either influenced or helped start. You may not even know who they are. It’s time.

Here is a snippet of what I discovered about the National Network of Youth Ministries

  • Is the longest running youth ministry network in the country, founded in 1981
  • Created the platform, modeled internationally by youth networks existing today
  • Works with and serves over 750 Youth Leader Networks throughout the United States
  • Has cultivated National and Regional Partnerships with hundreds of denominations and ministry organizations
  • Was Instrumental in launching “See You at the Pole” on a National and Global Level with over 1 Million youth participating
  • Is an ongoing Catalysts/Sponsors for National Conferences representing numerous youth initiatives
  • Convened the original meeting for the Youth Missions Network
  • Created http://www.MentorYouth.com, recruiting mentors for America’s youth, in collaboration with the US Department of Justice
  • Founded “Campus Alliance” –Every Student Every School
  • Host Annual Meeting for Youth Ministry Executive Council (YMAC)
  • Are Active Partners with the Youth Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance
  • Are Youth Ministry Representatives for the National Association of Evangelicals and the Mission America Coalition

Our youth workers, leaders, students, parents, and communities across the United States need to know about the National Network of Youth Ministries and how to support them. Personally, I’ve never met such humble, giving men and women who would rather remain in the background, behind the scenes than boasts about their accomplishments. So, I am going to boast on their behalf and encourage you to check them out. They need our support and prayers to keep up their global mission of connecting youth leaders through the most integrated and interactive networking platform that exist today in youth ministry. That’s NNYM…learn more about them, get involved and reach out in support. Visit www.YouthWorkers.net for more information.

Authored by Bobbye Brooks