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

 

 

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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!

Busyness in His Business

The more I look around, the more I discover that people are struggling. When there is no margin in our lives, we have no ability to cope with broken cars, crying kids or sick pets. We are crying for more time, better organizational skills and support but if we miraculously had the ability to schedule spare time, how would we fill it?

I really believe that people like to be busy. Busyness looks like productivity and it makes us feel needed. But I also believe when we get to the point of accepting God as sovereign, we make time for Him to move in everything and to move us to serve Him anywhere.  Keeping Him in perspective gives us the perspective to be absolutely productive and useful in our margin-less lives. It is not about the crises anymore but about how the Lord can move through them to give each thing purpose.

Personally, I do not want extra time on my hands. When I find myself maxed out, I pray. When I find myself too tired to think, I pray. When I find myself too full from dinner to move, I pray. Prayer gives me the cushion I need to get a Sovereign perspective. When I need encouragement, I purposely schedule in Bible reading. Only the Word of God gives me the encouragement to keep going. (Romans 15:4)

The rationalizations, justifications and excuses keep us from growing, developing and making a difference. I want a blessed life. No, I want an abundantly blessed life. But I want that blessed life to be defined by the Lord.  Basically I want more of the Lord in every aspect of life, regardless of how He wants to use me and for whom.

Our Media Company is growing like crazy and I have people ask me all the time, how do you do it all? If I was not doing all of this, I would certainly be busy with something else but I have learned that I want to be where the Lord is blessing…He is choosing to bless this.  I have spent prior days being busy doing shopping, laundry, vacation planning and house decorating.  I noticed in that season of life, I spent my energy in the things that were a continued extension of me. I love my family so to be busy with their things kept me loving and serving the things I already love. I do not need to be spirit led or depend on the Lord to love those who love me back.  (And, realistically, I always make time to do these things because they naturally have my heart). However, adding a responsibility that helps to serve those outside my heart’s desire has allowed me to grow and love in a completely different way.

God is sovereign. He can do what He wants and He can bless whom He wants. Regardless of what others think I need to be doing or who they want me to be, I choose to follow the Lord. Allowing the Lord to have free reign in my overly scheduled day has given me a peace and a joy that has truly bless me. It really did come by reprioritizing the busyness.  “Busyness in His Business.” We can remain busy but are we really about His business or our own?

The Power of Friendship

Reading in Zechariah 13, I realized what God was saying. There were many people who called themselves prophets (or people called by God to preach His words) but they were not. God says in Zechariah 13:4-5 that on a certain day, every prophet will be ashamed of his vision and will become aware of how they are deceiving. God desired for these people to do what He had intended for them to do instead of doing what they wanted to do (the work of the ministry). It would have been better for these people to be farmers and in business than to preach when God had not put words in their mouths. The work of God/ministry was doing what God had asked them to specifically do.

The same problem exists today. There are many people quoting the wrong things and preaching their own words from a platform that God did not grant to them. As a result, there is no power to change themselves or those who attend to listen. Many churches today are powerless because people have used the name of God and preached the words of God without the leading of His Spirit or the filling of His power.

For me, personally, I never wanted a preaching/teaching platform. Bobbye says it best, “We did not wake up one day and say, ‘Let’s go into ministry.’ This was never our plan or intention.” This ministry has been a work of God and He gets the glory for the words as well as the changed lives. Out of all the prophets, I relate to Jeremiah and Jonah the most. Jeremiah because I have tried my hardest to not do this but my heart burns within if I do not. And Jonah because I am continually purposefully trying to go the other way even though I know better. I know that I am not alone in these feelings. Many people we counsel tell us their struggles too. But what God is saying in Zechariah could be summarized as regardless of what you do, make sure it is what God has asked you to do. If you are claiming to be a Bible teacher, pastor, prophet but were appointed by men (including yourself) then you will be judged stricter by God as stated in James 2 as well as quoted by God’s prophets. (We are starting an online Bible Study on the Book of James called Walking Out Our Faith. If interested in attending from your own computer, let us know at info@dailydisciples.org. We start this Tuesday, January 5)

I might be sensitive to hear the Lord speaking but it has not always been the motivation of the Lord that has kept me going. I really believe that God gave me a physical tangible person who has challenged me as well as encouraged to me to continue. I am thankful for the power of friendship that has changed my life and kept me doing the work of the Lord. I do not blame people who quit because the work becomes too hard. You will not ever find me judging someone for quitting but I would recommend that they find a friend or an accountability partner to talk things out and get perspective before making any big changes. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up.”

Just because God has asked you to do something, does not mean that it is easy. Just because others tell you to do something, does not mean it is of God. Life can be confusing and tough. The power of friendship can cut through the random factors to keep you focused, doing the work of God. You do not have to go at it alone; God is totally into fellowship, counsel, unity and empowers us through friendship.

**if you are a woman who is lonely, depressed and feel isolated, please join us at the Power of Friendship Conference on Saturday, January 30. Bring a friend and make a friend. You will be encouraged and you know that you are not alone. Depression will lift and love will fill your heart.

Sign up!

You do not want to miss this one day event.

Happy New Year!

It Takes TWO

We are doing our 6th Annual Summer Study on the book of Ezra. So I am spending a lot of time studying the book. I am familiar with this book because my life verse is Ezra 7:10 but having a bird’s eye view has given me a different perspective. I didn’t realize that Ezra and Nehemiah used to be Ezra 1 and Ezra 2. These two men worked together for God’s common purposes. The book isn’t just about these two men though. There are multiple twos: Zerubbabel and Jeshua (Chapter 3 & 4) and Haggai and Zechariah (Chapter 5 & 6). There are 3 sets of twos. This pairing is carried over to the New Testament as Jesus sent the disciples out by twos. So what’s my point? It seems like today (in church/Christian culture), we promote the “twos” as husband and wife couples. I know of a very popular church who believes that the husband’s calling is carried over to the wife (like a dual anointing). After studying the book of Ezra, Moses & Aaron, Elijah & Elisha, Ruth & Naomi, we really can’t say that God has established that kind of husband and wife anointing. Even in the New Testament, the example of couples in ministry like Priscilla and Aquila being good equalized out the couple of Ananias and Sapphira who represent the bad.

                  Obviously, this made me feel great as Bobbye and I are in this together! However, I started thinking, “How come we do not see other groups coming together for the purposes of God?”  Pulling from my own experience, I really think because it is just plain hard. We already have spouses, children, obligations, extended families, neighbors, and churches that our relationship box is maxed out.  As I remember back 9 years ago, I said to a friend of mine, “I need a prayer partner that does not get too close. I am already maxed out with my family and my friends. I just need someone who is objective to pray with me and for me without any additional commitment or requirement on my part.” When I prayed about that person, the Lord brought Bobbye to mind. She is totally different than me and we don’t cross any of the same paths. Little did I know that God had a major plan for two women who were willing to pray together and be committed to Him more than to ourselves. Is it hard? Yes but with time, it gets easier.

                  I want to encourage you to pray about praying with someone of the same sex. That is the starting place. Christians have become such promoters of the family (which is great) but at the same time, we sound so homophobic in the process. Let’s get back to praying together, witnessing together, working together so the Lord may be glorified. I had to allow the Lord to change my mind-set of how I wanted to serve Him. Iron sharpens iron. We are put on this earth to be united for His purposes today like Ezra and Nehemiah were in the past.

And if you are in the area, come to our summer study. We are going to be greatly blessed!