Monday, June 11, 2012

Just a thought

My coworkers at Komyo Christian
I recently was introduced to a blog series through a blog that I've been reading.  The series is on women in ministry.  I found it interesting, helpful, and sometimes sad.

I feel like I am a sort of accidental woman in ministry.  When I was in high school I felt called to be a missionary in Japan.  I didn't think of the consequences of this call.  I probably expected that I would go to college, get married and go to Japan, in that order.  I think I figured I would be in Japan not as a woman in ministry but as a family in ministry.

God had other plans.  When He opened the door for me to come to Japan, I walked through, because He opened it.  I didn't think of the consequences.  I never thought I couldn't be a missionary, a single missionary, because I am a woman.  I just walked through the door because He opened it.

I grew up with parents who love Jesus.  They taught me to love, trust and follow Him.  We never talked about what we could or could not do.  We only talked about loving and following Jesus.

My home church supported several missionaries.  One of those was a single woman-who ministered in Japan!  I loved hearing her stories of sharing Jesus' love in Japan.  I never thought there was anything unusual with her ministry.  I just thought that she loved and followed Jesus.

My first year of college I met a gal who wanted to be a pastor.  This was the first time I had ever met a woman who wanted to be a pastor, but I didn't think it was unusual.  I just thought that she loved Jesus and wanted to follow His calling in her life.

As a college student I was in a leadership position at the church I attended in the youth group.  There were other college students, as well as men and women of the church who were also leaders.  We all worked together.  We all wanted to share God's love with the youth as we loved and followed Him.

Almost all of my experiences as a woman in ministry have been positive.  A few people have made interesting faces or comments about what I do.  However, I am thankful that I have mostly been given the freedom to minister as God has called me to minister.

When I was in high school answering God's call to be a missionary in Japan, I never would have imagined that would have included leading a church plant with another single female missionary.  In fact, in seminary I avoided preaching, MDIV, or anything that looked like it might have to do with leading a church because I absolutely did NOT plan to be doing that.  Once again, God has a sense of humor!

So, when I read the blogs by women about their experiences in ministry, I am saddened by the experiences others have had.  I am in no way naive enough to think that their experiences are unusual or that my experience is the norm.  I know that there are those who don't appreciate or agree with what I am doing.  But, actually, what I am doing is loving and following God.  It has nothing to do with my gender or my theological training.  This is the position God has placed me in for this time.  I am absolutely trusting Him to work in and through me because there is no way my colleague and I could be doing this on our own!

These are just some of the thoughts that have been floating around in my mind since I started reading the women in ministry series.


HEB said...

Thank you for this post! I needed a reminder today that I too can do all things through Him who gives me strength, and I am so very grateful for that reminder.

Prayers for you and your work!

Anonymous said...

Shan I am so very proud of you for your exhibited faith in Jesus! Jesus is indeed what we live for in life. He is the only cause to celebrate.

Carrie said...

Thanks for sharing your heart and mind Shan ... beautifully put!

Lori said...

Keep up the God work, Shan, you are doing what God has called you to do and there is more noble calling.
Praying for you as you serve.
And unfortunately, negative experiences in ministry are not limited to women!