As women, especially women ministry leaders, we are faced with many situations where we may not be the loudest, most prominent, or most acceptable voice in the room. However, we have unique gifts that are often unlike those of our male counterparts … gifts we are called to use wisely, and perhaps at times shrewdly. As we continue ministry in these times, I encourage you to trust your instinct, find your voice, interpret the time you see in front of you, and stand up for those who need you to use your voice.
Read: Luke 12:54-56 and Esther 7:2-4
He also said to the crowds, ‘When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, “It is going to rain”; and so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, “There will be scorching heat”; and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time? (Luke 12:54-56)
On the second day, as they were drinking wine, the king again said to Esther, ‘What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.’ Then Queen Esther answered, ‘If I have won your favour, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me—that is my petition—and the lives of my people—that is my request. For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have held my peace; but no enemy can compensate for this damage to the king.’ (Esther 7:2-4)
Reflect: What places or people need you to use your ability to interpret the present time? Where do you need to use your voice now?
You were knitted together beautifully in your mother’s womb. God knew exactly what God was doing when YOU were called into this space and place. You have been given authority by the Holy Spirit to be utilized for this work. Trust yourself. Know that God has your back, and so do all these women reading these words now. Use your voice.
Take Action: Define a place where your instinct and connectivity to God could make a difference for another beloved child of God. Take a moment to define a way your voice could be used to bridge gaps, invite others to the table, and welcome those who desire to be heard. Then, therefore, go.
Center for Leadership Excellence and the Commission on the Status and Role of Women
We are grateful to the Rev. Shannon Marie Berry, pastor at Fremont UMC, for writing this month’s issue of Encouragements.
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