How many of you devote some portion of your summer vacation to visit family members, or to participate in a family reunion? This summer my husband and I will travel to his family farm, to reunite with extended family members in order to learn the latest news, both happy and sad, and to share a Sunday worship service together. Everyone looks forward to hearing how our lives have changed since the last reunion. We’re all excited to spend time together praying as a family, too.
Like our extended family, many church families also meet during the summer months, to learn what Christ is doing in their local communities, and how Christ is leading them as an extended church family. Like the worship service I will share with my husband’s family, many church families meet in order to pray about important decisions they feel Christ is leading them to make as a denomination. This is where all of us can play an important part!
As you might guess, the issue of how to use women’s service and giftedness is on the agenda for at least one large evangelical denomination this summer. And, like family members whom we pray for throughout the winter months, many of you have prayed for this wonderful Christian denomination as they continue to consider how to embrace the gifts and leadership of women. Nearly each week at CBE we pray that God will continue to open the minds and hearts of those leaders and lay persons who work in denominations such as this one. We pray that they might see Scripture with new eyes, as it teaches how women have been (and are) used by God in positions of leadership, as teachers, preachers, and evangelists.
We can each think of at least a handful of evangelical denominations that have yet to fully embrace biblical equality. Will you join CBE, faithfully seeking God’s intervening power for those denominations that will meet over the summer to make kingdom decisions regarding gender?! God knows who they are and what they need. Prayer is crucial during these months! Can you devote a few moments each week, asking God to move mightily in those who meet this summer to consider how the gifts of women might be released for greater gospel-service, think of the impact we might have together?!
Ask our Lord to give leaders courage, wisdom, clarity of thought, and consistency in reading Scripture. Ask that they would make decisions that bring greater health to missions, marriages, and families. Pray that leaders and denominations would make decisions that advance humble Christian service—that they would oppose arrogance and power, and seek to do what is right in God’s sight, remembering that our time on earth is short. Let all sides speak the truth in love, and let each decision maker do their homework, in studying issues carefully. Pray that the decisions made this summer would bring the Church closer to God, to God’s mission, and to one another.
Thank you for standing with CBE in prayer. Do let us know how we might pray for you, too.