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Published Date: January 16, 2008

Published Date: January 16, 2008

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Cover of "Created to Thrive".

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“Yes, But Not Yet!”

How many of us are in churches where we have been told that the time isn’t right to consider the gender issue? Timing is everything, right? How many of us wonder when is the right time to model the example of women like Priscilla, who explained the way of the Lord to Apollos (Acts 18:6)? When is the right time to consider the examples of house church leaders like Lydia (Acts 16:14), Chloe (1 Corinthians 1:11), the Elect Lady (2 John 1:1, 5), and Nympha (Colossians 4:15)? When should we notice Phoebe, who served the church in Cenchrea (Romans 16:1), or Junia the female apostle (Romans 16:7)? What about the women who prophesied at Pentecost (Acts 2), or the women prophets in the church at Corinth (1 Corinthians 11:5), or Philip’s prophesying daughters (Acts 21:9)? When is the time right to use our gifts as these women did?

If you haven’t seen the movie Amazing Grace, released last year, I highly recommend it. One of my favorite lines in the movie (and there were many wonderful lines) was when the abolitionist William Pitt (also the youngest prime minister in British history), said to his good friend William Wilberforce, “We’re just too young to know that certain things are impossible.” Pitt was referring to the abolition of slavery. He and Wilberforce realized there would never be a good time to oppose slavery. Opposition to slavery would always be inconvenient! Yet they wasted no time in doing what was right.

Recently, the board of directors of a growing, evangelical denomination decided to give all their churches the freedom to ordain women. They realized that by doing so they would lose some churches. But they also recognized that if they failed to release women’s God-given gifts, they would lose kingdom momentum. They wanted to do what was right, and their courage is a model to us all.

Let’s not lose the gifts God has given women. Millions are watching us! Let’s take a stand and live out our biblical models. The time is now!