Back in the spring, our Southern Baptist Convention was rocked by allegations, some accurate others still unproven, concerning men and their treatment of women. There were multiple comments about the “MeToo” Movement’s impact on the SBC. What continued to catch my eye, were accusations that the average church was not allowing women to serve in leadership roles.

Watching and listening to all of that, led me to asking questions about myself and our church, are we guilty of not allowing women to serve in leadership roles. As I’ve been asking God to show me truth about myself and our church, I was encouraged and challenged by J.D. Greear this morning in our Bible study about Deborah, prophetess and judge, in Judges 4 & 5. He said, “God equips men and women in the Kingdom with the same gifting in leadership”. I believe that one of the paradigm shifts for us – and it’s starting to happen already – is that we need to grow in our understanding that God gives equal gifts to men and women.

Now before some of you start thinking something different let me say this, I don’t believe anyone in our church disagrees with 1 Timothy 3:2, “the pastor is the husband of one wife”. However, at times we may not be as ready to allow gifted women to use their gifts in every other area of leadership. I believe for us the issue is about our realizing that we are equal when it comes to gifts. Let me encourage you to read 1 Corinthians 12.

I believe we short-change the body of Christ when any group, men or women, are not given the opportunity and support to use their gifts to serve each other and the Kingdom.

My heart’s desire is to see us not only say we respect each other’s giftedness, but to encourage and support each other to use those gifts to glorify our Father. Besides, it is He who gifted us and is calling us to use those gifts to serve Him and His church.

In the future we’ll be teaching about spiritual gifts and “saying” we want you to use your gifts. When that time comes let me challenge myself and all of us, to have open hearts, supportive actions and ready opportunities for one another to use those gifts for the Kingdom.

Please remember Wayne Stafford who is in surgery as I write this. He had knee replacement five years ago and this past week got an infection in his right knee. They are opening up the kneed and may only have to clean it out. Please pray that they do not have to replace the knee but just wash it out.

I’ll see you tonight as I continue our study on Joseph.

Pastor Carl