Bottom Line


Fix this picture firmly in your mind: Jesus, descended from the line of David, raised from the dead. It’s what you’ve heard from me all along. It’s what I’m sitting in jail for right now—but God’s Word isn’t in jail! That’s why I stick it out here—so that everyone God calls will get in on the salvation of Christ in all its glory. This is a sure thing:

   If we die with him, we’ll live with him;
   If we stick it out with him, we’ll rule with him;
   If we turn our backs on him, he’ll turn his back on us;
   If we give up on him, he does not give up—
      for there’s no way he can be false to himself.”    (2 Timothy 2:8-13)

I’ve been taking a class at the local community college here in Kalamazoo.  I feel pretty old when I’m at class.  I’m the oldest person in the class besides the teacher.  Early in the class one of the girls said “I was born the year you graduated from high school” in a sweet happy voice.  Did she really need to point this out???  It always amuses me a little when the 17-year-old boy comes in and sits next to me and starts telling me how he’s SO tired and he had to risk life and limb to get to class on time at 9 am because it’s just SO hard to get up this early.  I try really hard to remember that when I was that age….that was stressful to me too.  But I really want to tell him everything I had to do this morning before class.  Feed and dress three kids.  Calm a handful of fights between three children.  Get the oldest child to school.  Remember all the oldest child’s homework and make sure she has a lunch packed and a snack.  Hope the babysitter arrives on time.  And somewhere in there hope I get a shower and can look decent for the day. 

I enjoy this class.  But here’s what I enjoy the most.

Each class, I am more and more surrounded by students who “casually” like to ask me about my job as a pastor.  It’s not often you see a young woman pastor and they have questions.  Like where I work and where I went to seminary. 

One of the largest churches in the Kalamazoo area has a male and female, husband wife team as head pastors.  Valley Family Church is a growing, vibrant, church making a difference in our community.  Men and women are at all levels of ministry serving as God called them to serve.

1 Timothy 2:14 goes on to say:  “Repeat these basic essentials over and over to God’s people. Warn them before God against pious nitpicking, which chips away at the faith. It just wears everyone out. Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won’t be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple.”

I’m growing tired of defending women in ministry.  It wears me out sometimes.  The world doesn’t need to see the church divided on this issue.  The church needs to stop being nitpicky and focus on the task at hand:  Sharing who Christ was and is. 

If women shouldn’t be in ministry at any level of their giftedness, than why is someplace like Valley Family Church having such AMAZING success?  Why is their ministry so fruitful? 

I think the kids in my class are curious about me as a pastor because for the first time, they have seen the church as accepting rather than oppressive to people.  This matters, because when the church acts in this way, Christ is seen in this way.  This is the bottom line.

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