Friday, November 09, 2012

Women in the front lines of ministry (part 2)

In my previous post, I talked about the great need for women to be trained in ministry.

It has become one of my passions to see women trained and equipped in the gospel. More than 50% of the Church is women, and I think a lot of pastors would say that the women are quick to serve in really practical ways. Which is awesome. But we need to pastor our sheep, even the women, well and teach them to dig deep in the scriptures. Teach them to teach others to dig deep in the scriptures. Disciple them to disciple others.
So often women are overlooked for leadership because we have this idea that only men can be pastors. Ok, even if you hold to that view (I personally do, but I have plenty of friends who don't) you can't deny that Jesus called us all the same mission. He made us all disciples. And He has given us gifts to build up all the church for ministry.

Having said all this, I have to say that the Lord has doubly blessed me with my pastor. My pastor Cristobal does two things that truly bless me.

First, he values me as a co-worker in the gospel. He actually values my work. It is not petty to him the work that I do in the church. He values it, respects it, rests knowing that I am there. He asks for my opinion. He asks for my help. I feel truly valued as a worker. And it's not just me. And it's not just Cristobal. It's our whole pastoral team. We are actually a team. We work together, eat together, cry together (well, I cry), and pray together. One of the guys, Max, has become something of an ally for me. I don't know how else to describe it. I see him working, pastoring people, and my heart is filled with joy and I am moved to pray for him. We work together, pray together, and rejoice together when we see God's mighty hand at work. He and his wife Caro are really special to me and I'm excited to think that we have years, even decades ahead of us in working together.

Second, Cristobal pastors me. Like really actually pastors me. He knows me, knows my strengths and weaknesses, knows my joys and pains. I can't even count the amount of times I've broken down in tears in his office. He's made the joke that if I don't cry, he gets nervous. And it's sweet to get to be real with your pastor. To get frustrated. To get sad. To be yourself. We joke that he is some mix of being my big brother, my dad, and my boss. He and his wife, Ale, have taken me into their family and loved me as one of their own. You can't buy relationships like that when you are in ministry overseas. In fact, you just can't buy relationships like that in general.

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