|Women graduates of CBTS Tennessee|
"When the last days come,
I will give my Spirit
Your sons and daughters
Your young men
will see visions,
and your old men
will have dreams.”
These words from Acts 2:17 seem to have something for everyone, don’t they? I thought of them today because this is International Women’s Day. I understand that this is an artificial date on the calendar, but the day does cause me to reassess how far we have failed to come in providing women with the opportunity to use their gifts to build up the body of Christ.
In my coaching practice, I coach several women ministers. Only one is a Baptist. Two others were but they became weary of being told what they could not do and found a denomination that would let them do what they were gifted to do. I have good rapport with these ministers and I have to assume that part of it is that I—an old white male—not only listen attentively to them but value them and their work.
Moderate Baptists have talked a lot about giving women more opportunities, but we still have far to go. We continue to deny gifted women of all ages the places of leadership and service where they can share their gifts. I am not talking about “affirmative action” or “tokenism” but allowing the most talented persons to serve whether they are male or female.
In a workshop I attended recently, the leader said, “We cannot receive the gifts that God wants to give us unless we open our hands.” I think this is true of these gifted women. We will never be blessed by their God-given abilities until we open our hands and our hearts to them.