Removing Invisible Barriers by Felicity Dale

We have a chocolate Labrador wannabe named Sugar.  Sugar used to frequently go AWOL to terrorize the local cat population.  Our yard is fenced, and we have an automatic gate.  Sugar used to lie in wait for a car to open the gate and would make her dash for freedom as the gate was within inches of closing.

We decided to put a stop to this behavior and installed an invisible fence across the gate.  Sugar is not normally known as a fast learner, but after a couple of, shall we say, shocking experiences, she learned not to cross the invisible line.  In fact, she would sit gazing longingly out of an open gate long after the battery in her collar had died.

Today, at least within the simple church movement, there are no theological barriers to women moving into their destiny in the Kingdom of God.

But comparatively few are taking this privilege seriously.  Why?  Because, like Sugar, we have become accustomed to our lack of freedom.  We are content to sit on the sidelines, even as we gaze longingly at what other women are doing around the world.  We need the Lord to help us break out of our inertia so that we can move into our calling as women of the Kingdom.

There are women who function apostolically and prophetically.  There are those who pastor and teach.  The Lord is releasing women again to co-labor alongside the men; men and women together are working towards this end.  Increasingly there are regional initiatives within the simple/organic church movement that provide training and encouragement for all the churches.  Frequently women are responsible for these initiatives.

What part can the men play in this?  If this is just a movement of women, it will by default become a feminist movement.  This is not what we want.  However, if the men will join is in promoting women and encouraging them to take their place alongside them on the frontlines, it will become a Kingdom movement.  Where are the men who will join us?

On the few occasions when we speak on this subject, we find women coming up to us in tears, deeply hurt by the attitude of the church towards women over the years.  Several times more recently, however, we have been in situations where the Lord has led the men in a gathering to repent over the attitude of the church to women.  They, often with tears, have confessed, both at a personal and a corporate level, the wrongs done to women, and then released them to go out and be everything God is calling them to be. These times have always been profoundly healing for the women involved.

My husband, Tony, has long been a champion of women.  He is a very gifted communicator but he came to realize that the only way I would speak out was if he kept quiet.

For many husbands, the best way they will help their wives to contribute meaningfully and strategically is to willingly stand down and joyfully promote their wives’ gifts.

At first the women will not do as well as the men would have done, but in the longer term, this will allow the women to take their rightful place as equal ministers alongside them in the Kingdom.

We have some African American friends who God is using in remarkable ways.  But they have chosen service as their way of operating within the Kingdom.  They have willingly embraced slavery (to Jesus and His body).  As women, we have many centuries of service in the body of Christ behind us.  We could demand our rights and militantly seize position or prominence as a reaction to the injustices of the past.  I do not believe God will bless this.  Let’s humbly, and with a spirit of service, move alongside the men into whatever God chooses to bless us with.

The day of women in the Kingdom is approaching fast.  We have seen how some men have approached leadership in the Church in the past—competition and rivalry, lording over and putting down, forging ahead while ignoring women.  Let’s not go that road.  This is a time for us to bridge the gap and bring healing to the body of Christ.  Let’s choose to die to our ambition and agendas.  We don’t want the limelight or the prominence.  And let’s serve Jesus with all our hearts alongside the men and see His Kingdom come.


Felicity Dale, of House2House Ministries, is author of An Army of Ordinary People and co-author of The Rabbit and the Elephant. You can read her blog at www.simplychurch.com.

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