Anyone who knows me knows that I am a strong advocate for women in ministry. In fact I’ve been quoted as saying, “I know of no sound biblical or theological reason that a woman could not serve as General Superintendent of the denomination I am a part of.” I am confident that part of the reason I feel that way is the fact that my mother, Vera Constance Shirley Bartel, was one of the early ordained women in the Assemblies of God and was mightily used of the Lord in church planting in the North Central region of our country during the war years (WWII). (I’ve posted her picture.) But I’ve also seen the effectiveness of the ministry of anointed “handmaidens of the Lord” over the years… (and I’ve also read my Bible!)
As a Pentecostal, I embrace fully Joel’s prophecy… “After all of this I will pour out my Spirit on all kinds of people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your elderly will have revelatory dreams; your young men will see prophetic visions. Even on male and female servants I will pour out my Spirit in those days.” (Joel 2:28–29 the NET Bible) And on the Day of Pentecost Peter declared… “This is what was spoken about through the prophet Joel…”
I know not everyone will agree with me… and that’s OK… But it seems to me when it comes to Kingdom ministry in “the last days” it is neither age limited or gender exclusive!
So what prompted all of this… My Bible reading today during “coffee with the Lord!” …
“Now after the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, MARY MAGDALENE AND THE OTHER MARY WENT TO LOOK AT THE TOMB. Suddenly there was a severe earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descending from heaven came and rolled away the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were shaken and became like dead men because they were so afraid of him. But the angel SAID TO THE WOMEN, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised, just as he said. Come and see the place where he was lying. THEN GO QUICKLY AND TELL HIS DISCIPLES, ‘HE HAS BEEN RAISED FROM THE DEAD! He is going ahead of you into Galilee. You will see him there.’ Listen, I have told YOU!” So they left the tomb quickly, with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. BUT JESUS MET THEM, SAYING, “GREETINGS!” THEY CAME TO HIM, HELD ON TO HIS FEET AND WORSHIPED HIM. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. GO AND TELL MY BROTHERS TO GO TO GALILEE. THEY WILL SEE ME THERE.” (Matthew 28:1–10 NET)
It impresses me that the first eyewitnesses of the resurrection were WOMEN! It is also interesting to me that they were the first ones “post-resurrection” who were given a commission to tell others “He is risen!” They were also the first ones to personally encounter the reality of the risen Lord as they were on the way to tell others. Powerful eh?
So let me say this with some conviction… Ladies, you have experienced the life-changing reality of the risen Lord, and have heard his call and commission to Christian service, you don’t have to take a back seat to ANYONE! The Living Lord chose to reveal Himself to you and commission you to share the witness of His resurrection! And gentlemen, if you have a problem with that, my advice to you is “deal with it!”