I have the wonderful opportunity to speak at a symposium on women in ministry at this church this coming weekend. I am looking forward to meeting the great folks who have invited me, and hearing from those facilitating discussion throughout the day. I will be offering the keynote address during the luncheon, and I will be sharing my own story of being called by God to serve as a minister. I will do something similar to what I did when I spoke for Scot McKnight’s Women, Mary and Jesus class in April.
This will be my first time public speaking since Elijah was born. I remember the first time I did any public speaking after Mercy was born: I was invited to speak to the Freshman class at Azusa Pacific, and I remember catching myself unconsciously swaying back and forth during my lectures. Too many hours spent soothing an infant (Mercy was our fussiest so there was a LOT of walking and bouncing and swaying and shushing) can do that.
The day will be filled with talented and sincere Christian scholars and leaders providing a range of opinions about scripture and tradition concerning women’s leadership in the church. My job on Saturday is not to try to persuade anyone of any position, but rather to offer my own very personal experience of receiving a calling to serve in places and capacities that some would restrict to men. But, as Scot McKnight likes to say: “not infrequently the observation is made that one of the most compelling apologetics for womenâ€™s ministries is the compelling story of a woman.”