(Review copy provided by IVPress)
“This is our story! We are fierce, intellectually astute women who are brilliantly made to not accept simple answers. We are wise teachers and colleagues of some of the world’s most renowned and brightest scholars. We look to men as co-laborers in this great work and aren’t afraid to push them to think in new capacities. This, my dear sisters, is our story.” Emboldened: A Vision for Empowering Women in Ministry by Tara Beth Leach, p 19
This book is a breath of fresh air for any woman who feels stifled, overlooked, or disenchanted with church as it is. And any man who is looking to walk beside or empower a women in ministry. It is encouragement to keep living as your whole self, showing up, and being courageous.
I believe God wants women to lead just as much as He wants men to lead; He has gifted and empowered each one of us to live into our different and specific callings (whatever that may be); and jobs should not distributed by gender but by gifting.
I wish women could be pastor, speak at a pulpit, or teach adult Sunday school classes alongside the men in every church- no questions asked. And wouldn’t that be lovely?
“I often wonder how many women in these churches even know that they have been given gifts of teaching and exhortation, because they never have the opportunity to use them!” p 100
But it’s not that simple.
In this here, but not yet Kingdom, there are many women who are called to be pastors. What amazing grace. Serve well. This book is written for you and all the people around you.
But also, in this here, but not yet Kingdom, there are women, like me, who realize their worth, believe God has freed them, and are confident in their calling to be co-heirs with Christ alongside their brothers in Christ – but might stay in churches that are less egalitarian. Taking our cues not so much from the church’s doctrinal statement, but from the Spirit who indwells us. This is grace as well.
“Lead from where you are, in the power of the Spirit. Do it with courage, gusto, and boldness.” p126
We learn to see grace in the messy middle places where God works with our little faulty offerings. He brings it all together to glorify Himself all the same.
It’s mystery and grace.
But, in the midst of living in the mystery, we need to remember who we are in Christ, instead of focusing on those church rules we get hung up on. I’ve struggled to find a balance in my writing lately, feeling a little silenced by those rules. I have had to remind myself I am created for a purpose. And that purpose is now. And, really, I am the only one who can find out what that is.
“Now is the time for women to rise up and use their God-given gifts with boldness.” p189
That is where books like these come in for me: they encourage me in my createdness as a woman. I am just as qualified and called to be involved in ministry as any other person. Men are not the go-between between me and God. Through the Bible and prayer, God leads me, too. I can trust Him to lead me as I continue to learn and write my way through life.
“Breaking gender molds, you see, doesn’t mean we move from leading one way to another; rather, it means we are free to lead in the only way we can lead. Be you, dear sister.” p65
I’m not perfect. And neither is anyone’s doctrine or church’s teaching. So I find hope in humanity’s imperfection, because God has a plan.
He has a plan for you.
Woman. Created. Spiritual. Spunky.
More important than what your church says about you and your voice is what you believe God says about you and your voice. Do you believe you can be heard? Can you change the community you’re in?
Because you can.
Read a little more about the book here:Emboldened: A Vision for Empowering Women in Ministry by Tara Beth Leach!
Other books you may also like:
- FierceHearted by Holley Gerth (Only $7 right now!)
- Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey
- Men and Women in the Church by Sarah Sumner
Follow me on Instagram for more books and, right now, a lot of flowers. :)
(Disclaimers: I received a free copy of this book from IVPress in exchange for an honest review. And this post contains affiliate links.)