Vacation Week – Guest Blogger Anne Jackson

I love today’s post from Anne.  This is a subject that she and I easily connect on and could talk for hours about.  In the short time that she has been on staff with us I have already witnessed her passion for partnership in ministry!

pantyhose and elevators and my own skin. those are three things i’m uncomfortable in. (oh, wow. that rhymed!)

why the pantyhose? should be obvious.

elevators? not a fan of getting stuck in a big metal box.

my own skin?

it has to do with my heart and my brain and my aspirations and dreams.

=ministry is a fairly male-dominated game. and that’s cool. drill it down even more, when you have a heart for encouraging and equipping and dreaming with other pastors, well…as a girl, that can be tough to do. as a 20-something year old girl, perhaps even tougher.

most male leaders i know aren’t playing any kind of chauvinistic or age-hatin’ cards. so it’s not an issue of disrespect that i feel like i’m up against. there are just differences in guy leadership and girl leadership. the ways god has gifted us and crafted us.

most (but not all) women in ministry feel led to work in children’s ministry, education, women’s ministry…but i don’t. i know my calling…and it is working with pastors.

most of whom are men.

this is not a women-in-ministry debate. i just know that sometimes, i have a hard time wondering how it will all work out in the end. how does this look in my daily life? in my job? in the world…?? writing a book is pretty universal. and that’s a good start…but i know there’s more…

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  • janowen September 3, 2008  

    Anne, I can relate. I too actually feel called to speak to the lives of leaders – this is a newer part of my calling, but there nonetheless. I’ve wondered how this can ever come to fruition when the leaders I probably most need to be talking to are men, many of whom are so much more experienced than I am. However, you and I both have such profound experiences that help shape our calling, so I have to trust God will use that and open doors. Still waiting on mine to open, but I see a crack here and there!

    I wonder sometimes if the fact that we are a bit “different” might actually give us a much needed perspective that would be lost with only one gender represented. In other words, I wonder if men need some of our “femaleness” in order to be ministered to. I love the balance of men and women working together so I’ve wondered if that is a huge part of what I have to offer…….

  • tam September 3, 2008  

    i was thinking the same thing as janowen. i think having a girl in the mix is very beneficial. i wish we had this at our church. i dont “know” you…but i “see” you as very strong and confident. that coupled with being all female like 😉 seems to be the perfect ingredient to add to a group of guys who typically dont “feel” things like we do. i would love to see that dynamic in action!

  • janowen September 4, 2008  

    Anne, actually I’ve thought about this more and wanted to add that the men on my team are now very thankful (I think!!!) for the way I minister. I have many, many more men that I work with than women. I think some were resistent at first and hated some of the more “touchy feely” things I would lead them through, but many have told me over the years how I spoke to a part of their heart and life they had completely ignored up til then. One guy told me “I was always on task – get the job done – move move move” and then you come along and say “stop, pray, pray, pray, and while you’re at it love on someone.” One of the biggest compliments I ever received was when he said “Jan, you’ve taught me the priority of relationship – with God and others.” I think this is what you may have to bring to the table, my friend – your own unique self and experience and expertise from a totally girl, yet wise perspective.

    And yes, reality tells us that all will not accept and embrace it. I’m living that this week and it hurts. Bad. But it doesn’t change the good God has used you for. Keep on moving…….keep on moving.

  • Heidi September 5, 2008  

    a good word for me today