Preach Anyway (and Any Way)

Thursday, May 7, 2020

This is a word of encouragement for any woman who has been silenced, sidelined, or scolded. This is a message of hope for every teenage, college-aged, middle-aged, or advance-aged woman who has been told that her voice doesn't matter, that there is no place for her to use her calling, gifts, and training in God's church. This is a prophetic word for any woman who has felt like she will never belong, that she will never be able to live into the call that God has placed on her life.

This is a rallying cry for women like you, and women like me.

Just like many women, I've been through periods of ministry where I was sidelined and silenced. Once, during a particular painful period at a church, a pastor I worked with came into my office, sat down, and spoke these prophetic words: "Christina, God has gifted you to teach and preach. If anyone tells you 'no,' you preach anyway."

Women of God, hear me say the same thing to you: preach anyway and preach any way.

Preach boldly and confidently, because the One who called you has more authority than someone who claims to be the arbiter of God's giftedness. Know your value, dear ones, because you don't need to prove it to anyone else.

Preach Anyway.

When someone doubts you, keep going. When someone makes a sexist generalization, keep going. When someone criticizes or draws attention to your body instead of your message, keep going. When someone throws around words like "strong-willed" and "assertive" as though they are defects, keep going and don't apologize. Because the truth is, you do not answer to men. Your calling is to the Most High God, and it is to him and him alone that you answer.

Preach because the message that God has given you is burning inside of you. Preach because to remain silent would be to deny the life-giving word God has for his people. Preach because you stand in fear of the Lord, the one who gave you this calling in the first place.

Preach Any Way.

When a door is shut in your face, find another way forward. If you are shut out from the pulpit, preach in the streets. If your words are silenced, preach with your actions. If you are only permitted to preach to children or youth, then preach to their small group leaders and mentors as well. Stand in the sidelines, take up space in the margins, and make your voice heard, dear one.

Make your entire life a sermon.

And mark my words: God will hold accountable those who have silenced you and squelched the gift God has given you. Justice is not something with which you need to concern yourself. Keep going. Stay strong. God is even now fighting for you.

Weak men are the problem, not your strong will. 

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