This past weekend, my husband and I had the incredible opportunity and blessing to be with the Jonathon and Deborah Project at Apostolic Trust Church in Appleton, WI pastored by Aaron and Heather Soto. Each month this church has a time where they specifically gear their energy on blessing, equipping, and training people into leadership within the church. They have a Jonathon Project for the men, and The Deborah Project for the women. There are equal number of men and women in the groups. In fact on this Saturday there were more women than men!
I was very excited to be able to talk about women in leadership and ministry. Each of you probably know how excited I get!
As I began the session I handed out folders I had prepared for the women. The folder had paper to write out your dreams, two articles from the blog, some business cards, and an index card for the dream activity. I also put little owl sticky notes and owl stickers on the outside. I thought they should be cute folders!
I began the session by doing the dream activity. Each person was given an index card, and they were instructed to write down where they felt they were at right now. They could write down their dreams, callings, and wherever they thought the Lord was leading them. I collected the dreams and put them into the bottle. We would later come back to this activity, and pray for one another.
Then we started to talk about different female leaders in the Bible. I asked the group to share how many women they knew of in the Bible who were named leaders. While it might have been a little boring to go over several female leaders in the Bible, I thought it was important for these women to know the Bible names several leaders in the Bible who are female. It is important to know females served as prophets, evangelists, apostles, house church planters, mothers, singers, musicians, business leaders, and other forms of leadership in the Bible. Here is the list I gave, but I want you to know this is not exhaustive. These are the ones I have found so far, but there are more…
Women in the OT
- Deborah the Judge, Judges 4:4
- Esther the Queen
- Women Preachers: Psalm 68:11 The Lord gives the word;
the women who announce the news are a great host:
- Miriam the Prophetess and Leader, Exodus 15:20-21, Micah 6:4
- Prophetesses: Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, Noadiah (Neh 6:14), Isaiah’s wife)
- Isaiah 8:3 prophetess
- Huldah Kings 22:14
- Women Used in the Gift of Prophesy Rachel (Gen 30:24), Hannah (1 Sam 2:1-10), Abigail (1 Sam 25:29-31), Elisabeth (Luke 1:41-45), and Mary, the mother of Jesus (Luke 1:46-55.
Women in the NT
- Mary, mother of Jesus Luke 1:46-55
- Anna the Prophetess: Luke 2:36 And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.
- Mary called Magdalene (Disciple), Joanna (the wife of Chuza-Herod’s household manager), and Susanna Luke 8:2-3
- Women Prophetesses/Preachers: Acts 21:9 He (Philip the evangelist) had four unmarried daughters,who prophesied.
- Junia the female Apostle: Romans 16:7
- Phoebe the deaconess: Romans 16:1 (deacon?)
- Priscilla (church planter, house church pastor) and Aquila Romans 16:3, Priscilla taught Apollos in Acts 18:26
- Tryphena and Tryphosa Romans 16:12
- Women Disciples and Leaders with paul: Philippians 4:3, women who labored with Paul
- Women who prayed and prophesied in public worship 1 Corinthians 11, Acts 2:17
- Nympha, pastor of a house church: Colossians 4:15 Nympha and the church in her house.
- Female Pastor: 2 John 1:1 The elder to the elect lady and her children
After we talked about this for a while, I opened up the floor for some questions. We had a great time exploring the Word of God. We then ended the session with a commissioning prayer. We prayed for one another, and felt the power of the Holy Spirit. Then, I showed them my little library of books and gave them some suggestions for further study. I am totally a nerd!
It was a wonderful time. My husband talked with the men, and I got to talk with the women about leadership and their God given call! It was like a dream come true for me. I love talking about God, and the Kingdom. I loved spending time with these women, and I really hope to spend more time with them in the future. I pray God will open more doors for my husband and I to come and do leadership sessions like this at other churches around the state, country, and world!
Copyright 2014 Crystal Schmalz