Saturday, December 8, 2012

Morning Hour

Say the word "leadership" to most any Christian woman and she'll immediately croak, "Oh, no, not me - I could never stand up in from of a bunch of women and teach a Bible class!!"

That narrow definition of this word has caused many Christian sisters to hunker down in the pew and try to avoid being noticed, lest someone pressure them to be a "leader." What a shame!

As far as I'm concerned, leadership is going to happen whether we think it can or not. It's not a matter of furiously studying Scripture so one can be a scholar and refute false doctrine. A leader is not someone who appears to be perfect: serenely drifting through life with everything under control, spouting verses/visions at the rest of us.

Evie didn't pretend to be a scholar. Reared as a Catholic, she began questioning her parish priest about various teachings as she became more and more serious about the Lord. Dissatisfied with his non-answers, she and her husband sought other sources, hoping to clarify the muddy water. Soon they realized that the Word was where they needed to concentrate their energies - and in doing so they found Jesus Christ!

Evie evolved into a leader because of her determined pursuit of the Lord. She couldn't reel off scripture references like a personified concordance, nor did she pronounce all the Old Testament names correctly; as a matter of fact, she knew next to nothing about the "old book." She called first and second Timothy one Timothy, and two Timothy, and so on. But ... her joy bubbled over on all of us. She delighted in learning about God's word. She was so alive to Jesus! We wanted to be like her. We wanted her thirst for the living water. We wanted her pure, humble adoration for the Savior. We wanted her kindness, her non-judgmental attitude. We wanted to become like this ordinary woman who tried her best to be like the Son of God. I give thanks for Evie, the influencer, the leader.

Leadership sometimes consists of nudging others. Typically we define a leader as one who proclaims, "I know what I'm doing - just get behind me and step in my footprints." Producing clones is leadership? How boring (and unscriptural)! Surely the Creator of individuality must yawn at that definition! A genuine leader, because she loves her sisters, constantly nudges (sometimes even harasses) them to stretch beyond the safe zone, to reach for maturity in the Lord, to realize that leadership is demonstrated in many different ways because of the multi-faceted gifts given to Christian women.

I fondly remember an older lady who led - just quietly and unobtrusively. Left with several young children to raise by herself, she set about doing it, looking to God for every day's strength. She had to live frugally; she pinched every penny until it squawked, from necessity, not from stinginess. Each child graduated from college because of mom's determination and help. After her children were launched, all busy in the kingdom, this mother began traveling with mission groups, telling about her Savior. She continued to do so well into her 70s. She never, ever said, "I've done my time, let the younger ones ... (teach those kids, prepare that meal, seek the lost). Without question, this unassuming daughter of God led throughout her life just as powerfully as those whose names are known by all. God used her to lead.

Daughters of God: if you will kindle a passion for the Lord, if you determine to follow hard after him - wherever, if you choose to love him and other people sincerely, if you decide to obey him with all your might - God will use you as a light in this world - a leader. He is waiting.

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