Earlier this year I was invited by the Men's Ministry at the church where I was on staff to speak at their Men's Retreat. That's right - a woman was invited by men to speak to them about their relationship with women. (Mad props to Ed Salas and Ray Huang for their visionary invitation!) This was the first time an invitation like this was extended to a woman. I was terrified because I knew what needed to be spoken. And I didn't know how it would be received. I was - and still am - honored! The way these men welcomed me with raucous applause and a standing ovation at the retreat that morning left me in a pile of tears at the front of the room. I believe my first words were, "Oh great. The girl that cries. How stereotypical."
But the Holy Spirit took over my words that morning in a way that convinced me I was giving one of my life messages for the first time. Those words are still being discussed among the men in attendance.
Since then, I've been asked to give a similar message at the same church's Women's Retreat next month. The weekend's theme was born from this talk: Eden - Becoming Wholehearted Women. I can hardly wait.
Last month, I was also asked to speak at Newsong LA. Below is that message. I hope it stirs something inside of you and causes greater movement in the Kingdom for women to take their rightful place in our world.
What's not shown at the end of my message is that my friend, lead pastor Adam Edgerly, came back on stage and invited me up with him. He asked for forgiveness for ways he's not consistently empowered, included, and invited women into their church. Then, he invited any women in the room who resonated with my words to come ON STAGE WITH ME to receive prayer for healing and blessing for their full ministry expression. He said he wanted them to be seen and step into that place of power. I'm sure over 50% of the women in the room stood on stage with me. I could hardly breathe as I knew the Holy Spirit was doing something powerful. Adam then took a seat off stage, prayed for us, then asked me to close in prayer for these women and women all around the world. He recognized that a man shouldn't be the last word in that service. Tears streamed. When "AMEN" was spoken, hugs and looks of solidarity flooded the stage. It was holy ground.
Oh, what the Church would look like if women were blessed to live out their full created identity! May it be so.