5 Reasons WOMEN SHOULD SPEAK to the whole church and why I've launched the Women Speakers Collective
It's time. Well, to be honest, it's way past time. It's time for women to speak, with authority and skill from stages and platforms everywhere. And I'm not talking about women speaking to other women, as important and significant as that is, it's time for women to be part of the main voice the whole church is listening to. Why?
1. More than half the church is female. Surely the voices that speak to the church should at least represent the church it's speaking to.
2. God is not male. If the only voice the church hears is male then we tend to get confused about the gender of God. God's voice becomes 'male' and then God's identity becomes 'male' and soon being 'female' is different, foreign, even a threat to male authority. This is heretical. God's identity is expressed right from the start in Genesis when the scripture points out that 'male and female' were created in the image of God. Together. Male and female. Jesus often uses female images to explain who God is and also calls God 'Father'. It's not a competition—it's interconnected. God is not male. God is not female. God is both and beyond both.
3. Tradition. I'm not talking about the latest in traditional patriarchical trends BUT the original tradition that Jesus began when he strategically selected women to tell the 'good news'. First evangelist (samaritan woman at the well) first witness/evangelist of the resurrection (Mary) and among the first church planters/supporters/deacons/apostles - well, you get the idea. It's early church tradition, in the ways of Jesus, for women to tell the good news.
4. They are great communicators. In a male dominated space we easily forget that women are powerful communicators. They have incredible experiences in motivation, counsel, direction, correction, training, empowering, and 'making sense of everything' to people ALL THE TIME. The fact that there are a minority of women speakers on main stages in the western church is not a shortage of GREAT female communicators, it's evidence of a systemic bias against female communicators and towards male ones. Training, investment and opportunity will quickly correct it.
5. Justice. At the very heart of the gospel is a story of good news for the poor. It's a revolutionary Kingdom that turns the world upside down. The early church's commitment to living out this revolution is what made the spread of Christianity unstoppable. Equality, freedom, diversity, and empowerment were the WAYS the church communicated the good news of Jesus. In our world where women remain the most oppressed group on the planet, women speakers would communicate these deep, relevant and beautiful truths of what Jesus means to everyone.
So, because I believe all of these things and more about women being a strategic way the good news advances on this planet I've launched the Women Speakers Collective. We will prepare women who are called to speak, provide practice and platforms for women to get better, and profile some of the best female communicators for churches and conferences to use as a resource.
If you are or know someone who is an aspiring speaker—check out our Speakers Bootcamp in Longbeach in October - a two day (packed full) workshop including 3 months of mentoring to follow, access to a whole network of folks committed to seeing women SPEAK, and loads of FRIENDS who are going to accelerate your opportunities. If you are a leader please consider identifying and sponsoring a woman speaker from your community to come!
ALSO, some breaking news about the first BOOTCAMP—because this is such a KINGDOM advancing opportunity we have an incredibly generous sponsor who is willing to match fund up to 50% of the cost for anyone registering before August 15th. That's a 50% off discount if you register before Aug. 15th. More evidence that this is a God-inspired idea! I can't wait to meet more women who will be strong voices communicating the good news of Jesus in our world!