I highly value the Women in Ministry who have invested in my life as a follower of Jesus and as a servant of God. Since childhood, I have been significantly impacted by gifts of godly leadership who are women. They were not always women in ministry in a “professional” sense but they were women who ministered out of a love for God and for others, especially me!
A woman was instrumental in my salvation. That was my Mom who prayed with me to receive Jesus as my Saviour when I was 7 years old. During my formative years, she would greatly shape my future destiny as a leader in God’s Kingdom. That shaping began even before I was born. After she became pregnant with me, her doctor was concerned that she would not live through the full term and he advised her to abort the child inside of her. She and my Dad firmly refused and declared they would trust the Lord. My Mom spent the next 8 months confined to her bed, all the while, seeking the Lord on my behalf. She diligently prayed for God to bring this “little boy” safely into the world, and just like Hannah of the Old Testament, she promised to give me to the Lord for His service.
The first Pastor that I remember was also a woman. Pastor Winifred Butler held me on her lap as a pre-school child and there was no question she loved me like I was her own child. I am sure that in those times of holding me on her lap, she would prophesy in the Spirit and speak life into the plans that God had for me.
Another woman, an evangelist from Ontario, Rev. Maude Ellis, laid hands on me and prayed for me to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit after my graduation from high school. She was used by God to break through the barriers that I had developed from receiving the Spirit’s fullness in the past. Receiving the Spirit’s power would be a defining moment in my life and God would use it to move me towards training at Bible College and then, to enter full time ministry.
God would use another woman in ministry to develop a passion and desire in me to seek a daily filling of the Spirit. That woman is my wife, Cyndi. When we were married, she had not experienced her own “personal Pentecost” but as I watched her experience her own Spirit baptism, I came to realize that the fullness of the Spirit is not about a single spiritual milestone or a doctrine for Pentecostals. It is about a continual and necessary lifestyle of being filled every day and numerous times in a day with the life of the Spirit. My life as a Spirit filled vessel, has grown immensely with Cyndi as my partner in life and ministry.
There have been other women in ministry that God has used to change me and grow me as His servant and I know that they were gifts given to me by God to fulfill what He has called me to be and do. I am grateful that God brought each of these “Esthers” into my life.
Some time ago, I received a position paper ( link below) from The Four Square Church International. One of the authors of the document is Pastor Jack Hayford. While it was written for their community of churches, I believe it provides a much needed truth for the greater Body of Christ. As I have shared in this blog on the personal value I have for women in ministry, I want to provide this great biblical-based paper that addresses the importance of women in ministry roles and why we need to bless them to take their place among the highest levels of leadership in God’s Kingdom.