Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Honk if You Love Jesus

I attended our Baptist association's Women's Missionary Union leadership meeting last night. I thought it might be a good idea since my church was hosting the event. I gave an invocation, scared everyone with two unexpected BOOMS of sound system feedback, took some great pictures of folks eating, singing, and listening with my new 12x zoom which allows me to get really close without anyone noticing (I save those for future "photo fellowships," when I get to embarrass folks!), and then after making a mad dash around the church to check our oh-so-indifferent-to-our-thermal-comfort computerized thermostats (Baptists are notoriously sensitive to minor degree changes in temperature), I ended up in the pastors' leadership class, where our facilitator asked us to go around the room sharing what our WMU's meant to us and our churches. One pastor compared them to the geese flying in the "V" formation who "honk" encouragement to the lead goose...who, of course, is the pastor. (We can discuss the pastor as "lead" goose controversy, later!) Sure I agree wholeheartedly that I have been encouraged many, many times by the dedicated women of my church family, but the though occurred to me later...our female church members do so very, very much more than honk encouragement. I told the group, "Let's face it guys, our ladies are doing THE major discipling of our children and young people." Sure, there are exceptions, and I thank God for I have men, too, who seek to impact others inside and outside the church for Christ, but if you take a closer look at our history, at least as Baptists, you find that our most memorable missionaries were women. Should this surprise us since our Savior chose to reveal Himself first to women after His resurrection? I love the passage in Luke 8:1-3 when Luke mentions three woman (among others) by name who traveled with Him and the twelve. These women weren't just "honking," they were financially supporting Jesus' ministry! Pretty remarkable for a time when women were regarded by many as just the property of whoever was over them (i.e. father or husband.). We are told of no other such financial supporters of Jesus. Were these women merely in the "background" of Jesus ministry, or part of the "backbone" of those He gathered around Him to be used in God's redemptive mission. All I know is that the First Baptist Church of Denmark would be ....yuck...I don't want to even imagine what it would be like without a long list of dedicated, Christ-following ladies who don't just honk that they love Jesus, they show it...over and over teaching us about missions, encouraging us to support missions financially, and most importantly, by DOING missions.....and to a pastor, THAT'S real encouragement!

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