(Glennon Doyle Melton photo 2015 – credit to Amy Paulson Photography)
At the end of 2014, I began to climb my way up in the world of Christian women bloggers, evangelists, ministers, teachers, preachers, and authors. I began my journey with a broken heart; the evangelical church had rejected my gifts over and over. All of my passion for ministry, love for Jesus, volunteer experience, and higher education did not matter. Local churches were looking for “God’s man for the job.”
I was raised and educated in the Assemblies of God church and other new-charismatic traditions, that “claimed” to be affirming of women at all levels of church ministry; yet, I almost never met a female pastor, and I almost never heard a woman preach on Sunday mornings. So I looked to the female superstar evangelists as my heroes.
Many of these women were pioneers for women in ministry, and we should be grateful for them, but I have not seen one of them take a stand for equal opportunities for women ministers.
Sure, many of them are taking action to move women forward in various ways, but they do not take a clear stand for gender equality in Church roles.
I was and am hurt by all of the female ministers who are now in their 50s, 60s, and 70s, who refuse to use their massive platforms to fight for women’s equal ministry opportunities in the evangelical church. To me, “that’s not my calling,” is not a good enough reason for them to remain silent on this major issue.
There is a cost to standing up for what is right; it means fewer opportunities for one’s personal ministry and often less financial backing. It also means a smaller following, and less book sells.
Since the evangelical church has ignored, rejected, and stolen women’s ministry opportunities for the most part, young women, such as myself, look online to find our heroes. Who is taking a clear stand for me? Who is unafraid? Who will refuse to be silent on behalf of women and girls whom God has called to be preachers and pastors?
I will tell you who: Glennon Doyle Melton!
Finding Glennon online brought healing to my heart. Finally, an older sister who is taking a clear stand for gender equality in the church, and standing up to all the hits that come along with taking this stand. She is not afraid to retweet her followers’ tweets, because someone might judge her for being “associated” with that person’s doctrine.
No, Glennon’s love, acceptance, and association for and with her followers is unconditional, even if they disagree with her on various issues. She asks one thing of people online; treat me how you would want to be treated. Kindness is her aim, so she has set a healthy boundary for herself. Anyone who attacks or judges Glennon’s faith and love for the gospel deserves to be blocked.
How dare anyone question someone else’s Christianity?
I thought the Bible says that we all fall short of the glory of God. Who gets to be the authority on what is orthodox and what is biblical? We are all human, trying to find the truth as best as we can. Most of all though, we are all looking to be known, because to be known is to be loved.
Glennon has not only shown the world her true self, but she has shown us her past and present struggles. She may be the most authentic Christian on the internet. Further, she interacts with her followers (not just other “famous” Christians). She seeks to know her followers, because she genuinely loves her sisters.
Glennon was one of the first “famous” Christian bloggers that followed me back on Twitter. She did not know my theology, nor did she care. She just loved me and wanted to know me, because I am her little sister in Christ.
Girls and women need women to look up to in the Church, and since the local church does not seem to care to fix this massive problem, I will continue to look up to Glennon.
The truth is, I have grown attached to Glennon, and I love her unconditionally. She has brought me joy and hope. She is rare in her clear stand for gender equality in the Church, and she fights for girls and women with her words, every single day.
I believe that the greatest heresy that exists is a Christian that does not love. So perhaps we are all heretics to some degree.
Glennon is where she is at, just as I am where I am at in this journey with Jesus. I will love her and follow her, even if she blocks every person on the internet that hurts her feelings. I don’t care if I don’t agree with her on all things; I will still endorse her and I am not afraid to be associated with her.
Glennon, MANY of your little sisters thank you for taking a clear stand for us. We know the hard hits you get for this. On this Thanksgiving day, know that MANY of us are crazy thankful for you. Carry on, warrior!
~Happy Thanksgiving All~
I am taking a much needed break from blogging and social media for at least a month. I love you all and I will be back, so we can continue to break the glass steeple together! #SelfCareMatters