Recently, I found myself speaking to an old friend of mine on the topic of being a female pastor. She had an unsure look on her face as I spoke of my experience, to which she then responded, “Well, I guess since you and your husband are co-pastors, it’s okay”.
As well meaning as my friend may have been, it was never the less difficult to essentially be told that apart from my husband, I am unable to do what i’ve been called to do. Co-pastoring with my husband is one of the greatest adventures I have ever embarked on. I absolutely love sharing the load and seeking the Lord’s discernment together as we lead our students. However, when I was thirteen years old and I felt the call to vocational ministry, I can assure you God didn’t tack on the end of that, “as long as you find a man to lead alongside, of course”.
I recall a time that my husband and I received mugs as a gift for Christmas from a family member. One mug said, “Pastor’s Wife” while the other stated, “Pastor”. While this was not the first time I encountered such a situation, it was the first time I took a step back prior to responding. In years past, my first inclination may have been to quickly defend myself, and state with earnest, “Oh no, my husband and I are co-pastors”.
However, it was in this moment the Holy Spirit reminded me of the many times Jesus faced opposition and did not feel the need to quickly refute with the truth of who He really was. I fear there are many women in ministry who spend far more time defending why they are in ministry than actually being present in their ministry. There is most certainly a time to stand up for female equality. But I often try to ask myself, is it always worth it to win the battle but lose the war? If winning the battle means giving the perfect biblical exegesis for women in ministry, but losing the war means losing your ability to witness. How many opportunities do we miss discipling other believers because we are too quick to state our “authority”? Our authority comes from God anyway – not from a title.
Are many females in ministry oppressed? Certainly.
Are many females in ministry given less opportunities? You bet.
Are females in ministry just as accountable to Christ as men for the leadership of His people? Also, yes.
So whether your opposition be gender, age, race, or you fill in the blank, Christ did NOT call us to have a victim mentality. It is easier to lick the wounds inflicted by fellow believers, than to remember that by His stripes we’ve been healed.
Christ is no stranger to rejection, and yet it did not stop Him. Jesus’ example tells us that there is no opposition too great to impede the call of God. He was too busy healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, and casting out demons to entertain the taunting of His naysayers.
So while I sit here drinking coffee out of my “Pastor” mug and my amazing husband drinks out of his “Pastor’s Wife” mug, my prayer is always, “Jesus, let me be more like you”.
ABOUT JASMINE: Jasmine Kick currently resides in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband, Ryan. Jasmine and Ryan are the Next-Gen pastors at TreeLine Church, an up-and-coming church plant located in the south hills. Jasmine and Ryan have been in ministry as co-pastors for five years, and love every single moment of it!