Men and Women: We're Better Together
This post is not about marriage. It is about Kingdom building.
I just returned from Greece where I met with the global leaders for our Student-Led Ministries. They asked me to come talk about a topic I am passionate about: Men and women working together.
Since the group was taking a tour of the ruins of Corinth later that week, we started with a biblical couple we first meet in Corinth: Priscilla and Aquila. Paul found them there making tents and teaching about Jesus. Paul lived with them for an extended time, then took them with him to Ephesus.
After Paul left Ephesus, Apollos, a gifted teacher who knew Jesus through John the Baptist’s message, arrived and was teaching. Priscilla and Aquila realized he did not have the full message of the gospel of Jesus, and together taught Apollos what else was needed. They helped him become a powerful gospel preacher.
Priscilla and Aquila are one example of God choosing to use men and women together to proclaim His Kingdom. They were husband and wife, as were Adam and Eve, who were the first blessed alliance as God blessed them and commissioned them to fill the earth and rule over it. A few of many other scriptural examples include Deborah and Barak, Esther and Mordecai, Ruth and Boaz, Paul and Lydia.
God will use men and men, women and women, husbands and wives—and non-related men and women, each bringing complementary strengths and gifts, to spread the gospel message and grow true followers of Jesus.
And that is true today. I know many partnerships—some married to each other, others not—that have had profoundly effective ministry because of coming together in God-given assignments. I have had several such blessed alliances in my 50 years of ministry, including currently partnering with my husband to lead our organization.
For many years I had the privilege to help form and lead Synergy Women’s Network, where we proclaimed the message of men and women doing Kingdom work in a blessed alliance, a phrase identified by my friend Carolyn Custis James.
Synergy has now been absorbed into Missio Alliance, which grew out of the friendship and camaraderie of leaders from across the nation who sensed the need for a “space” through which church leaders could re-imagine together the life and witness of the church as it faces the challenges of mission in a post-christianizing context.
Missio Alliance foresees a focus on the strengthening and support of women leaders will be a vital component part of its development. This will be seen in the upcoming Missio Alliance National Gathering this coming May 7-9 in Alexandria, VA.
A special time is set aside for the Synergy community who attend, as well as a focused gathering for women leaders. I have the privilege of participating in a Forum on “Made (and Remade!) in the Likeness of God: Living into God’s Intentions for Our Gendered Identity.”
I believe it makes God smile to see His children working together for His Kingdom.
You can find information on this event at missioalliance.org/TrulyHuman. It is not too late to join us: Registration before 03/31/15 is $179. Late registration is $199, ending 4/26/15. Bring a group for a discount. (http://conference.missioalliance.org/register/)
What about you? What blessed alliances have you been in?
C2015 Judy Douglass