Speaking Engagements

Y’all Come! – Speaking Engagement Updates and Event-Hosting Tips

There’s been quite the hustle and bustle of ministry activity around here lately, so I wanted to take this opportunity to provide you with a few updates:

I had a wonderful time sharing and fellowshipping with the ladies at the 2020 Cruciform Conference and a few of the lovely ladies of Idaho and Wyoming at their annual women’s conference. I’ll be posting report back articles (complete with pictures and conference audio, when available) on both very soon.

If you haven’t checked out the calendar of events on my Speaking Engagements page (in the blue menu bar at the top of this page), here’s an update. My calendar is closed for 2020, but I hope you’ll find an event you can attend in 2021! I’ll be posting more about each of these as the dates get nearer, and I hope to add several more!

2021 Calendar:

(The Women’s Advance Conference in Willits, California, previously scheduled for January 29-30 has been postponed indefinitely due to California’s Covid restrictions.)


February 20- Women’s Conference, Maranatha Baptist Church in Nashville, Arkansas (This conference is open to women in the surrounding areas, but you must contact the church directly for details.)

June 4-5- Cruciform ConferenceIndianapolis, Indiana. Breakout sessions for women. This one is co–ed (except for my breakout sessions), so bring your husbands, ladies!

July 12-17- Reverence in Radical Times women’s conference, online. (This is the 2021 iteration of the 2020 OHCW online conference.) Join me, Martha Peace, Shelbi and Kimberly from the Women’s Hope podcast, Marci from Thankful Homemaker, and more, as we examine Titus 2:3-5. (More details to come.)

If you weren’t able to find an event to attend, host your own! I’d love to come speak to the ladies of your church or Christian organization. Now is the time to start planning for 2021. Check out the rest of the information on my Speaking Engagements page, including my updated article, Women’s Events on a Shoestring Budget (Plus- Tips for Hosting an Event!)

Earlier this year, I added a feature to make hosting a speaking engagement easier and less expensive: speaking engagement packages. Choose from my most popular biblical topics and the most common conference formats, and we’ll send you the set speaking fee for that conference. (Of course, if you have another topic you’d like me to speak on or a format that’s unique to your event, that option is still available.)

I hope to see you soon at an event near you!

Mailbag

The Mailbag: Help! There’s a pushy lady at my church!

Originally published October 30, 2017

There is a lady in my church who has become very involved in a certain form of parachurch Christian ministry. She is extremely gung ho about it and pressures church members to participate. She has also organized a conference, bringing in speakers from the national level of the ministry. The elders/pastors approved it, but there is some disagreement about bringing in outside speakers, charging attenders so much for tickets, and the fact that it is mainly drawing people from outside our church who are already involved in this ministry, not necessarily discipling our own church members, yet our church members bear the work of the conferences.

We, her friends, have watched her continue to insistently push this ministry agenda. She freely admits to being pushy and asks us to keep her accountable, but she continues to push and becomes frustrated when challenged. I have met with her one on one and discussed this, and she now avoids me. I guess my question is, is it right/OK for me to now keep my distance from her? Is it OK for a woman to push a ministry agenda in the church?

Every once in a while a situation arises at church that leaves you feeling like, “Church is great…except for the people.” I’ve felt that way many times over the years, and I’m certain many people have felt that way about me. Personality conflicts at church can be difficult to deal with, but they’re a great “homework assignment” from God that – if we approach them biblically – can help grow us and the other person in Christlikeness. Let’s take a look at some of the aspects of this reader’s situation.

Doctrinal clarity on the ministry:
I think the first question on the minds of many of those reading this article is going to be, “What kind of parachurch ministry is this?”. Because, if it’s a ministry that centers around false doctrine or is led by false teachers, that’s your answer right there.

I edited out references to the particular ministry the woman is involved in a) to protect my reader’s anonymity and b) because the reader assures me the issue isn’t the ministry itself, it’s the agenda pushing. I’m very familiar with this specific parachurch ministry. It’s doctrinally sound. The situation would be similar to someone getting very involved in pro-life ministry, for example.

Doctrinal clarity on the behavior:
From what the reader has described in her e-mails, the woman’s behavior, while annoying and possibly concerning, does not sound like it has reached the level of actual sin. The parachurch ministry is doctrinally sound, and she thinks it would be beneficial to her church. She has received approval from church leadership. It doesn’t sound like she’s being deceptive in any way or doing anything the Bible clearly prohibits; she’s just very excited about this ministry and wants others to be as excited and on board as she is. That’s not sin, it’s just off-putting to others who aren’t interested. We need to be clear on the biblical fact that just because somebody does something that aggravates us doesn’t necessarily mean it’s sin. And if it’s not sin, it shouldn’t be treated as though it were. (I’m not saying the reader is doing that, just a general concept all of us should be mindful of.)

Church leadership:
If this woman is bringing in conferences, speakers, and other events that utilize the church facility, she’s not doing it without the approval of the pastor and/or someone in leadership. What that means is, as much as other church members may not like it, the buck stops with the pastor/elders, and they have given their approval to the activities thus far. If they are having a problem with this woman being pushy with them, it is their responsibility as pastors and elders to sit down with her and put a stop to that. If the pastor/elders are aware of, and have a problem with ticket prices, church members doing all the work, and the other problems you mentioned, it is their job to address that. I understand your concerns, dear reader, and having dealt with people like this before, I certainly empathize, but if you insert yourself between this woman and the elders – regarding her pushiness with them or issues it’s their responsibility to address – you run the risk of becoming pushy yourself and stepping in where you don’t belong.

If you think the pastor and elders are unaware of pertinent information regarding this situation, talk to your husband about it, and pray together for wisdom as to if and how you, he, or both of you should approach them with the information, remembering that, as a godly wife, you need to respect and defer to your husband’s decision. If the pastor and elders receive the information and continue to approve the parachurch ministry conferences and activities, then your disagreement is with the pastor and elders, not the woman pushing the agenda.

Body parts:
You’ve asked if it’s OK for a woman to push a ministry agenda in the church. No, it’s not. It’s not OK for men to do so either. First Corinthians 12 compares church members to the various parts of the body. While “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you,'” neither can the hand say to the eye, ear, nose, foot, mouth, etc., “You have to be a hand, just like me.”

It is absolutely fine to be excited about a ministry or a project at church and to invite and encourage people to participate in it, but crossing the line from inviting and encouraging to pressuring and badgering is not appropriate, biblical, or loving. It puts your brothers and sisters in the awkward position of either having to knuckle under and do something they don’t really want to do in order not to hurt your feelings, or having to say no and run the risk of hurting your feelings. It ends up making the decision to serve in a particular ministry all about you, the pushy person, rather than about whether or not God wants that person in that ministry at this time. And not only should we not be basing our decisions about whether or not to serve on pleasing man rather than on pleasing God, it is unloving and unkind to back a brother or sister into a corner, forcing them into a no-win situation. If you love your brothers and sisters in Christ, you’ll want them to serve because they’re convinced God wants them to serve, not because you want them to serve.

Woman to woman:
As far as your personal relationship with this woman goes, it sounds like you have tried to reach out to her and help her, which is commendable. We all have weaknesses, and it sounds like this lady’s weakness might be lack of self-awareness and social skills. Sometimes, no matter how gently and lovingly we approach someone about a personal issue, she will get defensive or avoidant. Maybe she just needs some time to settle down. People rarely stay at fever pitch about something forever.

Is it OK for you to keep your distance from her? Well, I don’t think you need to proactively pursue spending time with her, but I also don’t think you should avoid any of your normal church activities that would bring you into contact with her. And, of course, you should be kind and loving to her when you see her in passing. If she continues to press you about the ministry whenever she sees you, there’s nothing wrong with politely changing the subject or excusing yourself. And if she wants to know what’s going on, just kindly and lovingly be honest with her. For example: “Jane, I’m so glad you’ve found a ministry you’re excited about and enjoy, but it’s just not my cup of tea. Maybe we could talk about other things when we get together?”

Sanctification:
As I said in the beginning of this article, personality conflicts in the church aren’t easy to deal with, but if we submit to God and His Word in the situation, they can be very sanctifying.

When I have to deal with a Christian I find difficult it helps me to remember a few things. First, this is a sister in Christ, made in the image of God. God knit her together in her mother’s womb, breathed the breath of life into her, and bled and died on a cross for her sins just like He did for me. We are all sinners, and we all have various personality issues that sometimes rub others the wrong way. Second, for every one person I run into that bugs me, there are probably a dozen who are bugged by me. I’m not any better than the person I’m dealing with just because I don’t bug people the same way she does. I also try to keep in mind that Jesus had to deal with a lot of difficult people during His earthly ministry. And, while I frequently fail, I do my best to follow His example of how to treat people.

The people we’re in membership with at our local church are our family. Every family has a crazy grandma or a know it all uncle or a cousin who constantly drops the ball. But we don’t just give up on family because they annoy us. Pray – daily and fervently – for those crazy, annoying, frustrating, challenging brothers and sisters at your church. Pray that God will help you love them the way they need to be loved. Consider setting aside some time to just sit and listen to them pour out their hearts. Many people act out simply because they feel invisible, lonely, and unheard. Be patient with them. Be kind. Do something unexpectedly generous and loving for them. Exercise forbearance. Find a way to help. Scripture after Scripture shows us it’s God’s will for us to love the unlovely, just like we want others to love us when we’re unlovely. This is one of the reasons why we’re in the church.


If you have a question about: a Bible passage, an aspect of theology, a current issue in Christianity, or how to biblically handle a family, life, or church situation, comment below (I’ll hold all questions in queue {unpublished} for a future edition of The Mailbag) or send me an e-mail or private message. If your question is chosen for publication, your anonymity will be protected.

Christian women, Church, Southern Baptist/SBC

Throwback Thursday ~ Is the SBC’s Tent Big Enough for ALL Marginalized Christian Women?

Originally published June 22, 2018

It started with Paige Patterson’s gobsmackingly horrible and unbiblical advice to an abused to wife to return to her husband. Then it was the lurid remarks he made about a teenage girl, with which he regaled a congregation during a sermon. Next came the allegations of his mishandling of two separate sexual assault cases at two different seminaries.

In response to all this turmoil, Beth Moore added to the conversation some vague stories of various unnamed men in Christian circles who had, in her perception, condescended to her or otherwise not treated her as an equal, leaving the impression that there is widespread, systemic misogyny within modern evangelicalism. Jen Wilkin, from a more biblical – yet, troublingly, similarly vague – perspective, joined the chorus, and has been afforded a wider audience for the “they can’t be pastors, natch, but we need more women in church leadership” platform she has been advancing for the past several years. (Which leadership positions or roles? We’re still waiting for Jen to specify.)

And the icing on the cake was SBC pastor, Dwight McKissic, publicly declaring that the way to “heal” all of these woes against Christian women and “right historic patterns of wrong against women” is to elect Beth Moore as president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

So this nebulous idea has been introduced that Christian women are getting the short end of the stick across the board in evangelicalism (specifically in the SBC) and that the way to fix things – all the way from genuine abuse and rape on one end of the spectrum to women whose feelings have been hurt because they’re not seen as equal to pastors on the other end – is to make sure, somehow, that women’s voices are heard and validated.

That’s a pretty “big tent” idea. And if it’s going to be a big tent, there’s room under there for everybody, right? To be consistent, compassionate, and fair, wouldn’t these folks have to make space for the voices of, and give influential positions to, any Christian woman who feels she’s been diminished? Let’s find out.

Allow me to introduce you to a group of Christian women who have been silenced and brushed aside for years, often by the very same people who are now hypocritically crying out that women need to be heard in order to keep them from being marginalized.

I give you discerning, doctrinally sound, often Reformed, Christian women.

We are women who have been subjected to insults, and accusations of heresy and hatred of the lost, because we hold to the doctrines of grace. We are women who have been attacked by pastors, pastors’ wives, women’s ministry leaders, and fellow church members for pointing out the false doctrine of popular women’s “Bible” study materials and merely asking to properly be taught the Word of God in our own churches. We are women who have been shouted down or ruled “out of order” at denominational meetings for asking that our Christian retailers stop selling materials containing false teaching. We are women who have been forced out of our own churches for taking a biblical stand against women preaching to, teaching, or exercising authority over men in the church. We are women who have been called haters, legalistic, divisive, threats to unity, jealous, and all other manner of slander simply for holding to Scripture and refusing to budge from it.

All this mistreatment of women at the hands of Christian celebrities, denominational leaders, pastors and other church leadership, and fellow church members.

Do we qualify as marginalized? We’ve been hurt, and in many cases, sinned against outright. No church discipline. No redress or recourse. Nobody wants to make sure we have a voice or a place of power – quite the opposite, in fact. A lot of us saw our own pastors hand-wringingly share Beth Moore’s detailing of her grievances against Christian men even as they pushed us and our biblical concerns aside.

Everybody feels sorry for Beth Moore. Who will cry for us?

We don’t want much, just a return to what’s biblical.

We want sound doctrine in the church and solid preaching in the pulpit.

We want this nonsense about a female SBC President – especially a false teacher like Beth Moore – to stop. Not only is it not biblical, it’s a patronizing toss of a trinket or pat on the head attempting to dry the tears of fussy little girls, and it won’t work to solve any of the real problems that are going on.

We want false doctrine off the shelves of LifeWay, and for LifeWay, the ERLC, and others in leadership to stop organizing and promoting conferences and other events headlined by people they have already been informed (yea, as seminary trained pastors and leaders, should know without having to be told) are false teachers. Among the many things Jen Wilkin has rightly said is that we need to promote biblical and theological literacy among Christian women. When you go on a diet, the first thing you do is go through your kitchen and throw out all the junk food. You’ll never start eating healthy if you have an endless supply of candy bars in the pantry. The only way to begin to properly train women in Scripture and theology  is by “putting off” false doctrine in order to “put on” sound doctrine.

We want LifeWay to demonstrate that it actually cares about the spiritual health of women by putting its money where its mouth is. Ridding the shelves of false doctrine and the event docket of false teachers is going to cost LifeWay a lot of revenue. Women who want their itching ears scratched will quickly find another source of false teaching to pour their cash into. There’s not a lot of money to be made in encouraging women to study straight from their Bibles, sit faithfully under the teaching of a doctrinally sound pastor, and humbly serve the local church. Are Christian women worth it to you, LifeWay?

We want a strong doctrine of sin and church discipline to be understood and taught by our pastors and denominational leaders. The fact of the matter is that a woman who has been genuinely sinned against by a man who has abused her is in a different category from a woman whose feelings are hurt because she’s been told she can’t teach a co-ed adult Sunday School class. The first woman needs compassionate brothers and sisters in Christ to come alongside her and walk with her as God begins to heal her body and her heart. The abuser needs to be prosecuted to the full and appropriate extent of the law as well as to be placed under church discipline. The second woman is either in sin and rebellion (in which case she may need to be placed under church discipline) or she just hasn’t been taught God’s Word properly and someone needs to disciple her in that area. To put these two women underneath the same “big tent” just because they’ve both experienced some sort of hurt diminishes and confuses their situations and the solutions that would be biblically appropriate for each.

We want pastors and leaders to herald, praise, and validate the biblical role of women in the church. Women should not be taught only the things we cannot do in the church, we must also be taught what we must do in the church – what only women are uniquely and ontologically gifted by God to do. Women need to hear – particularly from the mouths of pastors and denominational leaders – the vital necessity of women discipling other women, women training the church’s children in the Scriptures, women serving in hospitality and mercy ministries, women properly using their administrative gifts, and so much more. Train us to teach. Equip us to serve. Encourage us to use our gifts in obedience to Scripture and for the glory of God.

We want men – from the heads of our denominations to the newly saved sinner in the pew – to step up and be godly men. We desperately need you to biblically and fearlessly lead the church. Don’t be afraid to stand up and put your foot down squarely on Scripture. Even if it makes you unpopular. Even if it rocks the boat at church. Even if people leave and never come back. As godly women, we can’t do our job if you’re not doing yours.

So how about it, brothers and sisters who are crying out for Christian women to be heard? Do doctrinally sound women get a seat at the table? Do we get to be heard? Will anything be done to correct the mistreatment we’ve received?

Or are there only certain women you want to hear from? Women who fit the popular social narrative. Women the world and most of the church will applaud you for listening to. Solutions that do more to glorify people than to glorify God.

Just how big is that tent…really?

Mailbag, Politics

The Mailbag: How Should Christians Vote?

Originally published November 5, 2018

Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 3, is election day in the United States. How should Christians vote?

Voting is a privilege, and, for U.S. citizens, a right. I encourage you to use your vote as a godly influence by voting according to biblical principles. My answer to today’s Mailbag question is adapted from my 2008 article, How Should Christians Vote?

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Tomorrow is election day. How can we steward our vote in a godly way?

First things first. Christians, especially Christian women, should vote. Not voting would not only be an insult to the sacrifice of the dedicated men and women who have given their lives in the cause of freedom and suffrage over the years that we might have the luxury of having a voice in our governance, but voting is a gift from God. Should we treat this gift lightly by failing to exercise it?

If you have never had the opportunity to visit a country, such as those in the Middle East, in which basic freedoms and women’s rights are limited if in existence at all, I urge you to do so if at all possible. After I returned to the U.S. from a visit to the Middle East a few years ago, I realized just how much we take for granted what an enormous blessing it is that God has seen fit to place us in a land of liberty, abundance, and opportunity. When I vote, I see it as a way of returning thanks to God for the gift of freedom, and honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to secure our liberties.

For whom should Christians vote? The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10:31 that whatever we do, we should do all things for the glory of God. “Whatever” and “all things” includes voting. Christians should vote for the person they believe will bring the most glory to God. Considering the candidate options with which we’re often presented, this, at times, seems an impossible task.

How do we know which candidate to vote for? Like all other decisions in a Christian’s life, this one should be governed by God’s leading through prayer and Biblical principles. Ask God for wisdom (James 1:5) to make a Godly decision.

Study the candidate’s platform and where he stands on each issue. Is he a proponent of anything that clearly conflicts with Scripture? Would he push to legalize or undergird things God calls sin such as abortion or sexual perversion? Does he support the persecution of Christians – denying us freedom of speech or assembly, and taking away the rights of Christians to run their businesses according to biblical principles?  Can we, as Christians– whose goal in life is supposed to be turning from sin and pursuing holiness – knowingly and intentionally disregard the fact that a candidate would stand in favor of sin rather than fighting against it, and give him our support?

Sometimes we lean towards voting for the candidate who would benefit us the most, personally. Perhaps he has promised a tax cut for our particular bracket, or said he would improve the roads we use for traveling to work. In and of themselves, those are good things, but does his platform also include favoring things which would hurt others or be detrimental to the fabric of our society in general? In other words, should a Christian vote for something or someone who will benefit herself at the expense of harming others?

I don’t believe we can do that and remain true to Biblical principles such as:

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4

Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves. Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good, to his edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; Romans 15:1-3a

The Bible calls us to the mindset and heart attitude of placing others ahead of ourselves, laying down our lives for others, and doing what’s best for others before we consider what’s best for ourselves.

The question of a candidate’s character is another issue for Christians to consider. Some Christians consider sitting out an election or voting for a third party candidate who has little to no chance of being elected because one of the two major candidates stands for ungodly policies while the candidate whose policies more closely align with biblical principles is a person of questionable character.

I completely understand this dilemma, and if you are strongly convicted that you should either not vote, or vote for a third party candidate, then you should certainly not violate your conscience. That being said, your conscience should be molded primarily by Scripture, but also by reasoning. If I might offer a few thoughts for your consideration:

  • Could you possibly cast a ballot for the major candidate of poor character with the perspective that you are not voting for him, but that you are voting against the major candidate with ungodly policies? Or, could you go into the voting booth with the mindset that you are voting for policies, not a person?
  • Voting for a particular candidate does not mean, even in God’s eyes, that you agree with or endorse any sinful actions he has committed in the past in his personal life. You are hiring him to do a (secular) job. If you were interviewing someone to clean your house and you found out that, in the past, she had had an affair and divorced her husband, would hiring her mean that you approve of her past sin?
  • Consider the fact that the “moral” politicians of yesteryear may have been, in actuality, just as immoral as the “immoral” candidate currently on the ballot, but because the media and historians were more discreet and protective of politicians’ privacy back then, you just don’t know about their moral failings. Statistically speaking, the vast majority of politicians are/have been unsaved (just like the vast majority of people, period, are unsaved), and sinners gonna sin, even if you don’t know about it. You will never have the opportunity to vote for someone who isn’t a sinner. Every candidate has sinned in the past and will sin once in office.

As is frequently the case these days, the person we vote for, believing he will make the most Christ-like decisions, loses the election. I don’t know about you, but I’m usually pretty disappointed when this happens.

I try to keep it in perspective, though. It’s within the realm of possibility that the person who won the election will get radically saved after taking office and make even more Godly decisions than the other candidate would have made. It’s also possible that he will unintentionally make the decisions God wants him to make for other reasons, such as political expediency or pleasing a particular special interest group. The Bible says in Proverbs 21:1, “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes.

Not only should we pray before we vote, but we have a Biblical mandate to pray for the winner after the election is over:

First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
I Timothy 2:1-4

Above all, we must remember that, while this election and future elections may determine who will sit in the White House, the Congress, or the State House, they do not, nor will they ever, determine who sits on the throne of the universe as King.

Please steward your vote in a godly way. Research the candidates, the issues, and the Scriptures, and vote for the people and proposals that are most aligned with biblical principles.

Additional Resources

Election 2020 – How Can Christians Vote Biblically? at A Word Fitly Spoken

The Mormon Moment: Can Christians Biblically Vote for a Mormon? (Depending on the candidates in your district, you may find the principles in this article from the 2012 Presidential election to be helpful.)

Does God expect Christians to vote? at Got Questions

Since God is totally sovereign over world leaders and events, why should we vote or be involved in politics? by John MacArthur

Christians and Politics: Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Part 4 by John MacArthur

Principles for Voting by R.C. Sproul

Relatable with Allie Beth Stuckey


If you have a question about: a Bible passage, an aspect of theology, a current issue in Christianity, or how to biblically handle a family, life, or church situation, comment below (I’ll hold all questions in queue {unpublished} for a future edition of The Mailbag) or send me an e-mail or private message. If your question is chosen for publication, your anonymity will be protected.

Holidays (Other), Reformation Day

A RefHERmation Day Study

Reformation Day is Saturday, October 31.

This article is excerpted from my Bible study
Imperishable Beauty: A Study of Biblical Womanhood.

What better way to celebrate Reformation Day and biblical womanhood than to combine the two? Today, we’re going to take a look at some women in Reformation history and in biblical history who exemplified biblical womanhood by influencing others toward godliness.

Choose any of the women below and read their stories (click on their names). Then consider the following questions:

1. In what ways did this woman exemplify biblical womanhood in her culture, context, circumstances, family situation, or church?

2. Which godly character traits or Fruit of the Spirit were especially obvious in her life, words, and actions?

3. Which Scripture passages come to mind as you read this woman’s story? In what ways did she live these Scriptures out (or fail to live them out)?

4. Are there any instances of sin in this woman’s story? If so, how can you learn from what she did wrong and avoid this sin in your own life?

5. How does this woman set a godly example that you can apply to your own life?

6. In what ways did this woman point someone to Jesus, serve the Kingdom, or help God’s people?

Women of the Bible

Esther

Ruth

Abigail

Deborah and Jael

Miriam

Mary

Priscilla

Lydia

Dorcas

Women of the Reformation

Catherine d’Bourbon

Jeanne D’Albret

Marguerite de Navarre

Margarethe Blaurer

Katharina Schutz Zell

Anna Adlischweiler

Anna Reinhard

Katharina von Bora Luther