Holidays (Other)

A Word Fitly Spoken: 11 Ways to Encourage Your Pastor

October is Pastor Appreciation Month, and it’s coming up soon!
Show your pastors some appreciation by encouraging them!

Originally published February 23, 2018

I hope you have the blessing of sitting under good, biblical preaching at your church. I do. I’m always so thankful to hear God’s word beautifully preached in my own church, and I’m thankful for the all of the other godly men out there laboring faithfully each week to proclaim the truth of the gospel to the sheep God has entrusted to them.

Are you thankful for your pastor and a church that rightly handles God’s word? Are you telling anybody you’re thankful? Are you telling your pastor?

The ministry is a tough job, and pastors need all the encouragement they can get. Sometimes it’s the little things you say and do that can be a blessing to your pastor and make his job easier and more joyful. Proverbs 25:11 says:

Here are eleven ways you can encourage your pastor (and don’t forget your associate pastor, minister of music, youth pastor, etc.!)

1.

Pray for your pastor

Some specifics you can pray for:

💭 His wife and children

💭 His stress level, and for peace

💭 His finances and provision

💭 His marriage, and that he will be a good father

💭 That God will grow him in his understanding and handling of Scripture

💭 That God will grow him in discernment, and guard him from being influenced by false teachers/doctrine

💭 That God will protect him from temptation and lead him to repentance when he sins

💭 And here are even more ways to pray for your pastor.

Remember to tell your pastor you’re praying for him, and ask him if there’s anything in particular you can pray for him about.

2.
Show Up

First of all, Scripture says you’re supposed to be a faithful, active member of your local church. Second, it’s very discouraging to pastors when church members who are perfectly able to attend faithfully simply choose to let other, non-essential things take precedence.

3.
Be Present

Pay attention, be engaged, and have a pleasant look on your face during the sermon. If you’ve ever stood in front of a group of people, you know how easy it is to tell who’s “with you” and who’s not. And the more “with yous” there are out there, the more encouraging it is.

4.
A Word of Thanks

Just say thank you. Thank you for being my pastor, for being faithful to the Word, for encouraging me, for working so hard, for studying well…

5.
Submit to His Leadership

Take Hebrews 13:17-18 seriously:


Yes, there are abusive pastors out there. Yes, there are pastors who are flagrantly disobedient to Scripture in their leadership. If that’s your pastor, leave that church and find a pastor you can trust (yes, I know it’s hard), and whose leadership you can submit to. Don’t be the constantly complaining, argumentative, nit picky thorn in your pastor’s side.

6.
Don’t Major on the Minors

If you do need to speak to your pastor about something you disagree with him about, whenever possible, try to make sure it’s a biblical issue rather than an issue of preference, and make sure you do it in love and kindness, not in an attacking way.

7.
Wait, Mr. Postman…

Isn’t it nice to open your mail or e-mail and find something besides bills and bad news? Send your pastor a note, card, or e-mail of encouragement.

8.
C is for Cookie (and Calories)

Think before you bake. When I want to send someone a little token of encouragement, my first instinct is always to bake something. But a lot of pastors, like everyone else these days, are dieting, so use wisdom. Maybe a gift card to his favorite store or restaurant, a book by his favorite author, or a service he needs performed would be better. Here are some more ideas if you want to give your pastor a token of appreciation.

9.
A Word Fitly Spoken

Tell your pastor something you learned from the sermon or how God has been growing you through his preaching. Let him know how your Sunday school class is maturing. Tell him about the good progress that’s being made in the committee you serve on or the ministry you serve in.

10.
Perfect Timing

Do not pull your pastor aside right before the service to discuss anything that could wait until later. He needs to be focused on preaching and worship. And don’t detain him for long after the service, either. He’s probably hungry, tired, has to go to the bathroom, and wants to get home to his family. Make an appointment during the week.

11.
Nobody’s Perfect

Remember that your pastor is human. He’s going to sin. He’s going to get things wrong. Don’t assume he knows why you’re upset with him. Don’t hold a grudge. Extend the same grace you would to anyone else, and forgive.

What are some other ways we can encourage our pastors?

Holidays (Other)

7 Ways to Encourage Your Minister of Music

October is Pastor Appreciation Month, and it’s coming up soon!
Show your minister of music some appreciation by encouraging him.

Originally published November 18, 2014

7 encourage MoM

Numerous articles have been written about how you, as a church member, can be an encouragement to your pastor- how you can constructively praise his sermon, pray for him, get him a great gift for Pastor Appreciation Month, etc. These are good things. Please be sure to support your pastor. Being a pastor is one of the toughest and most thankless jobs out there, and if you’ve read the statistics you know pastors need and deserve all the encouragement they can get.

But the pastor isn’t the only person on your church’s staff who needs your support. So does your minister of music. And, having been married to one for over twenty years, I can tell you there aren’t many articles out there letting you know how church members can encourage their ministers of music. Ready to show some love? Here are seven ways you can be an encouragement to your minister of music.

1. Make practice a priority.

Before you join the choir or praise team or volunteer to play an instrument, find out how much of a time commitment it will be, and consider whether or not you can diligently keep that commitment. Once you’ve joined or volunteered, attend rehearsals, worship services, and performances faithfully, and be sure to arrive on time. You have no idea how much it means to your minister of music that he can count on you.

2. Get to the church on time.

Think about how you would feel if you planned a dinner party, worked hard all week cooking and cleaning, and then one of the couples you invited carelessly showed up halfway through the meal. You’d probably think that was kind of rude and feel somewhat discouraged. That’s sort of the way a minister of music can feel when people (especially the same people every week) habitually arrive late to church for non-emergency reasons. Not only that, but it’s a distraction to others when you come in late, plus you’re missing out on praising God and getting your heart prepared to receive His word during the sermon. Being on time and ready for worship benefits everybody!

3. Sing.

If you were in a meeting at work or in a college class, would you pick up your knitting, clip your nails, walk around the room chatting with friends, or bury your nose in your phone the whole time? Probably not, yet, over the years I have seen church members do all these and more during the music portion of the worship service. It’s disrespectful to the God we’re supposed to be worshiping and to the minister of music who is trying to do the work God has called him to. On the other hand, I love it when we get in the car after church and my husband says, with a smile on his face, “Wow, they were really singing today!” We have an incredible Savior who has given us the privilege of praising Him, so let’s take Him up on it. Sing out! You can worship and be an encourager all at the same time.

4. Smile!

It’s pretty disheartening for a minister of music to stand up front, giving it all he’s got, and then look out over the congregation and see a bunch of people looking like they’d rather be at the dentist. Think about Who you’re singing to and all the reasons why you’re singing to Him, and I challenge you to keep a frown on your face! Just the simple act of smiling while you’re singing will do wonders for your minister of music (and for you!).

5. Think before you complain.

Has your minister of music said or done something that’s clearly a sin or false doctrine? If so, you have a biblical obligation  to go to him -kindly and in love- and talk to him about it directly.

Is your complaint a matter of personal preference- style of music, whether or not he wears a tie, etc.? Give it 24 hours. Does it still seem just as important? Could you possibly be a servant to him (and others in the congregation whose opinion is the opposite of yours) by overlooking an offense and not complaining?

If you do feel the need to voice your concern (and there are valid concerns that aren’t sin-related), approach your minister of music the way you would want to be approached. Instead of, “Turn that dadgum volume DOWN!” how about, “I was wondering if it would be possible to ask the sound tech to lower the volume in the house speakers a little? My baby’s ears are very sensitive and she gets fussy when it’s that loud. I hate missing worship when I have to take her out to the lobby.” Instead of, “Hymns are so boring. I don’t see why we have to sing them half the time,” how about, “I really loved those two worship songs we sang this morning! Do you think we might be able to sing more songs like that soon?” Christ wants us to be kind to one another, so show your minister of music a little “Golden Rule” love.

6. Speak encouraging words often.

It’s been our experience, and seems to be the general consensus among ministers of music, that the most common kind of feedback they get is negative feedback. People are much quicker to complain than affirm. Buck the trend. Did he choose one of your favorite songs for the service? Did a certain song help you to understand one of God’s attributes better? Did the choir do a nice job on their anthem? Are you praying for him? Tell him. He appreciates it more than you know.

7. Show tangible appreciation.

It is amazing what even the smallest gift can do to lift my husband’s spirits. A card of appreciation (I have come across cards that he has saved for years), something related to one of his hobbies, a church member buying him lunch at a fast food place. They might be small items monetarily speaking, but their message is, “I care about you, and I appreciate your hard work.” And that’s priceless.

We have been blessed over the last two decades to serve at several churches that had members who were very good at encouraging their minister of music. Their love and support made my husband’s ministry a joy. What are some ways you can think of to encourage the minister of music at your church and spread that same kind of joy?


This article was originally published at Satisfaction Through Christ.

Holidays (Other), Top 10

Top 10 Ways to Appreciate Your Pastors During Pastor Appreciation Month

October is Pastor Appreciation Month, and it’s coming up soon!
Show your pastors some love, care, and appreciation! 

Originally published October 13, 2017

I’m so glad somebody thought up the idea of Pastor Appreciation Month and made it a thing. If you’ve never been a pastor (or been married to one), it’s difficult to adequately convey just how simultaneously challenging, joyful, devastating, frustrating, and fulfilling it can be. If you have a good pastor, who rightly divides God’s Word and is a man of godly character, you are very blessed. And that goes for your minister of music, associate pastor, youth pastor, etc., too. Be sure you show all of them (there’s nothing worse than being left out while everybody else is being appreciated) your appreciation for their hard work, and your encouragement, support, and love not just during Pastor Appreciation Month, but all year through. Here are ten ways you can do just that.

1. Pray for your pastors.
Time and again, when pastors are surveyed about what their church members can do to bless them the most, the number one answer is, “Pray for me.” Your pastors need you to pray for them personally, in their work, for their marriages and families, and for the health of your church. Pastor Appreciation Month is a perfect time to make a commitment to pray for your pastors on a regular basis. (And don’t forget to periodically tell them you’re praying for them!) Need some suggestions on how to pray? Check out my article Top 10 Ways to Pray for Your Pastor.

2. Words of encouragement
Pastors get a lot of complaints, criticism, and words of discouragement. Brighten your pastor’s day by telling him something specific you learned during the sermon. Tell your minister of music you really enjoyed the choir anthem this morning. Repeat to your youth pastor something positive your child has said about him or the youth group. Drop your pastor a note, e-mail, or social media message of support. Make a point of looking for ways – all year long – that you can offer “a word fitly spoken.”

3. Babysit
If your pastor and his wife have young children, offer to babysit so they can have a date night or go Christmas shopping for the kids. 

4. Gift cards
Perhaps along with the offer to babysit, you could give your pastor and his wife a gift card to a local restaurant. Gift cards to his favorite specialty store (outdoorsman stores, music stores, etc.), a Christian retailer, or one of his favorite online stores (or a more general site like Amazon if you’re not sure of his preferences) make great tokens of appreciation, too.

5. Honorary offerings
Is there a certain missionary or mission project that’s near and dear to your pastor’s heart? A crisis pregnancy center? A church plant he’d like to support? What about donating Gideon Bibles? Put out the word to the congregation, take up a special offering (or simply give as an individual), and make a donation in your pastor’s name.

6. Make sure his needs are met.
Your pastors shouldn’t be living like televangelists, but they shouldn’t be struggling to survive, either. Surprisingly, many people have unbiblical opinions about pastors’ salaries, from the notion that anyone in any kind of ministry should be doing it for free, to the downright evil concept of keeping the pastor near the poverty level to make sure he stays humble (yes, really). The Bible says pastors have a right to make their living from preaching the gospel, and that a workman is worthy of his hire. Check with your church’s finance and/or personnel committee. Is your pastor making an appropriate salary? Are his housing and insurance needs being met? Is he receiving adequate vacation and sick days? If not, see what you can do to help rectify the situation.

7. Conferences
There are lots of fantabulous Christian conferences out there that your pastor would probably love to attend, but it’s not in the church budget and he can’t afford it, personally. Find out his favorite or choose a great one (make sure you vet the speakers first to make sure they’re doctrinally sound), take up a special offering, and send him there, all expenses paid (conference admission and fees, travel, meals, lodging, and some extra “walking around money” for purchasing books, gifts, souvenirs, etc.).

8. Volunteer
One of the things that can be stressful for pastors is empty positions that need godly people to fill them. Volunteer to teach that Sunday School class, play the piano at the nursing home, help chaperone the youth trip, work in the nursery, get trained and run the sound board. Find out where you’re needed at your church and jump in and serve.

9. Help out around the house.
Pastors have those “fix it” needs around the house just like everybody else does. Are you good at repairing cars, fixing roofs, mowing grass, maintaining air conditioning units, cooking meals, or another special skill? Save your pastor some time, money, and effort by putting your experience to work for him at his home. 

10. Set the example of a healthy church member.
What could be more encouraging to a pastor than biblically healthy church members? Study your Bible. Be faithful in your church attendance. Pray for your pastor and the church. Serve where you’re needed. Don’t complain or criticize your pastor and others over petty matters. Avoid controversies and personality conflicts, and be a peacemaker. Walk in humility and selflessness, and give glory to God. Show appreciation for your pastors by setting a godly example for other church members and encouraging them to do the same. 

💥Bonus!💥 Get on social media, e-mail, or the phone and share this article around so your pastors don’t have to!

What are some other good ways we can show appreciation for,
and encourage, our pastors?

Testimony Tuesday, Uncategorized

Testimony Tuesday: An Anonymous Sister’s Story

Anonymous’ Story

I certainly never expected that I would fall into the trap of false teaching. I was raised in a Christian home with loving parents who took me to church, taught me Christian values, and even sacrificed to send me to a Christian school where I learned the Bible and practiced spiritual disciplines daily. I made the decision to follow Christ for myself at age 15 and never really went through the rebellious teenager stage. I have memorized Scripture and would estimate that I know probably 75% of the events that take place in the Bible. I married a Christ-following man after college and have continued to seek after the Lord and attend Bible-believing churches in the years since we have been married. I would have told you that there was no way I could have fallen into deception as far as what the Bible taught! And I would have been very wrong. Let me briefly tell you our story of becoming parents.

I would have told you that there was no way I could have fallen into deception…

My husband and I felt God’s leading to start the process to become foster parents as fresh, young 26-year-olds who had never been in the role of “Mom and Dad” before. We had the willingness to parent kids from hard places, but very little experience.

As we embarked on the journey of being parents to our first little one, we realized that not only did we have an instant toddler, walking, talking, running…(away from us in parking lots), we did not have the bonds that most parents and toddlers have who were biologically stitched together. We were getting a trial-by-fire introduction to parenting, and as most parents do, we needed some wisdom from those who had gone before us.

Through our church and social media pages, we kept hearing about taking classes which help parents raise kids who have come from traumatic situations. We signed up and took a class over the course of six weeks. The classes we attended and books we read were full of good ideas. They equipped us with different strategies to engage children of all ages to exercise self-control and practice calmness and thoughtfulness. The idea was that, over time, greater depths of discipline could be achieved as the child learned to operate inside a foundation built on trust and love for their parents- something that newborn babies all the way up to teenagers may not have experienced in their birth families.

The classes helped us understand brain physiology and develop empathy and compassion for what trauma and abuse can do to a person and how to be more patient in training our children who are in foster care. The classes in and of themselves were helpful and gave us some tools to address the behaviors and needs of our children that we hadn’t considered before.

Since we found the class to be helpful, I began to surround myself with other trauma-focused women through church, friendships, social media, podcasts, etc. I loved my life as a foster mom and was eager to glean wisdom from these older, wiser ladies that had a lot to say about raising children from traumatic situations. This is where the problems began.

These older, “wiser” women, all of whom attended Bible-believing churches, many of whom were even pastors’ wives, never said anything to me about the Bible, other than to tell me that this way of parenting aligned to the Gospel. They never pointed me to the Scriptures or encouraged me to hold my children accountable for their sin. They never reminded me that only God could heal my children from their past abuse. They only pointed me to the “religion” of trauma-based parenting and its ideologies.

They never pointed me to the Scriptures…

Admittedly, I even pushed my husband into these ideologies as we tried to bring a unified approach to parenting in this way, as was the case for most of the couples that I had contact with over the years who were also in these circles. These ideologies were not explicitly taught but were intrinsic to the conversations, the memes, and the discussions on podcasts, social media pages, and during Mom’s Coffee Night. Here are four of the most common ideas that I observed creeping into the minds and hearts of the women involved:

  1. You aren’t modeling God’s love and grace if you are unyielding in your expectations for your child’s behavior.
  2. Kids misbehave because of the trauma they have experienced, and if they could make a better choice, they would. Therefore they don’t because they physiologically can’t.
  3. If you don’t subscribe to and practice nearly everything produced by these parenting programs, you are not helping your child heal from their trauma (and might be making it worse).
  4. You should identify your own “triggers” from childhood that might be causing you to take offense to your child’s wrong behaviors (you may never have known you had any triggers- getting counseling will “reveal” these to you.)

As you can see, these ideas are not without spiritual implications. What started out as the desire to teach and train my children in a way that is conducive to reshaping their past experiences, quickly morphed into an expected lifestyle. Those pushing these ideologies employ a worldview which blames the parents’ hidden character flaws for a child’s misbehavior, places the weight of mental and emotional healing on the parents’ discipline efforts, and absolves kids almost completely of their sin simply because of their circumstances in life.

Though my husband and I didn’t immerse ourselves fully in the practices that these “leaders” were pushing, as we continued to foster and eventually adopt, we regularly felt defeated in our attempts to parent the way we heard others in these circles were parenting. I tried to keep a mental checklist of what to do and what not to do based on the social media posts and heartfelt stories that I saw from those I thought were doing it “the right way.” I berated my husband when he didn’t handle something “right”, and beat myself up and felt like a terrible mother when I reverted back to the “less loving and gracious” way of parenting (which I did regularly).

Our kids didn’t seem to really care about any of the non-punitive consequences that we attempted to enforce, and actually responded better to the way we were told not to parent, though we felt guilty for reverting back into some of these tendencies. We weren’t seeing the results we wanted to and ultimately we felt powerless as parents.

Over the next couple of years, we started seeing that what we had considered to be resources, encouragement, and even discipleship were actually just lies. We unsubscribed from the social media, the podcasts, the church classes, etc. and ultimately unsubscribed our family from the ideologies making us weak, ineffective parents producing weak, excuse-filled children.

We have now been foster and adoptive parents for several years and have had over a dozen children in and out of our home, adopting several of them. Our children are very happy, healthy, and successful at home and school and love the Lord. My husband and I argue less about
the right way to handle something, we are more confident as parents, and we are able to delight in our kids instead of wondering if we’re worsening their trauma.

I am forever thankful to the faithfulness of God to eventually help us see that we had strayed from what He says is the right way to view misbehavior and the discipline of our children. Now, it is my mission to make sure that other moms, whether they are foster and adoptive moms or not, see parenting programs for what they can be: God-given resources to equip us to be godly parents, and what they are never to be: the indoctrination of a different worldview, seeing children as inherently sinless or as a product of their circumstances who want to do the right thing but can’t.

I am forever thankful to the faithfulness of God…

Let me be clear, the reason that I fell into this pattern of wrong thinking was not because I didn’t know that the Bible said anything raising children. It is because I subconsciously did not consider Scripture to be the only valuable resource out there and I mistakenly placed my trust in the advice of women who marketed themselves as Gospel-centered trauma experts. Turns out their approach was very light on the Gospel.

When I started to really believe that Scripture was solely sufficient for all issues in life, I understood that what I had been following were very covert lies. And I began to see everything outside of Scripture as either deception or a resource that is only useful if you are using it within the bounds of what God says in Scripture.

Ladies, if you haven’t recently read 2 Timothy 3, stop right now and go read it. In it, Paul has a lot to say about how people will think and behave in the last days. It warns women to not fall prey to people who “have the appearance of godliness, but deny its power.” It tells us to stay away from those who “creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.” Paul says that people who do this “will not get very far, for their foolishness will be plain to all.”

Second Timothy 3 also calls Christ-followers to “continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” It reminds us that “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

When we are vulnerable to believe anything that we see from leaders that claim to be Christians, without examining what they’re saying against the whole Word of God, we are these weak women. We want what is best for our children, but we are sinful because we are not trusting God with their healing or to guide us to appropriate discipline through the study of His Word and the knowledge He allows us to have through others who have gone before us.

Instead of taking useful strategies, thanking God, and applying them to what He has already told us to do, we are led astray by the leaders who have created entire movements based on a few good principles, turning instead to their social media pages, to their classes and teachings. We feel that we can never know enough about how to help our children because we do not believe that God’s system of discipline and instruction is sufficient. And as a result, our children are also carried away by excuses, in searching for what will make them whole. We have spent our lives looking for the solution to their trauma and as a result we have trained ourselves and our kids that God is not it.

In fact, God is the one who teaches us through His infallible Word that He is the solution for every circumstance that belies us. His Word is helpful for teaching and correcting our kids, for training our entire family in the way of righteousness, and to equip us for every good work, including raising our kids.

Our children can be complete by knowing God, knowing His Word and coming to salvation through Him. Any resources God brings to us from other humans, is simply that. A resource. Not a way of life. Not a worldview. Not a religion.

We have all we need in Christ.


Ladies, God is still at work in the hearts and lives of His people, including yours! Would you like to share a testimony of how God saved you, how He has blessed you, convicted you, taught you something from His Word, brought you out from under false doctrine, placed you in a good church or done something otherwise awesome in your life? Contact me, or comment below. Your testimony can be as brief as a few sentences or as long as 1500 words. Let’s encourage one another with God’s work in our lives!

Testimony Tuesday

Testimony Tuesday: Rachel’s Story

Rachel’s Story

Up until a few months ago, I was a female preacher. I genuinely thought God had called me to this role. I honestly believed it was the office I was destined for and that one day I would be catapulted onto the world stage. It was just a matter of time. However, all that changed when the UK went into lockdown. But allow me to give you some background.

Up until a few months ago, I was a female preacher…

In the summer of 2008, I had the opportunity to help lead a week-long children’s teaching series at a national UK Christian event called New Wine. Our team was working with the Year 6 (Grade 5) age group and I was helping to co-host. I also did several of the talks and I loved it. I came home from that week buzzing. This is it! I could do this forever! Please God, let me! On the back of this, I had opportunities to preach at my church and then in 2015, I was invited to join the Eldership.

In 2017, the church leadership decided that our Summer Series would be a book called Surprise the World! by Michael Frost. This book was about developing a missional lifestyle and was done through the acronym BELLS: Bless Others, Eat Together, Listen to the Spirit, Learn Christ and Sent by God. The ‘Listen to the Spirit’ section was essentially based around the idea of contemplative prayer which involves clearing the mind and waiting on God. I now know this to be a New Age practise because biblical meditation is about filling your mind with the word of God. However, I was ignorant so I went for it.

I sat alone in my friend’s apartment and I met God. Or at least I thought I did. It was an incredible experience. I walked through the doors of God’s throne room and it was so bright. I had my eyes closed but I was still squinting. I ended up sitting on God’s lap, talking to him. When I asked him if he had anything to say to me, he said the following:

“I have made you to be a teacher of My Word. A time is coming when people will want to know what the Bible says and you will be instrumental in that. Your husband will help you in that endeavour. Go home to England and you’ll meet him. You don’t have to worry.”

I was completely blown away by it and for the next three years, I earnestly chased it, sincerely believing that I was obeying a word from God. But what I didn’t do was check it against God’s word as we are commanded to do in Scripture. As far as I was concerned it was God. Why was there any need to check that it was actually him? Plus, I had quite a bit of success. I was given invitations to speak at other local churches and I loved it. In fact, my favourite bit was the praise I got afterwards. That in itself should have raised a red flag but at the time, I was blind.

And then came 2020 and Covid-19.

As with many places around the world, my school mostly shut down, staff were put on a rota and I was working from home for almost 6 months. Alongside working, I began a journey with surprising results. As a vocalist in the worship team at my church, I had regularly listened to a range of artists including Bethel, Elevation and Hillsong. I had heard rumours that these churches had issues but I’d always ignored those because I liked the anthemic songs that stirred my heart.

…what I discovered horrified me.

I finally decided to investigate and it opened up a whole unknown world to me. While I was familiar with the teachings of the Prosperity Gospel and Word of Faith movements, I had never come across the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), and what I discovered horrified me. I could not get over the amount of heresy, blasphemy and Scripture twisting that went on in these churches like Bethel and thanks to the ministries of sound teachers such as Chris Rosebrough, Justin Peters and Costi Hinn, and the excellent work of Melissa Dougherty and Doreen Virtue, my eyes were well and truly opened.

I have always had a deep love of the Bible and it made me sick to hear men and women, who claimed to speaking for God, taking God’s word out of context, misapplying it or completely twisting its meaning. My research became an obsession and it resulted in a dismantling of my faith. At one point I felt like I stood in the middle of a building site surrounded by wreckage and all I had left were the following basic building blocks:

God is sovereign.

Jesus saved me and his blood is enough.

God’s Word is inerrant, infallible and sufficient.

The last one made me pause. If I really believed that, was I being obedient? No. I was a female preacher and God’s word clearly said no.

For years, I had I had always had a niggling doubt in the back of my mind but had ignored it. A friend had tried to show me the Scriptures that forbade my preaching but I just dismissed him (I have now apologised). Finally, I did it. I summoned my courage and sat and watched John MacArthur’s sermon entitled Does the Bible Permit a Woman to Preach? and as I did, each one of my ‘reasons’ were dismantled, through his accurate exegesis of Scripture. Honesty was required. I was sinning.

I had sinned and I needed to repent.

I sat on the floor of my room and sobbed. I was broken and left with no excuses. I had sinned and I needed to repent. I did so and immediately promised God that I would never again speak in front of men in a church service. It wasn’t that I am less capable or less valuable. It simply isn’t my role and I have to honour that. God has set up a beautiful, divine order, and marriage, we are told in Ephesians, is a reflection of Christ and his Church. When women choose to submit to this, we honour Jesus, we honour the men in our lives and we pass the responsibility of godly leadership over to them – which is where it should have been in the first place. I emailed churches I had spoken at and said I wouldn’t be returning unless they were holding women’s or youth events. By God’s grace, there weren’t many to contact! Most responded graciously but where I got negative responses, it was often the male elders who were trying to dissuade me. But over the next few days, God used Scripture and excellent preaching to confirm it was the right thing to do.

But I have truly experienced God’s undeserved favour because since I repented, He has returned to me several things I lost as a result of my sin and I want to share two of them.

I have truly experienced God’s undeserved favour…

When I look back at my journal from 2008, I wrote about how much I wanted a family of my own, a husband and children. During the 12 years I preached, my desire for children hadn’t just dwindled but had been replaced by a deep fear and depression at the thought. In fact, it had grown so much that even looking at a pregnant friend filled me with feelings of disgust and horror. I cannot explain just how strong this was. The moment I repented of preaching, that feeling disappeared. Completely. Since this decision, God has brought a truly wonderful man into my life (and I haven’t suddenly become really broody!), and so when we get married one day, the conversation about having children will now look very different.  

The other thing that has happened is that I am totally at peace and no longer dissatisfied with my life. When I was a preacher, I honestly believed that my job as school teacher was a temporary role until I was released to start a preaching ministry. But chasing that ‘dream’ led to dissatisfaction with God and impatience with Him and His timing. Those have also gone with my repentance. I am now satisfied to spend the rest of my life in obscurity, simply sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and loving the children God sends my way.

This journey has been painful but life-changing. The gospel is simple. Prayer is not complex and is not about demanding anything from God. I have a new fear of the Lord, the kind the Bible describes and it is my trust in the blood of Christ that enables me to approach him in humility and gratitude.

My experience has shown me this: Read His word and obey it as it is. If it rubs you raw, be brave enough to find out why. Be honest and repent. Walk away from your sin and refuse to entertain it any more. No one wants to find out that they are sinful but God is gracious and you will gain far more than you lose.


Ladies, God is still at work in the hearts and lives of His people, including yours! Would you like to share a testimony of how God saved you, how He has blessed you, convicted you, taught you something from His Word, brought you out from under false doctrine, placed you in a good church or done something otherwise awesome in your life? Contact me, or comment below. Your testimony can be as brief as a few sentences or as long as 1500 words. Let’s encourage one another with God’s work in our lives!