Sweet Sacrifices: The Challenges Of A Woman In Ministry -- By: Jani Ortlund

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 14:1 (Spring 2009)
Article: Sweet Sacrifices: The Challenges Of A Woman In Ministry
Author: Jani Ortlund


Sweet Sacrifices:
The Challenges Of A Woman In Ministry

Jani Ortlund

Nashville, Tennessee

Editor’s Note: This essay was a message originally delivered September 30, 2008, at an event sponsored by the Pendergraph Women’s Ministry of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

It is not easy to be a woman in ministry today, but when has it been? From Old Testament times when Abram communicated to Sarai God’s command to leave their home and family, to the New Testament efforts of Timothy’s grandmother and mother to train up in the Holy Scriptures this young pastor in the making, to whatever God has uniquely designed and called you to do in his kingdom advancement program, women have wondered out loud, “This is hard—much harder than I figured on. I wonder if I have what it takes.”

Some of you may be married to seminary students. Some of you may be wives of men in ministry. Or you may be a student yourself. But we all have one thing in common—our femininity. I want to encourage you in your unique role as a woman. God made you a woman, and he delights in the varied and mysterious ways that your femininity reveals the image of God displayed for the world to see.

Think with me of all that God has done to bring you to this very moment in your life. God, in eternity past, chose you to be an active soldier in his mighty rescue operation for this needy world. The Bible says that long ago, before the very foundation of the world, God thought you up and chose you for his very own (Eph 1:4). Long ago, before you were even born, God formed and numbered the days of your life (Ps 139:16). Long ago God planned the path for your very own personal race in life (Heb 12:1). Long ago God decided and prepared good works that you would walk in (Eph 2:10). And then He stepped into time and made you in secret, knitting you together in your mother’s womb (Ps 139:13,15) and brought you forth into his world and introduced himself to you with irresistible beauty and set you on this pilgrimage toward heaven, which we know as life. Learn to see the big picture of God’s eternal purposes. Your calling as a woman deeply involved in ministry is a vital part of God’s eternal plan.

I want to encourage you to ponder the sacrifices God is asking of you as a woman in ministry. Let’s look at three particular challenges: your reputation, your romance, and your redemption.

Risking Your Reputation

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