A New Hero
One of the greatest privileges I had in India was meeting a woman named "A". She is the only female pastor (out of about 25 pastors) who oversee about 3000 believers in the Minjur area of India. It was a privilege to be able to meet her and to be able to preach in her church on Sunday morning.
As the story unfolded, I found out from others that "A" has been arrested before...and no doubt she has had a difficult time being a woman pastor in a society that, as another male pastor jokingly said to me, "has only two castes: Male and Female."
I asked "A" what made her step out 7 years ago to start some churches?
"It was on my heart to do and I could not not do it. I had to do what God had put on my heart."
A didn't tell me this, but my translator interjected, "Yes, Pastor A, has about 600 believers in her church. They meet in multiple locations because there is no place large enough for them all to gather."
Quickly in my mind, I'm doing the math. "There's only 3000 believers among a population of 500,000 - and A pastors 600. That means 1/5 of them are under her shepherding. Wow! Seven years ago she started her church by sharing Jesus - seven years later, she has 600 people - 99% new converts!
Being a woman in ministry myself, and knowing that it is sometimes difficult to navigate and operate in a "married man's" world, I asked A, "How do you keep going in the midst of a culture that doesn't really accept female leadership?"
If she would have asked me this question, I would have given her a piece of my mind - how I'd been wounded, what I'd do differently, etc.
But A only had 2 words for me. She looked up heavenward, raised her right hand and pointed up, "Jesus leads!"
Sermon over...two words that if all of us would take to heart and live by day to day would most likely revolutionize our lives, our ministries and the world.