Lest Confusion Reign
Today, as my husband and I are working side-by-side, we occasionally stop to share our work, our thoughts, and our questions with one another. I know we take this for granted. Yesterday we sat in a room for hours, listening to ourselves and some others do first run-throughs of summer sermons. Later in the day, as we continued to process what we’d written, what feedback we’d received, and what work to do next, I thought about how fortunate we are to share in this work.
When we sought out ministry positions in the same church, we looked forward to days of ministering alongside one another. In many ways, that hasn’t worked out like we thought. My husband does not even go to church with the kids and me. He’s at a different campus several miles away. We don’t get to do church together, and we don’t get to see each other in action. It’s hard, but he loves the work he’s doing there, so I pray it’s worth the cost. It’s much easier now than it was a year ago, and in a couple of years, our son will be able to choose going to church with Daddy or Momma.
So, we don’t get to worship, study the Bible, or work with teenagers together as I’d imagined. But we do get to work on sermons together. That’s pretty cool. Granted, it’s handy to have a walking, talking Bible and Bible commentary as a husband. But it’s more than that. It’s comforting and comfortable to be able to talk through the Bible, its interpretation, its application, and its communication with someone who gets me, my personality, my style, and my audience.
|The Reverends Frame at a wedding we jointly officiated.|
Today, I’m working on plans for the next student ministry program and a summer book club for women at church while he’s prepping for an important leadership meeting and a lecture on the Baptist Controversy of the 1970’s and 80’s. I turn my computer around and get his opinion on which graphic to use for marketing. He reads quotes from Baptist leaders on both sides of the controversy.
The quote that had us cracking up was from the announcement in 1983 when the Southern Baptist Convention decided with 58% of the vote that women would not be ordained or allowed to have authority over a man. This decision was made “lest confusion reign.”
I asked my husband if I confused him. “Every dad’gum day!” he replied.
I guess we women are confusing creatures. Just this morning I went from being a put-together, ready-to-tackle the day working mom to a blubbering mess…all because of one innocuous e-mail. Of course, it wasn’t the e-mail that was the problem. It was the incessant, interrupting, overlapping, agreeing, contradicting, questioning, self-doubting dialogue that the e-mail started in my head. I’m sure that dialogue is confusing to my husband; it’s confusing to me, too—hence the tears!
Do women leaders sometimes cause confusion in the church? Sure.
Do male leaders sometimes cause confusion in the church? Sure.
Shame on us if confusion reigns in the church.
Shame on us if strategic plans reign in the church.
Shame on us if women pastors reign in the church.
Shame on us if male pastors reign in the church.
Shame on us if anyone or anything other than the Lord, the King, reigns on his throne, over his church.