Defined by More Than Difference

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I go to a church that I would describe as complementarian and it is not where I thought I would end up. I had talked with the Pastor about women’s roles and he quoted John Piper (and as far as complementarians go, he is not the one to quote) but I visited and was warmly embraced. I visited other churches, longing to find one in the heart and heat of the Midwest that embraced women in all roles. I found them vibrant and alive, but I felt drawn back to the Sunday night church in the basement. Something pulled me in.

As I have been attending, I have meet like-minded women who feel called to this congregation. We worship together, sing together, study God’s Word together, serve together, and pray that God will use us to impact His Kingdom. Something is pulling us in.

My Pastor knows my views differ from his, but he is open to civil and constructive conversations. When a woman who was a new believer in our church asked me about women’s roles, I shared with her my beliefs and some resources, but I also looped my Pastor in. Not because I felt like I needed to, but because I wanted him to know she was asking and that my response was not a divisive act, it was simply an honest answer to an honest question. He thanked me and read through what I sent, noting that he knew my heart on the issue.

When The Junia Project picked up one of my blogs, he congratulated me. On Mother’s Day he quoted one of my blogs in a PowerPoint slide, and thanked me for writing about the calling of mothering even for those without children. He is gracious and wants those under his pastoral care to use their gifts; when women have visions or a Word for the church, he freely encourages them to speak and is grateful for their honesty.

When a guest speaker filled our pulpit and mentioned a Christian theology he did not agree with, that was the moment it hit me – the something pulling me in was the life and unity Pastor Jason preaches. Although we differ, he does not put me or my theology down. My convictions do not scare him, they engage him. He asks great questions that have led to understanding and unity.

I love being a part of this congregation: we love hard, enjoy life together, and desire unity for the Church in Wichita. I may label myself an egalitarian, but that label is not as important as Unified,  which is what continues to draw me back Sunday after Sunday – the unity I see and the unity that is sought.

 

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