For as long as I can remember, I have been looking for a tribe, a group, a place, from the halls of Jr. high waiting to see if I made the spirit squad to staring at the walls of my public university wondering if anyone else was crazy enough to sign up for that 8AM lecture. I’m well past those moments of wonder but these last few weeks I’ve wrestled, struggled, and prayed through the tension of “Who are my people? Where is my tribe.”
I’ve tasted the goodness and fruit of all God is doing in the SBC, from surrendering my life at the local Girls in Action camp as a young girl to serving women in SBC churches all across the state of Texas, and now Arkansas. The SBC is my tribe and we have so much to be thankful for and proud of.
The legacy of godly women like Lottie Moon and Annie Armstrong are not lost legacies. We have the privilege of standing on the shoulders of some God honoring, people serving, strong hearted women, and as women who love the Church and the Gospel we need to be reminded that we have a place, a voice, a vote.
If you’re a woman in the SBC, I can’t encourage you enough to come, participate, listen and learn. You will get to hear the stories of missionaries both here and abroad that are sharing the Gospel over coffee in countries you’ve never even heard of. You will get to hear about our seminaries that are growing in women’s enrollment as women from all stages of life are taking the charge to learn deep and practical theology. You will also get to see pictures of women tearing down sheet rock for those who lost homes to Hurricane Harvey, and then there’s the women washing clothes and feeding the families of those who were left with nothing by recent tornadoes.
We have so much to celebrate, and as we celebrate we get to be a part of the planning for our future. We get to represent stories of our women from our communities and faith families who are living through the scars of abuse and addiction, who are fighting daily the fears of racial prejudice, and the constant message that they aren’t worthy. We each have a vote in the system, a voice in the motions, and power in our presence.
There have definitely been moments of discouragement and full on grieving over the hurt and pain caused because of the sin that has been brought to light both in our denomination and the planet, but I have also never been more encouraged and hopeful for the future. The voices of fellow brothers in the faith, pastors and denominational leaders who are sharing love, compassion, and support are working hard to bring more and more women to the table. The narrative is changing and leaves me filled with gratitude and motivation to keep going.
So sweet sister, let me encourage you: It isn’t the time to bail or lose hope. It’s time for us to step up, to own our place and to go to work. Change doesn’t come with just talking about the problem, but with a deep commitment to work to see it resolved. We need women who aren’t just willing to shoot out a tweet and point the finger, but who are willing to listen, learn, and leverage their gifts for the betterment of the SBC. It is time to pray, to rally alongside both our brothers and sisters, and to watch God move in ways that only He can as we trust Him to bring freedom and healing not only to our convention, but to the ends of the earth.
The SBC is my tribe and although we have our flaws and most vulnerable shortcomings exposed in the light right now, I have no doubt that God works in the brokenness and humility of his children, both men and women.
I’m a woman and I’m going to the SBC annual meeting in Birmingham to pray, to listen, to speak, to dream. Are you?
Click Here to learn more about being a messenger to the Annual Meeting.
Originally posted on SBC Voices.