By Angela Craig

people saying

Last week on Facebook, I noticed 139 people had something to say about you. It started with a question from Dr. Beth Grant…

Question asked by Dr. Beth Grant (March 15, 2016):

Women minister friends, what is your best advice for younger women called to ministry? (One sentence please!) I’ll be with many younger women within the next couple months and would love to share your wisdom. Thanks so much!

Maybe when you read Dr. Grant’s question, you immediately disqualified yourself for the advice people would give. Maybe because of age or because you don’t feel called to ministry leadership.

I would argue that each piece of encouragement below was written specifically FOR YOU. Regardless of your age, gender, race, or ethnicity, you were chosen by God before the foundation of the earth for a purpose. You were created for relationship with God and others. It doesn’t matter whether you lead from a stage, in a church, the workplace, or across a kitchen table, God created you to be an influencer for His good in this world.

Friends, it is time to step forward and walk in the calling God has put on your heart. Today, is a great day to do that! Email me at angelac@northwestministry.com if your answer is YES!

#LiveFearless #HerVoice #PermissionGrantedbyGod

1. Rebecca Oblak: Know exactly who God made you to be and always remember that.
2. Becky Pucher: Practice His presence daily.
3. Jannifer McKee: Sabbath, sabbath, sabbath!
4. Emily Barney: Don’t feel like you have to justify/defend the call, just live it!
5. Kathy Paul: Jesus chose to use a woman to proclaim His resurrection to His disciples – follow your calling.
6. Blaine and Heather Lee: God chose you because you are you, don’t doubt that.
7. Kristina Torbett: Let your children also be seen as your ministry, rather than a hindrance to it.
8. Raylene Hargis: Be who God called you to be. Not what others want or think you should be.
9. Sandra Fowler: Never doubt in the dark what God spoke to you in the light!
10. Shannon Leaf-Lemen: Pursue your relationship with Jesus beyond your vocational role.
11. Yoriko Yabuki: God provide everything for you. Do not be afraid to move toward bigger dream which seems impossible, but trust and believe in Him and do what you can do for God’s people. You will reap from what you planted in faith!
12. Darlene Mack Seger: Trust God to lead you where he may and have the courage to follow Him.
13. Susanne Cox: Start every day in the Word then go share the LOVE!!
14. Amy Sue Anderson: A very wise woman named Beth Grant once said to a group of European campus missionaries, “The call of God is not a question of gender.” That’s been my favorite thing to share with my female students ever since.
15. Angelia Crane: Live in the season God has called you to. Do not try to live in a different season from the past or in the future. Keep your eyes on your own lane and your own season.
16. Angie Grant: Be yourself!
17. Melissa Chappel: Be REAL with others.
18. Vicki Judd: Follow your call, but don’t let your call become your cause.
19. Lillie Fj Pearce: Show your Concern for The Younger Generation & Be Yourself!
20. Melanie Lee Griffin: Be genuine & stay in your lane….#itsagreatride
21. Becky L Kenyon: Always pray that you will be an asset to your husband’s ministry – a partnership serving together.
22. Judy Seastedt Danielson: Keep your calling always in sight–don’t be sidetracked–taken off course.
23. Karen Goshinmon: Always remember your calling, when “life” wants to steer you away from it.
24. Debbie Fulthorp: It’s okay to be vulnerable and not have all the answers.
25. Tammie Gonzalez: Be true to who you are and don’t change to make others happy.
26. Kathy Kerfoot Cannon: The only other person whose life yours needs to resemble is Jesus.
27. Abby Blankenship Sterling: Forgive.
28. Angela Coon: Remember you are unique – one of a kind; so compare yourself to no one while being true to your divine design.
29. Tracy Menoudakos Fulford: Be authentically you, love and collaborate well, and stay balanced. (I missed too many family events and important moments due to the busyness of ministry. At the end of your life, family is usually all you have. Cherish them.) Ok, I went over my allotted one sentence, but I had to explain the last part. Love you, Dr. Beth!
30. Brandy Reynolds: I would say to remember that no matter where or to whom you feel called-your main calling is to bring glory to God. If we hold so tightly to a desired goal or location, we make it more difficult for ourselves to follow God when He calls us outside the limits we have set for our calling. Ministry doesn’t always look like how we think it will- but God will always find a way to reassure you that He is indeed leading you still.
31. Estelle Suhasini Daniel: My thoughts Auntie Beth: Be slow to anger, quick to forgive and remember He’s still working on us…Oh yes and quick to apologize as well…
32. Ashley Hawks-VanEst: Keep your eyes on Jesus and do everything unto Him.
33. Saehee H. Duran: Dream big and allow God to do the impossible through you!
34. Lisa Wilkinson: Your gender does not define your calling…God alone does.
35. Bendangmenla Cunningham: Women with passion for God’s heart, Seeking the presence of God through every situation, compassionate enough where there is hurt, courageous enough to serve the Lord, faith that will move ever stronghold and cross over barricades in Jesus name, A Spirit that is engraved by the Holy Spirit at the inner soul level that comes only by seeking His face moment by moment!
36. Darlene Rossi: Don’t forget who you do it for!!
37. Sheree Moon: Besides the most important of seeking His anointing, is to go ahead and walk through all the steps to Ordination in a timely manner. It qualifies you to serve in various capacities in the districts and national that need the balance of Godly women’s voices.
38. Phil-Phyllis Pincosy : Wow! This is amazing. Don’t allow closed doors to make you balky or bitter.
39. Lisa Glass Zimdars: Speak distinctly. Your higher voice is harder to decipher. Don’t artificially “lower” your voice. Just speak slowly and clearly. Say every consonant. Get feedback from an older friend as to whether or not you are understandable on a mic. Everything God calls you to say is important, so work on that process!
40. AnnaLee Conti: Grow in Grace not perfectionism.
41. Joni L. Middleton: Spend time with “elder” ministry women (those with decades of experience) and listen to their stories.
42. Levoy Dewey: Not original, but good: “Before they CARE how much you KNOW; they must KNOW how much you CARE.
43. Heidi Jo Ness Darrin: Be flexible as you trust God with the journey He has given to you because there will be twists we humanly do not except. His ways and His timings are perfect.
44. Mrinalini Shinde: Don’t wait to start. Do all you can with all that is in your hand at that time. All the while studying praying sharpening your skills & remaining sensitive to the voice of God leading you to opportunities He will open as you remain faithful in stewarding your gifts & abilities. We all are called to serve.
45. B.Kay Smith-Jones: Don’t wait for an opportunity, look around for the opportunities that already exist on street corners, in homeless shelters, in Sunday School classes, etc.. For many years I waited on God to open doors to “big things”, then I realized He was waiting on me to look for the doors that were already open and walk through them. Sometimes we miss the most beautiful experiences waiting on something “big” or “great” to happen. I believe that to God everything you do in His name with a pure heart is something big. He spoke to me one time and said, “Some people win thousands at one time and some people win thousands one at a time, both win thousands!” Serve Him wherever you are with your whole heart and love God & people extravagantly, in doing that you have gained the heart of Heaven.
46. Shirley Childers: My mother was a minister in a time when many did not accept women in the pulpit. She always said to “believe the One who called you”
47. Brenda L. Burns: Cultivate kindness. This helps weed out actions that grow into regrets.
48. Vicki Farina: You are never more like Jesus than when you are in the process of forgiving Buy the book by R T Kendal Titled God Meant It For Good and read it yearly.
49. Sarah C. Blackstone: Rest in our faithful Lord’s leading and presence throughout the changing seasons of life and ministry.
50. Linda Pope Forsee: There’s only one God, and it’s not me (nor my spouse)! Allow God to use you as you go about your daily life, doing as He (and only he) directs you. Don’t allow others to condemn you where God has not convicted you. Prioritize!!!!
51. Yapanginla Ozukum: Women after God’s own heart (everything will full in line, with such heart)
52. Rose Marie Cox: Don’t neglect your own devotional life smile.
53. Cindi Boston: Do whatever it takes to clearly hear God’s voice and direction. His ways are higher.
54. Jeri Lynn: Don’t compare your beginning with someone else’s middle or finishing. I would say don’t compare at all.
55. Judy DeLo Kennedy: Be authentic!
56. Sharen Long: Develop an intimate prayer life and Bible study discipline; Jesus will carry you, encourage you, and empower you through your very personal calling.
57. Lori Hildreth Hawkins: Surround yourself with people who truly have your heart, not just your back.
58. Belinda Stipp Sikes: Don’t live under anyone’s shadow — that smothers your very life; live under the shadow of the cross and the shadow of the Almighty where there is life, freedom and safety to be who you’re called to be.
59. Sherri Foarde: Stay in love with Jesus, spending time with Him. Practice listening to Him. Learn about the prophetic in 1 Cor. 14:31 and speak life into others. Remember that people want to know: “Does He see me?” and “Does He love me?”
60. Dolly Jernigan Know the heart & will of God through prayer & Bible Study.
61. Amy David: Find like-minded women to be vulnerable with, to support each other, help one another, be accountable and to be understood and always be vulnerable with God since his help is better than anyone else’s!
62. Judy Popineau Wick: Seek out an older woman to disciple you – while you in turn disciple a younger woman.
63. Jodi Detrick: Jesus, the origin of your calling, is for you…He really is, so just keep saying one more yes to Him. (So love, respect, and appreciate you, Beth.)
64. Gerad-Melanie Strong: Give yourself some grace too!
65. Mandy Bristol-Leverett: I’m not sure which ones will be covered by the time this thread is finished. Here are some off the top of my head. I hope at least one will be helpfully unique.
Kim Sharp: Your long term fruit is not based on what people see, it’s based on what they don’t see…in the secret place.
66. Abigail Graham Cyr: Follow Jesus’ rhythms of work and rest. There will always be more work to be done, but to think we are indispensable and can’t stop to rest is nearsighted. Establish a weekly rest, setting boundaries, and simply experiencing His love; then work out of that grace-filled place of rest (instead of resting in the shadow of exhaustion from work).
67. Joyce Druart: Don’t count the cost, value the honor to be His ambassador.
68. Nita Wenrich Belles: Develop a tough skin and learn to land in the arms of Jesus, not everyone will have His heart and love you like He does.
69. Pamela Pryor Berkowitz: You do not need a male to validate your calling to ministry.
70. Angela Daniel: The trick to staying out of “the fish bowl” and off of a pedestal, is being real and authentic. And always love Jesus with all your heart!
71. Carolyn Dorsey: There’s always more to learn if you’re willing.
72. Darla Betzer: No one’s voice is more important than Gods voice in your life.
73. Bri Blakney: It is your job to prepare, and it is God’s job to position you.
74. Renae Northrop Terry: If your plate is so full that stuff is falling off, then there are things on there that YOU put there, not God…for He only gives us a perfectly balanced diet for life!
75. Sarah Jump: Age doesn’t make us wiser or more holy, experience does not make us better; throwing off the sin that so easily entangles us and running the race marked before us day in and day out with everything on the altar is what will make us great women of God.
76. Jenny Clauson Duncan: Read the Word, speak the Word, pray the Word, live the Word. Be filled with the Spirit, be led by the Spirit, keep in Step with the Spirit.
77. Leila Nayeem Ojala: Spend whatever time necessary to become firmly, immeasurably rooted in Covenant identity, and then God can trust you with Kingdom fruitfulness beyond anything you can imagine.
78. Nancy Horn Raatz: If you are a young mom in ministry, remember your children too. They can go with you in ministry, but there may be seasons they need more of you and you need less of ministry. Balance.
79. Daphne Norwood: Humble yourself before the lord and he will lift you up
80. Sue Gerrity: Be real, stay humble. Never give the impression that you have all the answers and never forget you need God’s grace just as much as those you minister to. Never judge how another Christian is dealing with their life circumstances but come beside them and help ease their load.
81. Rachel Grams Schaible: Love God, love people and don’t do anything stupid.
82. Chris Tina Wal Ent: Be authentic, obey God, laugh a lot and enjoy every season of life and ministry.
83. Lanette Henderson: Make sure that your trust in God is secure . Don’t keep options open- close all doors. Listen to him and Trust his leading at all times. Keep that trust pure.
84. Donna Grant Wilcox: Romans 11:29 “God’s gifts and call are irrevocable ” He will never call without equipping His children! Don’t allow anyone or anything to stand in the way of doing what He has called you to do!!!
85. Karen Prevost: The Lord is more concerned about who you are than what you do. Allow Him to mold your character to become more like Jesus.
86. Ruth Hasselgren: Don’t fight for positions – walk faithfully in your calling, rooted in a deep transparent intimate relationship with God – and let the fruit of your ministry speak for you!
87. Beth Ann Grimes-Arp: Know who has called you, and go forth with confidence.
88. Marigold Cheshier: Surrender to those that are in authority over you–they are your covering and stay the course–God has called you and He it is that will make a way for that calling.
89. Melodie Joice: Remember who you are in Christ.
90. Jackie JN: Remember the Lord wants them whole and saved more than I do, he knows what they need- trust and follow His lead. Be obedient, take no credit. Trust the Lord always and always stand in hope.
91. Corky Warwick: Dont depend on anyone except god for direction of when , who and why but listen carefully to all advice and take it to the lord
92. Petra Pihlajamaa: I am no more I full time ministry, but one of the most important “rules of life” for me was: “My ministry is FOR the Gospel, and not against something/someone.” (=Keep focused on your calling, or even more so, the One who called you, and do not engage in idle arguments and defending your right to minister.)
93. Fredda Alston: Love all people and do not pre-judge them
94. Katherine Sobey Kaminer: John 15:16 You did not choose Me, Jesus says, but I chose you and appointed, ordained, set apart YOU to do what I want YOU to do. What others may think or say must not turn us from our love, trust, and obedience to the Lord of the Harvest. He needs every son AND daughter to be filled with His Spirit and walking in His will.
95. Anita L Koeshall: Strive for excellence in your knowledge of the Word (learn Greek and Hebrew if possible) and stay close to the Lord.
96. Kristen Bowers Miller: God could’ve picked anyone, but He chose you. You are enough.
97. Sandy Barner: Know that YOU ARE VALUABLE, and what you do for God is important, no matter if you feel like you’ve failed or not.
98. Bec Cranford: Pray for your enemies, and your friendemies, and mostly your eneministries.
99. Peggy Belanger: Above are important things. I’d add- Listen, listen to God, listen to people. Don’t assume you understand, or plan your answer while they talk, listen and care.
100. Elizabeth Wolfe: Love the Word. Learn the Word. It is the only Book inspired by the Holy Spirit, alive, active and sharp; able to give Life to you and those you are disciplining. Remain teachable, always, and learn to wield the Sword well.
101. Kate Callahan Gordon: Love God, love people, love yourself.
102. Candace Woodroof: Priorities: love God, family and serve others from an overflow
103. Janet Peak Roberts: Be an imitator of the Word and be encouraged from those who have paved the way. Hold on, don’t let go.
104. Jenni Sherwood: Be brave, bold, daring, willing to be different, to go against the tide, to stir things up, to be feisty and to never allow what others say you should do be the last word….. Break the “rules” break the mold of what your ministry “should ” look like!
105. Monique Lodewijckx: Trust in the Lord Almighty and do not lean on your own understanding.
106. Natalia Guerreiro: Not by might nor by power, but by His spirit.
107. Heather Rogero: Who you are becoming and being in solitude with God that is the real ministry beyond anything you can “do” for God. Ministry is about living with awareness of his presence and taking him to others and seeing his image in all.
108. Janice Lambert: Jesus loves me, this I know
109. Sue Duffield: Be mentored, so you in time can mentor.
110. Polly Brown: Don’t compare yourself to others, but be confident in your own God-given talents and abilities and know He is using you in ways that He can’t use others.
111. Mary Purkey: Learn the art of delegation. It will be your saving grace. Don’t try to do everything by yourself!
112. Elaine Damron: Opposition doesn’t mean you made a mistake or you are wrong; seek the Lord, and follow Him!
113. Darlene Beem Betzer: It is out of (as the source of all ministry) His saving Life within you that all true ministry of the Holy Spirit results, so keep First Love passionately thriving for His results always, in all places, at all times, in every way!
114. Velvet Sommer: God didn’t get it wrong no matter what comes – hold onto the garment of your unique and precious calling – He chose you!
115. Perry-Grace Fong: Answer the call while you can give it all-don’t wait! (Family comes with many responsibilities)
116. Roberta Sasscer: Always keep learning, in all things. Be flexible.
117. Wendy Mitchell Brown: Find your voice; craft it, then use it.
118. Wendy Mitchell Brown: Be proactive about inviting other women in ministry you can meet with on a regular basis to encourage and strengthen one another.
119. Kathy Harris: Let life experience make you better not bitter.
120. Sara Best: Serve where you are wholeheartedly without wondering about all the “what if’s”.
121. Myrna Austring Petersen: Bloom where you are planted!
122. Nilima George: In young age women can serve God with full strength
123. Cathy Mechlin: Remember it is God who calls you – You are “sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead” Gal. 1:1
124. Deanna Doss Shrodes: At some point you will have to do what other people who have gone before tell you can’t be done (or maybe what they feel shouldn’t be done) to accomplish something groundbreaking.
125. Peggy Musgrove: Shakespeare said: “This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.” I like to paraphrase him by saying, “This above all: to your own calling be true, And it must follow, as night the day, that God will open surprising doors of ministry to you. You never need to be someone other than who you are in Him.”
126. Angela Craig: Don Ross tells the women of our Network: If you are waiting for the permission of a man, you already have it-His name is Jesus Christ! If God has called you, get to work! {Author’s emphasis}
127. Christine Carter: Be flexible to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
128. Belkis Garcia Lehmann: You only have one Lord who you need to please, his name is Jesus Remind yourself of this often.
129. Sherry Konczak: My Pastor’s wife always says, “Do it Afraid.” It doesn’t matter how crazy the thing God called you to do is, all that matters is your obedience to Him, He gets the glory in the end!
130. Perla Juarez: Don’t compete with other women. (Or men) encourage one another humbly through scripture and be genuinely joyful of what the Lord is doing in the life of other people. (That comes with prayer) smile emoticon
131. Asha Mondal: be teachable u will learn a lot more.
132. Sydney Morrow: Don’t ever forget where you came from! My advice to keep yourself grounded that you have never arrived or anything but for the grace and mercy of Jesus!
133. Sandi Lanes: Be secure in your calling, know the culture where God calls you to minister, and use wisdom & flexibility.
134. Jeff Francis: I’m not a female leader but I’m a father of 4 girls. My advice: The road will be hard. It’s worth it. Rather than making a ministry position or ministry “success” your goal, make it your goal to love Jesus more and be faithful to him.
135. Mark Dalene Good: Excel in forgiveness.
136. Shirley Childers: My mother was a minister in a time when many did not accept women in the pulpit. She always said to “believe the One who called you”
137. Brenda L. Burns: Cultivate kindness. This helps weed out actions that grow into regrets.
138. Vicki Farina: You are never more like Jesus than when you are in the process of forgiving Buy the book by R T Kendal Titled God Meant It For Good and read it yearly.
139. Sarah C. Blackstone: Rest in our faithful Lord’s leading and presence throughout the changing seasons of life and ministry.

Closing note from Dr. Beth Grant (March 16, 2016):

Friends, I was overwhelmed by your outpouring of wisdom in the past 24 hours for younger women called to ministry. Just reading as you responded was so inspiring and made me want to say, “Yes, Lord!” all over again! Thank you so much for sharing out of your life journey in following Jesus’ call. I will pass it on!

 

IMG_8145 squareI am a wife, a mom, a daughter, a friend, a writer, a minister, a coach, a social justice and non-profit junkie. Not necessarily always in that order. In my role as Director of the Women’s Department at the Northwest Ministry Network, I get to do what I like to do best: create, teach, write, and learn through others. I am also passionate about helping people discover and live out a passion and purpose filled life in my role as a certified Coach and President of the Give Good Awards Foundation. Devoted to helping others reach their fullest potential in life and leadership, Angela has authored two books, The Story of Leah: When life is not what you expected it to be and Pivot Leadership: Small Steps – Big Change (in stores July 14th). You can read her weekly blog encouragements and leadership tips on angelalcraig.com and on www.hervoiceblog.us, a blog specifically designed for women in leadership.


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