size doesn't matter

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size doesn't matter

that is all I could think about when I got home from EWL. I am not trying to be funny but it is a little ironic.

no posturing, just support
no status, just understanding
no arrogance, just patience

size didn't matter.

Bryan, and I, (and sometimes Daniel) have been to a bunch of "conferences" through the course of our ministry as a family, and this is the first one that I didn't hear anyone discussing the size of their congregation. At least not as the opening line. Don't you find that funny? Gone was the familiar posturing that happens in the first 30 seconds of meeting someone. That subtle, but oh-so-present tone of competition was missing. In truth, I was really unaware of how much measuring goes on at these things until I witnessed a gathering where there was no yardstick in sight...

What I experienced this past week was totally new. Yes, it was a conference of women, but unlike a women's "retreat". (I've seen a number of those over the years as well, and always dreaded going) this wasn't about women, as much as humanity. Yes the focus was women in leadership, but it lacked the singling out, idol worship, who has-published-the-most-books, who has the latest-coolest-thing, mentality that we are all so used to. The sharing of life stories created a sense of equal footing rather than foster feelings of doubt. The collection of information wasn't about formula, or strategy (which seems to just reinforce the competitive spirit) but was collaborative and supportive. Even celebrative.

Instead of metaphors of war, conquest, or spiritual bottom line (or the dreaded SPORTS metaphor, (if I hear that our spiritual journey is like a baseball diamond one more time I am going to shoot myself!) we spoke of birth and life. Yes, decidedly female, but also common things to all that are human.

If the complete picture of god is both male and female, or in more human terms, man and woman, side by side, then the church has been lopsided for a very long time in terms of leadership. To see the other "half" being brought forth (even in such a small way) gives me hope. I felt honored to having been a part of it, and to feel like I truly have a voice. For myself personally, I have a new sense of myself and my ministry. The gift I found was a network of support. I understand that these are baby steps, but that is o.k. Thanks to the planners for your honest approach, and all your hard work to create an environment that opens so many doors. I can't wait to see what is next.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Blair published on June 5, 2004 9:29 AM.

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