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As I interview women in ministry, it seems like God sends me just the right people to deal with my own frailties and difficulties and heart issues. The process has made me a better student as I sit at the feet of the women I interview. I picture my posture as similar to the way Mary sat at Jesus’ feet as she learned from Him. Here are some snapshots of what I’m learning on this journey of writing about women in ministry:

From Jeanne, I learned that ministry organizations can vary widely from local churches in the approved roles they hold for women. After being sent out to teach, be prepared to move forward with a different agenda than what you were first told to expect.

From Lacey, I learned that you might be barred at any time from speaking due to one man’s vocal thoughts on the issue. Seek approved ways to minister instead of giving up your call.

From De’an, I learned that God gifts some women with singleness and a strong independence so that they can serve in cross-cultural settings that would be inappropriate or more dangerous for men.

From Linda, I learned that God’s call to a particular ministry may be far ahead of one’s local church’s willingness to support a woman in a ministry role. Prayer, perseverance, pertinent questions, and a cheerful attitude are keys to overcoming reluctance.

From Carolynn, I learned that the very people who vote against one’s ordination could be the very people you’re called to serve with grace and persistence.

From Kelsey, I learned that, at times, both men and women in the church can wound you so deeply that God releases you from your call for a time and gives you a different way to minister.

For all of you who have answered the Lord’s call, you continue to inspire me and let me know that my work is not in vain. Thank you for entrusting me with your stories.

*Women’s names are not their own and may be different from the ones ultimately chosen for use in the book.