Tag Archives: ministry

The Great Equalizer, Illustrated

I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of “equality” lately. You can’t do even a cursory study of the gender debate without running across this word a lot. There are so many arguments about it — what groups are actually equal with each other; what groups need to be; what groups claim to not have equality, but really do; and, “well, what is your group to tell me that my group doesn’t need it anymore?” etc. etc. There are tons of ideas of how to achieve equality, countless articles searching for the cause of its absence, and lots and lots of finger-pointing and/or self-pity regarding those who get the short end of the stick. It is such a dicey subject.

On one hand, I definitely agree with the overall concept of equality. We in the church are supposed to love, honor, and submit to one another in Christ, so we really should not be seeing vast swaths of people who are being systematically oppressed. We need to treat even unbelievers with kindness. Defending the oppressed is biblical, and it’s a great thing.

But on the other hand, it’s hard to justify by the Sermon on the Mount how it’s okay for any of us to stand up and demand our fair and equal rights. Although it’s right for us to be treated well, it’s not our job to fight tooth-and-nail to make sure that happens. The Bible actually seems to assume that we’ll be mistreated (Matt 24:9; John 16:33; 2Cor 4:8-11; 2Tim 3:12; 1Pet 4:12…just to list a few)! And then it tells us to do ridiculous things like turn the other cheek! But shouldn’t we stand up for what’s right?

Holy ideological minefield, Batman! What do we do now?

As I was mulling over this topic the other day, it struck me how I was coming at it from completely the wrong angle. The Bible actually gives us a really clear picture of what Christ-centered equality looks like. And it looks something like this:  Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on June 15, 2010 in Theology, Women in Ministry


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Examining Genesis 1-3

When I began studying the topic of women in ministry (I have so got to find a better way to refer to this topic), I was quite unprepared for how much Genesis 1-3 figured into the discussion. I was expecting to see a lot of argument about Genesis 3:16, but wasn’t the rest of it pretty straightforward?

Evidently not, according to some. This is rather serious, seeing as these chapters are are considered a pivotal foundation for any discussion on gender roles. Raymond Ortlund Jr., a contributor to a leading complimentarian book, said it about as bluntly as one could hope: “As Genesis 1-3 go, so goes the whole Biblical debate.”

Whoa. I guess we’d better take a closer look at these three chapters. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on April 30, 2010 in Bible, Genesis, Women in Ministry


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For now, a question…

I hope to address this in more detail soon, but I figured it would make good food for thought in the meantime.

As I continue to study the topic of women in ministry, I’m continually seeing the complementarian argument appeal to the order of Creation. Adam was created first, and according to the argument, this means he was created with the principle of the firstborn. As the “firstborn”, he thus had unique responsibilities and priveleges. Probably a third to half of the points of contention point back to this argument, saying that we have to ask ourselves the question of why Adam was created first, when God could have easily created man and woman at the same time.

I have several thoughts on that, but it occurred to me the other day that maybe this is asking the wrong question. Should we be asking why God created Adam first, or should we rather ask the question, “Why did God create Adam alone” (especially since He knew that it was “not good”)?

Think about it — I am, and I hope to write more soon.


Posted by on February 3, 2009 in Women in Ministry


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The Post You’ve All Been Waiting For

Okay, maybe not all of you… but The Post Some of You Might Be Kind of Interested In, Assuming You Remembered It’s Coming is a much less compelling title. Anyway. This is the post where I intend to unveil the “mystery study subject” that I’ve been kind of cagey about lately. Drumroll please… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on October 5, 2008 in Bible, Theology


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Reality Check

So, I was working on my newsletter recently (which, by the way, if you would like to receive one of these from me every month or two, fill out the contact form here). I’m preparing my annual onething recap newsletter. Due to the sheer size and busyness of the conference, this always ends up being a four-pager, as opposed to my normal two-page update. This means it requires a little different layout, and my standard features all move around a bit.

So instead of just being able to plug in my normal “About Amanda” section, I had to rewrite it. I figured it was about time. My secondary job titles have morphed a lot since last time I updated that section.

I began writing basics about who I am and what I do. I found myself writing about how I help lead prayer… in the prayer room… and that means all over the internet… and all over global TV…

Yipes. When did that happen?

Okay, so it’s been happening for months now. But still. Sometimes it is so easy to forget what’s really going on. I’m just me. My friends are still just my friends. We still show up to the prayer room from midnight to six a.m. and we pray. Sometimes it feels glorious, sometimes it feels dry. Sometimes we don’t want to leave the prayer room, and sometimes we don’t particularly feel like showing up. But we keep showing up — it’s been more than four years for me and more than eight years for IHOP-KC in general.

At one level, things are very different. There are a ton more people in the NightWatch than there were when I first got here. My Fire in the Night track was the biggest one IHOP-KC had hosted to date… and now it looks laughably small next to the number of folks we’ve got coming now. Oh yeah, and the cameras sprouting out of the walls and ceiling, broadcasting 24/7 prayer across the earth. That’s pretty different too.

Yet really, at the same time, nothing fundamental has changed. We still show up, night and day, rain or shine, and we lift up worship and prayer to the Lord from a little remodeled shopping center in Kansas City. No matter how global we get, the most important audience we have is still the “audience of One”. The Lord’s heart is no more with us than it was when we were a handful of people gathered in a trailer with bubbly green carpet and a rough sound system. Every prayer, every song — eight years worth of it — has carried real weight and import before His throne. He doesn’t take us more seriously now that we have a nice stage and cameras. His affections are no greater towards us now that we have visible momentum. Prayer is still really simple, and God is still really responsive to the cries of those who love Him.

I don’t want to take for granted the ways God has been growing us. What is happening around here is significant, and leading the nations in prayer is an awesome responsibility that I don’t want to approach lightly. But it so encourages my heart to know that, no matter what happens, my mission and my audience never changes. There is only One whose approval I need to seek, and His heart is for me in a massive way from the very beginning.

I love what I do.


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