However, the New Testament Hebrew writer, androcentrically and dismissively, fails to honor her leadership or mentorship on the honor roll of faith in Hebrews Deborah, however, pays tribute to Barak and Jabin in her victory song Judg. She is believed to have been a preacher and schooler of women who stood in the company of other great prophetesses.
She and Jeremiah were kinsfolk and divided prophetic functions between them, Jeremiah preaching to the men and Huldah to the women. She was likely sought over Jeremiah for her expertise rather than her gender. Jesus granted Mary a space among his male disciples. Cornelis Bennema holds a different opinion of Mary. He typecasts her tears as emotional and characterizes her as having a lack of faith. He forgets that Jesus wept when he saw Mary weeping; and curiously even though Jesus shows such great emotion, Bennema does not consider him overly emotional or weak. Armed with this knowledge, I propose that through the model, women must apply scriptural interpretation and experience to gain the benefits of mentoring within their culture to build confidence and inclusivity.
African American women must counter harmful adaptations by integrating their womanist voices, experiences, and exegetical skills and applying them to the text in order to interpret the scripture theologically. Renita Weems purports that the womanist finds her voice in the Bible and with respect to the marginalized and oppressed, much like the African American male. In this step, I examined several business mentoring models used for new employees, students, administrators and youth that could be adapted for use in women in ministry mentoring models.
If applied to the Women in Ministry in the AME Central Conference, women would automatically not be invested because women do not pastor the top 20 percent of the churches and therefore do not get most of the face time with senior leadership. Women, by most standards, would automatically be left behind and not be considered for mentee opportunities. However, the mere fact that God placed them into ministry indicates that God has already determined their capacities. However, Dennis J. Unquestionably, ethical issues must also be addressed when instituting mentorship models in a ministerial context.
Even though the above ethical problems are not the usual characteristics of ministers, dysfunctional situations can unconsciously emerge in a ministerial context that will damage the core commitments, values, and goals of a mentor-mentee relationship. These scenarios could be avoided by assigning a mentoring coordinator to perform periodic evaluations and act as a resource for keeping mentors and mentees focused. In the model, I provided a list of A to Z guiding principles for the Women in Ministry mentorship, drawing from the biblical and business model lessons.
The curriculum includes biblical women studies, mentoring training, pairing techniques, and periodic evaluation forms. The mentoring team participants were selected by their tenure and position within the church, the potential to impact many female clergy, positive attitude, diverse achievements, theological training, and willingness. One ordained nondenominational female minister with eighteen years of experience in ministry participated in the survey in a separate trial run of the curriculum to serve as a control. Her responses were consistent with the AME women responses.
The team participated in a seven-week curriculum trial run by teleconferences and with YouTube lectures featuring the biblical and business models prepared by the facilitator. They were also involved in prayer, free discussions and class activities. The YouTube lectures were provided in advance of each of the following series:. During the first series, the facilitator provided names of several women in scripture and asked the participants if they knew of them, preached about them, or have heard sermons preached which included the women.
Through their verbal responses, the participants expressed their own infrequencies and those of others in preaching sermons featuring biblical women characters or doing extensive exegesis of the women. At the end of the last series, each team member completed an evaluation and agreed to implement the curriculum for a period of one year with regular check-ins with the facilitator. The evaluation feedback would suggest that the model will be successful when fully implemented within the Church. Some of the responses were:.
The AME Women in Ministry coordinators will begin to conduct training and the work of pairing mentors with mentees. The mentoring team functions are shown below:.
Within the year, the model will be presented to the Bishop, the local AME Women in Ministry, and the Board of Examiners for formal acceptance of the curriculum and future implementation. The organization is shown below:. By this, we will see a strengthening of the Church. Even though the AME Church will likely continue ordaining women, without programmatic mentoring many will continue to be idle or provide their valuable gifts in other venues that will gladly embrace them. The gifts which God has given to the Church would then not be fully realized.
Mentorship is not just meant to meet a quota, but to put forth qualified women for the strengthening of the entire church body. More African American female biblical interpreters and proclaimers, in particular, and other biblical scholars of various races and gender are needed to restore the voices of women in scriptures beyond an androcentric and privileged set of lenses.
Seattle: Crisp Publications, Incorporated, , 3. Brent Strawn, all my outstanding instructors within the Emory Doctor of Ministry Program, and the mentoring team curriculum trial run participants Presiding Elder Joyce J. Moore, Presiding Elder Valerie J. Walker, Rev. Bettye Watson, Rev. Kimberly Stockton, and Rev. Johanna James. God is the helper of Israel. And when we hear that God is the helper of Israel, we never think that God is inferior to Israel.
Desmond Alexander and David W. David Noel Freedman, Allen C. Her influence can be seen in the reforms by Josiah prior to the discovery of the scroll in the temple.
Ecclesiastical Mentors for Women In Ministry – Candler Doctor of Ministry Projects
For the work of Ballou and Gabalac, see Mary B. Ballou and Nancy W. Vashti M. Cleveland: Pilgrim Press, , —, Kindle. Blount, Can I Get a Witness? Carolyn, this is wonderful! I would imagine that this will be a great tool for bringing more women into leadership in the AME. He will be given the key to the bottomless bit. How did these demons end up in the pit? In Revelation an angel of God releases four demonic angels that have been bound by the River Euphrates. They go on to kill one third of mankind.
They must be some powerful dark angels. Who bound them? And how have they been bound? Who cast that spirit into hell? I believe these demons were thrown to the bottomless pit first by Jesus and then by His disciples, and then by us. Satan himself has an exception clause from this early judgment given to him by God Himself.
It is noteworthy that according to the Bible he never was the most powerful of angels; he only got the rebellion up and running through deception. If he was a cherub, then he would have been lower in rank than the archangels. Paul said, "Do you not know that we shall judge angels? On surface, 2 Peter seems to contradict this: "For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment.
This is the only occurrence of this expression or reference to Tartarus in the Bible. In Greek mythology, Tartarus was both a deity and a place in the underworld. But while Hades was the place for the dead, Tartarus was the place where the enemies of Greek gods were sent. Later on, it became a place for punishment. Tartarus was used as a prison for the worst of villains but not all villains ended up there. This fits the biblical image of some fallen angels roaming the earth and some being bound in chains.
Now, I want you to consider this. How would God who is just bring punishment to the spiritual forces that caused man to fall? First He did it through Jesus and then through the disciples and now through us. Jesus had the power to throw demons into the abyss through the Holy Spirit. So have we. Jesus said to Peter,. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
Read in context, it seems clear that Jesus has delegated to the Church His authority to bind the powers of Satan on earth and to set people free from the bondage to him. This is spiritual authority that can be used against demonic principalities. We can see this principle clearly in Paul's theology.
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Therefore He says: 'When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men. He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things. And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers The Book of Ephesians is all about the authority that Jesus has given to His Church, and these verses give theological justification for the work of the Body of Christ on earth. Because Jesus has descended before He has ascended, He fills all, and He is able to give gifts to all men.
The fivefold ministry is one of the gifts that He has given to the Church, as it releases spiritual authority into the Body of Christ. As a side note, we must say that this doesn't lead to any level of submission to the fivefold ministry at all, as the task of the fivefold ministry is to teach the Body of Christ to operate in this spiritual authority, which effectively means releasing Christians rather than asking them to submit to anyone else but Jesus.
So, the Body of Christ doesn't need the spiritual authority of the fivefold ministry: what they need is the spiritual authority of Christ. In Ephesians Paul says: "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
What is this wrestling but a close combat against demonic forces: a battle where one party will end up on top and the other defeated? And this is a real and not imaginary battle in which the gift of discerning spirits plays a vital part. For how will you even know where the enemy is if you can't discern it?
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The only way to overcome in the wrestling match against an invisible enemy is to use the gift that makes the invisible enemy visible. And this gift is the gift of discerning spirits.
He also became demon-possessed during his criminal career. Writing the book with him took me to two years of experiencing the power of hell, as to write for two hours I had to pray for two hours - every day for two years. It was two years of extreme intimidation and Poltergeist phenomena. During that time I saw many strange things manifested in the physical world, things which are impossible to explain through science. It was during this time that I began to weaponise the gift of discerning spirits in a more serious manner, simply because that was the only way to survive spiritually and mentally.
How does weaponising the gift work? When Jesus casts out demons He names the spirit by their specific manifestation. When he casts out a mute or deaf spirit, these spirits haven't caused physical deafness or muteness as sickness, it is only that muteness and deafness were the manifestations or side products of demon possession.
It is important to understand that these sicknesses aren't physical states and not to confuse demon possession with sickness. Most times Jesus simply seemed to know what kind of spirit He was dealing with, but in the case of the man possessed by a legion of demons He asks for their name. This is probably because the demonic horde created a cacophony of spiritual 'noise', and there was no clear impression of what He was dealing with.
In this instance only Jesus asks for the demons' name, but in all cases He seems to know what kinds of spirits He is dealing with. When I operate in the gift of discerning spirits, I am able to 'scan' the spiritual environment of situations, relations, people, projects and so on. It gives you accurate information about what kind of spiritual oppression or disturbance you are dealing with. If I am full of the Holy Spirit I will probably sense the spiritual forces more as force fields that I can simply push away.
If I am feeling spiritually weak, I will probably feel the depression or fear that a demonic spirit carries; if my spiritual discernment level is even lower, I will probably be bombarded by the negative thoughts and ideas that these demonic beings emanate. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. We can see this principle still at work in our life: it is through the way we define things that we perceive them and order them. Through naming things we take control over them. Part of the gift of discerning spirits is the ability to name the spirits that you are dealing with.
The devil is hiding behind deception, and the gift of discerning spirits attacks that deception revealing what demonic forces are operating behind deception. That discerning consumes an enormous amount of power. In one sense, the battle is over the revelation, for the moment we can see we can be freed from oppression.
We can see this in the Book of Daniel 9 where Daniel had to wage spiritual warfare for 21 days before he could see. Often, the moment of revelation is also the moment of liberation, as God's revelation carries enormous power. Put simply, weaponising the gift of discerning spirits consists of naming what you perceive and asking that demonic power to leave: whether they leave to another country or hell might make us very little difference: the important thing is that these forces are cast out.
But this can't be done methodically but in the power of the Holy Spirit. But over the last ten years I have done this a lot, but never without the prompting of the Holy Spirit. And it has helped me out of impossible-looking situations and demonic traps. If you want to know how this can operate in a longer period rather than an instant, please read this true story about a magician in the mirror.
It is noteworthy that we see very little of casting out demons in the Old Testament, but the New Testament stories are full of them. This is because of the finished work of Jesus. And sometimes we need to weaponise the gift of discerning spirits to achieve that. In Matthew Jesus tells the twelve apostles: "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons.
Freely you have received, freely give. But the Body of Christ as a whole has definitely been called to do this. But it is noteworthy that what we know about wrestling with principalities and demons comes mostly from the prophets in the Old Testament and apostles in the New Testament. I wish I could write about this in greater detail, but it is not useful. For unless the Holy Spirit Himself guides you in this war, trying to wage it will only lead to destruction. For this is not a method that you can apply but a life filled with the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.
It is good to conclude with the words from Jude "But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries. Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, 'The Lord rebuke you! Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. It is good to remember that this can also apply to our spiritual weapons: "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.
For example, if you are ministering prophetically, there will always be a large number of people who come forward to be prayed for. You will not have met any of these people before. I use the gift to discern their spiritual state. Sometimes, I can discern that people are lying to me; at other times I can discern a sin in their lives. I rarely tell them what I am seeing. Instead, I use what I discern as a material for diagnostic, direct, but non-condemning questions, no matter what the issue.
The gift of discerning spirits is not a gift of exposing people, but a gift for helping them to be set free. It is fine and advisable to take your time. Ministering in the gift of discerning spirits can sometimes feel like stepping from a room full of light into a dark room. It takes a bit of time for your eyes to adjust, but soon you will begin to see the contents of the room.
This will only bring people under condemnation. So, you should almost never proclaim to the person you are ministering to exactly what you see. Instead, you can use what you see as material for questions.
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The devil is a liar, and often the enemy will seek to dictate the way you will minister by releasing deception, fear or uncomfortable emotions. Instead, observe the person, the disturbance, and the flow of the Holy Spirit within you. You need to be aware of all three. It is not your job to react to whatever the enemy is doing, but to submit to the work of the Holy Spirit in you. The presence of God is there within you to protect you and to guide you to all truth.