Both Men and Women - An article on "Spirit-filled Believers" from Jo Anne Lyon

In the tour of a church in Ft. Worth, Texas that has set the pace for planting churches and reaching the world in the most difficult places my eyes fell on a painting hanging in the hallway. I was captured by what appeared to be the backs of a crowd of people shrouded in grey. However, there was one person in red. The pastor explained: this represents a woman who pastors a church of 100,000 – yes, I did not add a zero – in North Vietnam. The artist depicted her among the crowds of people who do not know Jesus as the one who is “covered by the blood.”

I stood before that painting with eyes filled with tears. The courage of this woman to proclaim the gospel in a place of persecution! The faith of this woman to know Jesus and the power of the resurrection! The obvious attraction and hope of Jesus through her!

I then reflected on the thousands of women who are church planters in China, many between the ages of 18-24 with some 30 million followers. Again, the courage, faith and power of the Holy Spirit make this possible.

I was again drawn to the words of Joel which were preached by Peter at Pentecost:

“In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy” (Acts 2:17-18 NIV).

God is calling women to the ministry in unprecedented numbers these days, both those in college and seminaries as well as second-career women. Whether they are in North Vietnam and China, or Virginia and Canada, I believe a new Pentecost is rising with them.