At Willow Park, we have been through a long process of deciding whether or not women will be allowed on our Elders board. This discussion has included much prayer, unbiased and well-researched teaching videos presented by Phil, Q and A church meetings, many conversations…all culminating in the church membership making the decision by voting on Sunday.
Complementarian or Egalitarian?
Words that many had not heard or wrestled with until recently.
I had a dream on Saturday night
I was on a hike walking alongside a cliff, on a relatively narrow, rugged pathway. There were lots of us, all heading in the same direction. I was struggling because I dragging a huge suitcase, challenging to navigate and very heavy.
We all reached a point on the walk where we had to step onto a large wooden platform area before climbing over to the next point of the journey. The wooded area was continually moving and difficult to pass, you had to concentrate on being able to get onto the moving platform and then climb over.
Thankfully, Brad (chair of our board) and Phil (pastor) stood at the top of the platform, they were helping everyone up and over. I was struggling, this was impossible with heavy luggage, so I hoisted the case up to Brad and Phil.
As I climbed on, I saw them put my suitcase to one side. It was empty.
Brad looked at me and said, ‘you don’t need that anymore, you can continue without it.’
I woke Sunday morning reassured and encouraged. That whatever the outcome and decision made on the members vote. That the women in our church would be traveling lighter because of it. I was reassured this journey has been a God-given process for this time, for our church, and I knew that God had us here for a purpose to bring us closer to His heart.
A decision was made that all members, male and female, can be nominated to become elders of Willow Park Church.
We took a day off and walked Enderby Cliffs. 14 km of cliff edge walking while praying for our church. We thanked God that we have been able to offer answers to occasional questions of fallout and possible division. We have responded that we believe our church is healthy, that the heart of people is unity, and we will continue to walk well together with our different opinions and thoughts.
Because the main thing is the main thing: Jesus. Salvation. His presence. Transformation.
The climb up the cliff was hard today. But alongside the increased heart rate and occasional trip-ups – we stopped and took in the views, the wildflowers, the beauty.
And enjoyed the reward of a spacious place.
Then I found the platform that I’d seen in my dream, but this time it wasn’t unstable or moving, but steady.
We journey on – focused, lighter, anticipating all that God has for us.
Thank you for your grace, Willow Park Church – well done.
Love, Michelle xo
Ps. All pics from our hike today 🙂