Ashamed of Gospel


Today, Ann posted a video of her first chapter of the Romans Project. Also as we read the Bible in a Year, Romans chapter 1 was our reading for the day. It’s had my head spinning.

Think on this: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first ad also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith unto faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith” (Romans 1:16&17).

Here’s a confession I had to make out loud. I have been ashamed of the gospel. Embarrassed by my gifting, I’ve held my tongue here in my writing, in one-on-one conversation, and in group settings. I’ve associated some giftings as being only for men and with being on a high horse and with having center stage, but if this is really really about GOSPEL, then no matter what your gift is, you can do it in your smallness, and do it to glorify God, right? I’m little, and this video is of terrible quality, but we Jesus people, we live and we walk by faith.

Here goes – saying it out loud:

Also, see a 2nd video response HERE!

amberhaines
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38 Comments

Dedra
Reply March 1, 2013

Oh my... yes.. and yes... and more please. Confidence in Christ is what we need to walk in every moment. Not for what we receive but for what others receive. Christ in us, the HOPE of Glory. XOXO.

the Blah Blah Blahger
Reply March 1, 2013

You just straight up rocked my world. The end.

Linda
Reply March 1, 2013

Amber - you nailed me on this one. I just wrote to one of the women in our Bible study apologizing for talking too much. I so often feel that way, but there are times my heart begins to race, and I know I have to speak. I had truly never thought of it as a gift. You've given me much to ponder.

    Amber
    Reply March 1, 2013

    Here's what I wonder, Linda. If we begin to call it a gift, instead of an embarrassing whip from the tongue, then I wonder if we'll be more apt to surrender it and ask the Lord what it really is He wants us to do with it.

    Does that make sense?

Sarah Bessey
Reply March 1, 2013

Hell yeah, you're a preacher. How are you just now figuring out what the rest of us have known forever and a day? Isaiah, that's you - poet, preacher, prophet.

Brandee Shafer
Reply March 1, 2013

I spoke at a small women's retreat the past two summers, and woo-ee, it rocked my world a bit. I wouldn't say that I was NERVOUS, per se (have a background in teaching), but teaching Jesus stuff is VERY different from teaching English. I would say that I was extremely overwhelmed. I cried through my talk, last summer, but got the words out. I just kept thinking: if I fall on my face, let me do that for your glory, Lord. As an aside, if you don't believe in spiritual warfare, maybe study that out? Because when you start really living into your gifts, you will absolutely be attacked. I could say more about this but don't really feel comfortable doing so in this forum. Just: get ready.

Amy@PermissiontoPeruse
Reply March 1, 2013

This is so interesting to me because most of my childhood I sat under a female preacher. And yet, I spent my 20's in a Baptist church where it wasn't acceptable to have female preachers. I apologize for talking too much in small group too now. I'll be thinking about this video all weekend. I love your courage admitting this and yes, accept who you are and what God has given you!

SimplyDarlene
Reply March 1, 2013

Miss Amber -
We homeschool our son and (for various reasons that I'm not comfortable going into here), I'm the one who teaches him the Bible. Sometimes I find myself standing up, swinging my arms around, and raising my voice when I do it. It's gotta be the Holy Spirit. And oftentimes, the explanation for the scripture, or the word, rings clear for me, in that very moment. Anyway, sometimes I fancy myself an at-home, behind the sheetrock & curtains sorta preacher gal. But maybe it's just that I'm a vivacious teacher? Either way, I don't think it matters what I call it, just that I do it with Truth, joy, and love!

Blessings.

Airs
Reply March 1, 2013

I was embarrassed my whole life of my gifting, because I had no one to name it and no one to equip me. I still don't think I'm super public about it, but in my church here it's the first time I feel I'm walking in my gifts. I love your call to be unashamed!

Melissa
Reply March 1, 2013

YES. YOU ARE.
I have your first gig booked already. Want to come to Canada in May? Youth and young adult girls. You would knock it out of the park. What a weekend we could have. Come on over will ya? I am not joking.

Georgi
Reply March 1, 2013

I'm currently attending a women's conference at our church called Restoring Eve. It's been awesome! I think we've believed the enemies lies when it comes to our roles in the church. One of the books mentioned was "10 Lies the Church Tells Women", and I'm hoping to read it soon. Anyway, I know what you mean. I get pictures when we pray, and sometimes it's so hard to share - is it me, or is it God? I do think it's a gift, but I've never really shared that I think so with anyone. I usually apologize if I have the courage to share (something like, I got this picture, and I think it means this, but it could just be me and my mind!) - because if I'm wrong and it's me and not God, then, well, that would really be horrible. But I think you're right - I think we need to call it what it is, and give it to Him, and use it how He chooses.

tammy@meadows speak
Reply March 1, 2013

Yes! When we've been set free, we are free indeed. Preach on Sista. I too grew up under this cloud, but the cheesy and true part is when I stepped out from under it, the Son set me free. You are totally affirming the other HALF of the Body {preachers and all}. :) Supa-duppa-luv-this

Tanya Marlow
Reply March 2, 2013

I loved seeing your smile when you said the words, "I love the Bible" and "I love the gospel". That says it all, right there. :-)

Rebekah
Reply March 2, 2013

Amber,
I just posted my video, and then found yours here. I am not ashamed of the gospel, but I am embarrassed of me! I appreciate how you brought out that we are under obligation and we are eager! I don't have to be up in front of people {don't even want to be}, but we get to preach it with our lives and our words. And by His grace, He uses us! I so appreciated your thoughts here as I step out of my comfort zone and post my voice on you-tube so that we may be mutually encouraged.
{I've lurked for a while, but you got me on this one. Nice to meet you!}

    Rebekah
    Reply March 2, 2013

    By the way, I know *exactly* what you mean about nervousness when a woman gives a prayer request.

Pat Aho
Reply March 2, 2013

I was terrified to speak in public but God healed me of that when I stepped out of my comfort zone and volunteered to be committee chair for a local Christian women's retreat. From there I have gone on to do Bible study teaching weekly. I will be the speaker this year at that same Retreat. I am excited to teach the book of Ruth in 5 sessions but WHOA! the prep! God is good. Preach it Amber

Anna
Reply March 3, 2013

1Cor 1:21
God was pleased through the FOOLISHNESS of PREACHING to save those who believed.

Anna
Reply March 3, 2013

1Cor 1:21
God was pleased through the FOOLISHNESS of PREACHING to save those who believed.
Actually all the chapter - v5 in Him in every respect you were enriched, in full power and readiness of speech... AMP

jimmie lee
Reply March 3, 2013

I haven't been reading here long but I could sense your passion for the gospel with in the first few posts i read. I agree about being ashamed of what God has given me. I think often times as Women if we been given a gift of speaking or teaching or preaching, we stifle it because we fooled (i guess) by the idea that only the men can do that. It's time to accept ourselves for who we are, who God says we are and embrace our gifts. Yes Amber! yes!
Thank you for this.

Kim Pope
Reply March 3, 2013

I have been a Precept Bible study leader for 4 1/2 years and it has taken me a long time to get to the point where I feel comfortable calling myself a Bible teacher. In fact, my sweet husband introduces me all the time as an inductive Bible teacher and every time he does I CRINGE because it feels too big for me...like it doesn't fit. More recently though, God has begun answering a dream for me to write. I have had the desire since I was a little girl, but at 44 years old I have finally launched out into that "call" or "gift"...that was even scary to type. But what I really love about this leg of my journey is that every single time I sit to type letters on the screen God meets me right there in that moment and it's Him and me and it's amazing. Thanks so much for sharing, Amber. Love how openly you share your heart. It has inspired me to go for real/genuine/authentic in my own space. To be concerned about my relationship with Him and others more than perfection in my content.

Laura
Reply March 3, 2013

You are such a lovely lady. So nice to see your sweet face and hear that little drawl of yours.

Last year I completed a three year program for Lay Preachers in my denomination. Because we are such a rural area, there is a great need for pulpit fill in many small country churches. I've been privileged to share the Word in a few of these dear places. It's been humbling and lifting and terribly terrifying all at once. I obsess like crazy before-hand (even though I know it's not about me but I want to give Glory--you know?). And then...when I give the message, or when I break the bread while presiding over communion...oh, my, how He is there. I hope it always brings me to my knees this way, Amber. But I want to hear what you are saying with my heart--not despise the gift of it. Thank you.

Lynn Morrissey
Reply March 3, 2013

Amber, this is such a powerful post, and I greatly appreciate your articulating a defense of the Gospel!! It's quite apparent that you are not ashamed and that you have a unique and mighty writing gift. And while I have not heard you speak, other than on this short clip, it is also apparent that you have a wonderful speaking gift as well. Goodness! I would love to sit at your feet and listen to all God has shown you from His Word! I will admit to you that I have attended churches all my life, where men are our only preachers, including my current home church. My parents' last church was pastored by a woman, a very wonderful woman of God at that, and a powerful preacher. I loved her sermons (which she delivered reading nary a note). I know that she loved the Lord and served Him well. She had great compassion and ministered generously to my dying father and also to her little flock of elderly members before she retired. So I will admit to you that I have wondered, when she is obviously so gifted, why it would have been wrong for her to be a preacher. I will also admit to you that I want prayerfully to explore this crucial issue further--not for myself, personally (I am not seeking to preach), but rather, I really long to know God's Biblical will on this tremendously important subject--especially because the topic has come up a lot lately in my church. There is a longstanding tradition in Church history against permitting women to be preachers/pastors (and I'm not just speaking about a denomination or two)....so there must be some reason that this is so and we can't just easily dismiss this history as unimportant without really exploring it. I think it must be weighed very carefully and prayerfully. It's important not to contradict Scripture, and as I have admitted, I simply have not studied this carefully enough to speak intelligently on the subject. So I am not saying at this point what I ultimately believe on the topic. I have wanted to study both sides of this issue for several years, especially because, as I said, our church has grappled with it as part of a demoniation which allows for women preachers, but where our particular church has chosen not to adopt this policy. In our demomination, each church is given the choice. So please hear my heart. I am just not sure. And I truly want to know what is right before the Lord. I would simply say that you are obviously extremely gifted in a number of areas, that you passionately love Jesus, that you take pleasure in His pleasure just as He delights in you, and that you seek to use the gifts He has given you to serve Him and others in His love. I would encourage you to keep seeking His face, godly counsel of pastors (who have both viewpoints), your husband's counsel, and to saturate yourself in God's Word and read godly books that address this criticial "issue" from both sides. Then, before the Lord, make the decision to which you feel He is calling you. I might add that if you don't ultimately feel led to preach, that there are many ways to use your voice for the Lord.....as a teacher (to groups large and small), personal mentor, public keynote speaker, conference/seminar leader, and as a mommy to those beautiful children of yours. I am glad you raised the subject and that you have encouraged us never to be ashamed of the Gospel, and to use the gifts He has given us in the way He wants us to use them! I know He'll lead you!
Love
Lynn

    Amber
    Reply March 9, 2013

    Lynn, I don't know how I didn't see this comment in my inbox before, but I just wanted to say thank you for your heart. I just love everything you've said here, and it echoes so much of what I'm wondering. BUT when I made this video, you know? I wasn't thinking in the realm of pastoring a church at all. I was just talking preaching. Where ever I am called to preach the gospel, I will preach it. As of right now, I am certainly no expert, and I am so grateful for the elders placed in authority over my life.

    I have known some amazing women pastors and I've only dealt with it by thinking, well I hope the Lord never calls me to that, because my family would have a cow. :)

    I'm just so grateful to be able to embrace the gifts God has given me. I'm grateful that you would encourage me in that.

      Lynn Morrissey
      Reply April 11, 2013

      Thank you so much for your gracious comment, Amber. You wrote it just over a month ago, and I had not read it until now.....and really had stopped coming back to this particular post until today, where you left a link to it in your current post. I appreciate your graciousness in not misunderstanding what I was trying to say. When you used the word "preach" as opposed to "teach," it prompted my own wrestling as I grapple to understand where God is leading women. Obviously, I am trying to understand His clear leading on the subject. You obviously are seeking His will prayerfully and honestly. I can't wait to see what He shows you.......and I will now go back and read your post today. Thank you again for your kindness and your heart for the Lord!
      Love
      LYnn

Preston
Reply March 4, 2013

YES. YES. YES. AMEN. YES.

Marie Clement
Reply March 4, 2013

What a blessing and encouragement to hear your words this morning. I have been ashamed, for far too long. There are times I long to speak my thoughts and insights, but fear tells me to shhh...Fear that what I have to say really is nothing and doesn't make sense. Fear that what is on my heart to say is not truly from God. Fear that what is on my heart is "silly" and others, who I feel know so much more than me, will think that as well. God has really been speaking to me and telling me to "go, do and tell". You, Amber, have the gift of preaching! I so love reading what you have to say. Closing my eyes and hearing God speak though you, to lowly me. Thank you for taking this stand, and for opening my eyes so I can no longer be ashamed!

Bethany
Reply March 4, 2013

This is so, so good. Me? I wouldn't touch a pulpit with a 10-foot pole... not because I believe women shouldn't be preachers (in fact, quite the opposite!) but because the more eyes that are on me, the more my soul seems to shrink, and I fumble to speak the things that come easily to me in writing. Preaching isn't my gift. However, I certainly understand what it's like to shy away from claiming my gifting. We as people have so many preconceptions that taint our views of the world and ourselves, which is why I love so much that Jesus consistently dumped preconceptions on their heads and replaced them with grace. Can there be any greater way to spend our lives than living out our divine giftings from that place of topsy-turvy grace?

(Looking forward to hearing--literally!--more from you!)

Rachel
Reply March 5, 2013

Preach, sister, PREACH!

Diana Trautwein
Reply March 5, 2013

From Peter's sermon in Acts 2, quoting the prophet Joel:
“‘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."

GO, girl. Without shame, but always with a sense of wonder, gratitude, humility and Spirit-Power. This preaching business? It lands on you like a garment from heaven and you have no choice but to speak - and to do the good work required to speak well and to speak Truth. May God bless you with confidence and courage as you live out this calling, Amber. GO.

    Donna
    Reply April 9, 2013

    And now it's a month later, and somehow, between the two of you (Amber and Diana) you are both confirming some wonderings and God-nudges that are happening for me... I'm still in the 'but what on earth does all of this MEAN?' stage of the process, but things are shifting and moving within my spirit. Change is happening, and it is good!

Sherry DesJardin
Reply March 6, 2013

Great video! I am in leadership and do get to teach and share on a regular basis. What I feel lacking, however, is mentorship. Without many women who are actually in the pulpit sharing how to traverse the tricky waters of preaching/teaching to an audience of possibly hostile men, it is difficult to press on (Phil 3:14) without the guidance and wisdom of those who have gone before us. Keep on sharing ladies, God has a high calling for us!

Becky
Reply March 6, 2013

TES-TI-FY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, my gravy...YES!
A bit of beautiful I have noticed is that, I often get a word when I am holding The Word, like say, at a Bible Study or in a Community Group. In fact, if I am trying to remember this same tidbit in a later convo, I often cannot express it nearly as well as when I am IN the Holy Spirit moment with the scriptures in hand. That isn't to say He won't shine through later, but He is precious to do so when His book is in front of me. I love that because the confidence I have at that point, is HIS and often the wisdom that ensues is as well. GLORY to GOD!!!

Thanks for sharing this...I too am a closet crier of Christ! May we make HIM famous!

Ashley
Reply March 7, 2013

Can we make an important distinction? Are we talking about "called to preach" in terms of just sharing the gospel verbally in every opportunity? Using our gifts to the fullest? Or are we talking about taking a position of authority and rule in a local church? It is unclear in this video.

My husband is a pastor. He loves to preach the Word of God. If he could spend all his time studying and passionately sharing God's Word, it would be heavenly for him. But the problem is, he is not just "called to preach," he's called to pastor. Pastor a flock. An actual, living, breathing, full of hard-people-to-love flock. He's called to lead, teach, counsel, serve, and love these sheep in his care. Preaching is pleasure, pastoring is hard work. And he will stand accountable for these very real sheep one day, how he led them. It is sweet with bitter and bitter with sweet, and that's how there is grace to continue on. The preaching is reminiscent of John the Baptist, but the pastoring is reminiscent of Jesus and that smelly job of washing feet.

So, I feel like it would be an important distinction to know whether you are feeling called to *just* preach the Word of God or to be in a position of authority in the church. Can you please speak to that?

    Amber
    Reply March 8, 2013

    I just found your comment in the SPAM. So sorry!

    Indeed, I never mention a single thing about leading as a pastor.

    So you think your husband is awesome, huh?

Rhonda Quaney
Reply March 9, 2013

Oh sweet sister! Love this. Love your heart. Love your words. So glad you are responding to what the Spirit is moving in you. And you are beautiful. Inside. Yes. And out.

Blessed by this indeed.

{{hug}}

Jennifer
Reply March 11, 2013

Amber, it was so fun hearing you "live". I just want to saw thank you. I write, too. But I also hear Him speak. It is what gives me words to frame sentences and recognize beauty around me. Through your sharing, so beautifully and generously, I am convicted I need to ask Him about distrust I might have in His words in me--for I think I am reluctant to fully claim the gift He given me and use it to share His truth. It makes me squirm a bit. I hear Him calling me to rise up. Thank you, friend.

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