God’s Plan for Women in the Last Days

I have been asked by a Christian university abroad to record five hours of teaching explaining what the Bible says about women preachers and leaders. In the attached series of YouTube videos entitled, “God’s Plan for Women in the Last Days,” I set forth my understanding the biblical basis for this by means of an overview of what the Scriptures say about this subject. Please note that these videos were recorded “live-to-tape.” Although they are unpolished and contain thoughts that I want to develop further, they represent the essence of my thinking this issue.

I received the invitation to undertake this project against the backdrop of my having written my Master’s degree dissertation in a related area. You can click here to read a copy of that online. I feel a sense of calling from the Lord to write a book on this subject that presents a balanced biblical foundation but that also gives practical counsels as a “father in the Lord” to young women who sense God calling them to preaching, teaching, and/or leadership ministry and who do not know how to respond. While other people are very capably tackling these issues within the academic realm, I want to write a popular, but theologically and exegetically sound book that includes sources and documentation, along with suggestions for further reading. Once I am finished, I want to get this translated into as many languages as I can and disseminate it without concern for profitability to as many nations as possible, including inside Iran. That nation now has the fastest growing church in the world and features a very large proportion of women pastors and church planters.

I just finished uploading the first four videos in the series. I also plan to do a fifth video that deals specifically with 1 Timothy 2, 1 Corinthians 14, and Ephesians 5 in the biblical text. I have uploaded these videos without any post-production and/or edits, so if you watch them, you may notice a few times where I mispronounce a biblical name or mistake a Scripture reference, etc., but since this is the kind of thing that can happen in a live classroom presentation, I offer them to you “as is.” I also intend to share these recordings in audio-only format via my podcast. I would love to hear your feedback and suggestions, but please understand that I am unable to invest any time in extended debates about these issues if you happen to hold a position in contrast to my own.

Blow, Spirit, Blow…!

This is a great word from one of my Facebook friends that everyone in spiritual leadership would benefit from reading! Let’s “set our sails,” embrace the sovereignty of the Spirit underscored by our Lord Jesus in His words to Nicodemus in John 3:8, and enjoy the journey into unknown future crafted by an all-knowing God!!

Getting ready to return home today, from an unanticipated ministry trip that required an unanticipated flight booking, resulting in an unanticipated harvest that we could not have foreseen or planned. The wind blows where it wills. Holy Spirit directed and dependent ministry is the only “new normal” that matters. God spoke a stretching word to Lenora and I in February, before all this chaos exploded globally: “be ready to shift into a ministry pattern that looks much more like that modeled by Corrie ten Boom; long range planning for “big” events will not be the priority of the coming season. Go, wherever the Wind may blow”Who knew then it would come so suddenly and so soon. For all my friends in ministry, we were called and created to be Spirit led and Spirit driven; utterly reliant on His voice; yoked to His sudden command. But this is not easy for our highly controlled and efficiently managed Western paradigms. We all need grace for the paradigm shift that is upon us. “The wind blows where it wills; you cannot tell where it comes from and where it is going; So it is with everyone born of the Spirit”You have not been grounded. The wind is blowing. Catch His currents, and experience the harvest and the miracles He is now releasing, neither of which can be contained by the wineskins of our suddenly irrelevant comfort zones. Breath of God…breathe on us. Breath of God…breathe on me

R. K. Brake at https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1972572066207136&id=100003630858208

Define Church – The Day of Pentecost – Mark Brand 05312020

In this livestream recording from Antioch Church in the heart of Downtown Dallas, Texas, Pastor Mark Brand talks about the significance of the Day of Pentecost in a series of messages dealing with the Book of Acts. Find out more at: www.MarkBrand.org / www.TeamAntioch.com. Antioch Church – Helping People Everywhere Know Jesus and Love Others…!

My latest podcast episode

Define Church – Spirit Fullness III – Mark Brand 05242020

In this livestream recording from our Antioch Church campus I talk about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in a series of messages dealing with the Book of Acts.

My latest podcast episode

Define Church – Spirit Fullness II – Mark Brand 05162020

In this livestream recording from Antioch Church, I talk about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in a series of messages dealing with the Book of Acts.

My latest podcast episode

The Value of Trust in Time of Change

This is an excellent, excellent, excellent (did I say that enough to pique your interest?!) audio podcast every leader could benefit from listening to right now.

Mark Labberton (President of Fuller Seminary) and Andy Crouch (past Editor of Christianity Today).

A Word for Leaders in This Season – John Bevere

Earlier this week, John Bevere shared a word with a group of pastors regarding what he believes the Holy Spirit is doing during this season. If you are a spiritual leader serving the Body of Christ in any capacity, I encourage you to take the time to watch this recording of that Zoom video meeting. It will be worth it!

Camera Masterclass – Craig Groeschel

Many of us who are pastors have been thrust overnight into an online streaming environment because of the COVID-19 pandemic. If ministering in front of a camera instead of a live audience is new to you, I urge you to watch this short video by Pastor Craig Groeschel from Life.Church. He shares some simple, yet very effective tips on how to connect with an online audience as a speaker. He does it as effectively as anyone I have ever seen, so this video is well worth your time!

Persecution or Not?

Hearing about pastors being arrested for holding public church services and thereby calling upon their people to disobey shelter at home orders, and reading some of the discourse about persecution vis-à-vis our constitutional right to “the free exercise of religion,” causes me to step back and reflect on things from a broader perspective. One thing that struck me recently is how the attitude of some spiritual leaders today towards government is apparently very different than that manifested by many spiritual leaders during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. Early Pentecostals, for instance, who sometimes experienced harassment at the hands of both local law enforcement and the public at large, apparently saw no contradiction between cancelling large public meetings out of respect to civil authority while also continuing to risk their lives while personally visiting the sick. (See: How Pentecostals Responded to the 1918 “Spanish Influenza” Pandemic.)

Perhaps we place too much unbiblical emphasis today on large gatherings as compared with the biblical narrative? The large crowds we see depicted in the Book of Acts gathered spontaneously with little or no specific effort expended by leaders in pursuit of that goal. The focus of the early church in evangelism was the public square (not large gatherings in religious buildings) and their focus in discipleship was small gatherings (often house-to-house). Having worked with persecuted Christians internationally in various countries for many years, I can personally attest to both their yearning for the freedom to assemble publicly and to the exponential growth of their movement(s) through one-on-one evangelism and small gatherings.

Large church or evangelistic meetings are wonderful and can certainly contribute to ministry momentum (I personally enjoy them a lot!), but if our ministry is built around them or if our ministry cannot function without them or if our ministry cannot survive financially without them, then perhaps we have adopted a paradigm of ministry as normative that while not in contradiction to the Bible is certainly not mandated or promoted by the Bible. While I am cognizant of Romans 13:1-2[1] and Romans 14:4[2], from my perspective it would be one thing to go to jail because I draw a crowd that spontaneously gathers because their hearts are drawn by the Gospel message as I preach on a street corner during an epidemic, but it would be quite another to go to jail because I call my congregants to assemble publicly in a church facility in violation of legally mandated quarantines. Having said all of that, at the end of the day, Romans 14:5 also comes into play: “Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.” (ESV)

[1] “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.” (Romans 13:1–2, ESV)

[2] “Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” (Romans 14:4, ESV)