Last week I attended a conference at which J. Lee Grady was the main guest speaker. My friend, Pat, and my daughter, Kris, were with me. Each of us was blessed and encouraged in an extraordinary way.
Grady is the editor of Charisma magazine, the author of "Ten Lies the Church Tells Women" and an advocate for women. I told him he is one of my heroes, because he took a stand which cost him friends, income, readers and platforms in the Evangelical church world. But he did it because God directed him to.
I'm still processing some of the things that happened to me last week. Some make me rejoice, some make me sad or angry, and some make me a bit afraid of how I might get "stretched" in the future. I may share some things later, as they become more clear to me.
It truly was a conference where the presence of God was with us. I've never experienced anything like it. At one point it was like a blanket whcih enveloped the whole congregation. We just sat in silence.
But I can tell you that it was a JOY to my heart to see Lee Grady interact with women. I know some wonderful men of God, but I don't think I've ever sensed the kind of respect and positive regard that just seems to exude from this man. He is down-to-earth, real, approachable, funny, and he is compleltely free and unselfconscious. And he is a champion for women in a way I cannot even describe.
He is an exuberant worshipper, very "charismatic" in style, and very prophetic (I was amazed) but he also was very frank about the abuses he is seeing in the church, both the Pentecostal/Charismatic folks and others. He travels a great deal and sees much.
While he expressed dismay and concern, he also had this to say about the direction he believes God is taking the Church:
1. From superstardom to servanthood (Glory be to God!)
2. From buildings to the organic Church
3. From pulpit to people
4. From racism to reconcilliation
5. From male-domintaed to egalitarian
6. From hidden sin to healthy holiness
7. From human ability to supernatural power
8. From excapism to conquest
9. From wimps to warriors
May it be so, Lord!
He told me I was a warrior for God. :-)