Page 12 of 13

Luz Saavedra

Luz Saavedra sensed the call of God on her life when she was just 15 years old. “I could see clearly the moment God called me to the ministry,” she says. In that moment she was overwhelmed by the great need for workers in God’s kingdom and committed to being one of them.

Saavedra was not raised in a Christian home but asked Jesus into her heart on a visit to her grandmother’s at the age of 11. A few years later, after dedicating herself to serving God, she began to prepare for ministry by attending a local bible school in Monterey, Mexico. Her plan to work full time for God was delayed by marriage and starting a family, but in 1979 at age 22 she took on her first pastorate as an ordained Assemblies of God minister in Chihuahua, Mexico.

“We were there for about eight or nine years,” she says, “and God moved in extraordinary ways.”

But it was also hard because the people were needy and the church was not growing as Saavedra hoped it would. Finally she flew to Las Vegas to stay with a family she knew there and seek God about her situation. As the plane was descending, she heard His voice in her heart saying, “This is the city where you will lift up My work.”

In 1996, she and her family returned to Las Vegas to start a church. They began in a home with just a few relatives but quickly added to their numbers through cell groups. “From the beginning it was difficult – without friends, without knowing the city, without work, without the language, without the help of any organization,” Saavedra says.

Yet today, Centro Evangelistico Palabra Viva is one of the largest Hispanic Churches in Nevada, with 1,300 members and 910 cell groups. Senior pastor Saavedra recently completed the purchase of a multi-million-dollar complex to further expand the church’s influence. Her goal is to bring not just revival but also reformation to a place known as “Sin City” and “The Entertainment Capital of the World”

Luz Saavedra is senior pastor
of Centro Evangelistico
Palabra Viva
Las Vegas, NV read more

Barbara Wentroble

What’s the most encouraging sign you see regarding women in church leadership?

“I think people today are hungry. I believe that they’re seeing God do some things through women, and they can’t deny the power of God that’s there. They can’t deny the results. … I think because they are seeing that, they’re having to say, ‘Hey, we need to take another look at these Scriptures and what they really mean.’”

What was the largest obstacle you personally faced in becoming a woman leader?

“Well I think that the largest, greatest thing that I had to deal with early on was what I called the fear of man. That doesn’t mean male gender. I’m talking [about] people. I didn’t really know that that was the problem. All I knew was that I couldn’t speak to many people without my voice just shutting down.

“I was in a meeting a few years after I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and I heard Joy Dawson, and she made a statement that changed my life. She said, ‘You will never walk in the fear of the Lord until you deal with the fear of man in your life.’ Well, for the first time in my life it was like I knew what I had, it was called the fear of man. I remember just falling on my face crying to the Lord for hours on end, ‘Lord set me free of the fear of man, I want the fear of the Lord in my life.’

“And so God just began to do some things. So every time I’d get ready to speak to a few people … I would hear the Holy Spirit say to me, ‘Barbara, is this the fear of man or is this the fear of the Lord?’

I had to make a choice, and I would say, ‘Lord, with everything in me I choose the fear of the Lord. If I fall on my face, make a fool of myself trying to please You, I’m willing to do it.’ Because so many times we want to be perfect and we want to look perfect. And I knew I had to be willing to be a failure in front of everyone if I was trying to please God.

“So I would just say, ‘I choose the fear of the Lord.’ The more I did that the less hold that other had. It didn’t go away overnight, but it did go away. Today I never even think about it. In fact people say I’m one of the boldest people around. So that was a hindrance in my life.”

Barbara Wentroble is founder
International Breakthrough Ministries
Web site
Phone: (972) 870-0208
Fax: (972) 753-0208 read more

Beverly Crawford

What do you see as the biggest continuing barrier to women moving into church leadership?”

“I think the barrier is still tradition. But I think also we [women] could be part of the problem by not allowing God to move us in His timing, by us not being mature enough.

“I talk to and mentor a lot of women. They go to seminary and they get a degree. And they think that it’s [the seminary] that anoints you. You are no more anointed when you get that degree than when you went.

“I think that the discouragement is that they tell women ‘to prepare.’ We prepare ourselves--there are more women in seminary than there are men. [So] women are becoming more prepared, just in terms of studies. But that doesn’t mean you are anointed to do what you are stepping out there to do.”

What advice would you give to a woman being called into full-time ministry?

“The first advice I would give a young lady is. ‘Seek the face of God. Spend time in prayer. Spend time in the Word of God. If God leads you to go to Bible school, you should go.’

“Apostolic ministry is really for mature leaders. And so therefore, I think that young women need to start out first of all by learning how to serve, loving to serve.

“Allow the Holy Spirit to begin to teach, lead, direct and groom them over a period of time. I think the first thing is for them to have a very wonderful, intimate relationship with the Lord. Because that is the only basis through which you can build a ministry without getting into … emotions, popularity and adorations.

Beverly Crawford is founder and senior pastor
Bible Enrichment Fellowship International Church
Inglewood, CA
Web site
Phone: (310) 330-4700 read more

Marilyn Hickey

What do you see that seems to hold women back?

“Well, I think often family. Their husband may not be in favor of it or [he may be] competitive. I think that can be a big problem that has to be settled. The family issue has to be settled.

“[But] if God has called you … it’s not your problem. It’s His problem. And that’s what the Lord said to me at the very beginning when I was called.

“I said, ‘Lord, women don’t preach. They don’t like women.’ [And] the Lord said to me, ‘That is not your problem; that is mine. Your problem is your faith in Me.’

“Family issues have to be settled, that’s for sure. But if God has called you, He’s going to make a way.”

Do you see many younger women being raised up?

“Yes. Yes. And I think it’s very exciting--and it’s their season too. And that’s delightful to us. … I know when I was in Bahrain there was a woman there from Nigeria. She is a princess from some tribe. Her first name is Helen. She is being mightily used as a prophetess with healing.

“I see women all over the world. I see women in Pakistan, and Pakistan is not a country that is open to women particularly, but God is opening doors to them.”

Marilyn Hickey is founding pastor,
with her husband, Wally,
of Orchard Road Christian Center
near Denver
Founder and president
of Marilyn Hickey Ministries
Web site
Phone: (303) 770-0400
Fax: (303) 770-2752 read more

Pat Francis

What is the most encouraging sign you see regarding women in church leadership?

“I see that God is raising up powerful women who are entrepreneurs, powerful women who are now in politics--because it’s being recognized that women do have a brain too and they do have leadership skills--and powerful women in the church of Jesus Christ.

“God is bringing back, in the last days, the Genesis mandate [men and women working together]. Adam and Eve lived to be a blessing; Abraham and Sarah lived to be a blessing; Isaac and Rebecca. You cannot do it without the women. You cannot reproduce without the women.”

What do you think is the biggest barrier that still exists to women in church leadership?

“The biggest barrier is ignorance. That’s the biggest barrier. It’s just ignorance, plain ignorance. Because it’s so simple, I’ve never had it as an issue in my life.

“There’s nothing to discuss. You can’t argue fruit. It’s like me going to an apple tree and trying to force it to believe that it’s a mango. It will never believe that. So if women don’t believe that they are blessed, then … [but] nobody can unbless whom God blesses.

“To me its just ignorance. And then God came down, and He had to repeat it over and over again in the book of Acts Chapter 2, ‘My women and men will prophesy.’ Men and women. He keeps repeating men and women, men and women, men and women. ‘Men and women filled with the Holy Spirit, these signs shall follow them. They shall prophesy, they shall see visions, they shall dream dreams, both men and women.’

“So I really don’t know if it’s a language barrier. It’s so simple. It’s obvious. It’s really obvious there, so it’s repeated. It started in Genesis, repeated throughout the Bible, reaffirmed again in the book of Acts that when the last days outpouring comes, it will be both men and women, old and young, that are going to be empowered to be a fruit of the Holy Spirit working in their lives.”

What was your biggest personal barrier?

“[Men] would say things like, ‘Well, you know she’s not even from Bible school,’ ‘Who’s this woman?’ … ‘She’s not trained.’

Pat Francis is senior pastor and founder
of Kingdom Covenant Center
Ontario, Canada
Web site
Phone: 1-877-668-5433 ex.2216 or 2234

  read more

Kimberly Daniels

How did you begin your full time ministry?

“God spoke to me. I was saved in Germany--I was saved overseas. I started a Bible study [and taught it] for years. Then God spoke to me to come back home and start a center for girls on drugs.

“The center for girls on drugs turned into a church because I couldn’t [find a church that would accept them]. I was taking them to churches that didn’t understand them. Some of them didn’t have clothes. Some of them had just come in the night before. So, I never planned on pastoring, and the Lord said, ‘You pastor them,’ and out of that drug center came a church.”

What’s the most encouraging sign you see regarding women in church leadership?

“The most encouraging sign is that there seems to be a working knowledge that … God is using women in the last days.

“I think God is using women to the point where they cannot be denied. Some people have a problem with it, but there’s nothing they can do about it.”

Do you see any younger women being raised up in church leadership?

“Younger women? To be honest I don’t see it churchwide. I know in my church I’m raising up younger women. I have younger women that walk in power--to preach, to intercede. The younger women in my church walk in more power than I walk in, and that’s the truth. It’s just that people know me and don’t know them.”

Kimberly Daniels is founder and senior pastor
of Spoken Word Ministries
Jacksonville, Fl
Web site
Phone: 904-358-5001 read more

Barbara Yoder

Did you feel that God specifically spoke to you to continue the church after your husband passed away?

“I never had a question. It was very interesting, and at times it was very difficult. Sunday after Sunday I would be in tears in my office saying, ‘How am I going to preach?’

“[But] I never missed one Sunday, the year after he died, for a whole year. The only Sunday I didn’t preach was the first Sunday after he died. Bishop Bill Hammond was there, and he preached that service because he was there for the funeral … and [he] wanted to do to the funeral. But after that I preached every single Sunday. And often times I would tell my staff, ‘Don’t even talk to me, don’t ask me how I’m doing; we have to get this service done. I’ll talk to you later.’

“I remember there were times I would just have [to]’ ‘suck it up.’ And I would go onto the platform just fighting back the tears. Eleven months later that period of intense grief was over.”

What is the most encouraging sign you see regarding women in church leadership?

“I think one of the things that has really been powerful to me is the fact that great women leaders are finding each other. For me, that’s been a tremendous encouragement. … I believe that there are great women leaders, and I believe it’s on the increase.”

What advice would you give to a woman being called into full-time ministry?

“I think that there are several models in Scripture that you can look at when you are called into ministry. You have to find somebody who will embrace you. Then you have to hold onto them for all you’re worth. You can’t just wait for them to talk to you. You have to be proactive.

“Elijah threw the mantle on Elisha. But Elisha had to make a choice to follow with his heart … after Elijah, and he stayed with him until he died.

“People will tell me they want me to mentor them, but then they sit at home waiting for me to call them. I’m a very busy person. I’m teaching them to be proactive. “Somebody will throw a mantle on you and say, ‘This is where you are supposed to go,’ and the next step is, you’ve got to go after it. And that means you have to find that person. You’ve either got to hold onto them or find somebody that you can grab hold of and follow with your whole heart—[someone] who will actively mentor you.

“Like the young people I’m working with--I give them book assignments, both secular and spiritual. I’m teaching them how to be on the cutting edge in every area, not [only] to know about the Christian word but knowledgeable about the secular world. I myself stay very well read. I get about seven to 10 periodicals every month, including secular literature like Atlantic Monthly, Newsweek [and] Fortune magazine.”

Barbara Yoder is founder and pastor
of Shekinah Christian Church
Web site
Phone: (734) 662-6040
Fax: (734)662-5470 read more

Naomi Dowdy

What is the biggest barrier to women in church leadership?

“Old traditional thinking, which comes out of the Dark Ages and bad hermeneutics. They misinterpret women being in submission, women keeping quiet in church and women not having anything to say over men. They take all of those out of context and therefore they have kept women in suppression.

“It gradually opened up. First women could be Sunday school teachers. Then it opened up [that] women could be music directors. Then it opened up … women finally could be associate pastors or assistant pastors on staff.

“It’s when you begin to get into governance that [it] becomes an issue. [A woman] could not be a deacon in the old system or [a] board member. That’s governance. So when you begin to get to senior pastor, [women] couldn’t because it was governance.

“I see that glass ceiling breaking, people have matured more in understanding. Now that we have people that are able to go back to the original language and study the Scripture rather than just regurgitating what the theologians coming out of the dark ages [told] us. Actually the first commentary on Scripture was written just before the Dark Ages came to an end, and that commentary was the commentary that Luther and Calvin … used. It’s just been perpetuated.”

Naomi Dowdy is resident apostle,
Trinity Christian Centre in Singapore
Founder and President
of Global Leadership Network
Founder of Global Covenant Network
Founder of Theological Center for Asia
Web site
Phone: (214) 491-7749 read more

Joyce Meyer

What was your path to leadership?

“I grew up in a situation where I was sexually abused by my dad [and there was] alcoholism, violence and dysfunction. My mom didn’t really know how to deal with it. So her way of dealing with it was just to not deal with it. She kind of just ignored it. I guess pretended like she didn’t believe what she knew was true.

“But, in 1976 I was in my second marriage, I was a Christian, loved God, went to church all the time. I was even involved in some different kinds of church work. You know, I actually did love God, I just didn’t know anything. So you really can’t make any progress if you don’t know anything.

“I had a lot of good, solid doctrine, but I didn’t really have any understanding about God’s power, or overcoming things. I just thought your best bet was to try to make it through and go to heaven.

“And in 1976 I was crying out to God, basically, “There’s got to be more than this. Something’s wrong. I’m doing everything I think I’m supposed to be doing. I’m still miserable all the time.’ Actually, as a result of that crying out to God in hunger, He filled me with the Holy Spirit.

“And very shortly after that, I would say within three weeks, God began to speak to me about teaching other people the Word.”

How do you know if you are called to ministry?

“I just think a lot of people, if they would just put their hand to what is in front of them and apply biblical principles where they live … then, if they are called to some kind of public ministry … [they] don’t have to go around kicking down doors. I mean, that becomes obvious. And, your gift makes room for you, and God makes that happen.

What do you think is the biggest remaining barrier to women in leadership?

“I think a lot of women just [can’t] even begin to comprehend how they could possibly do something like that, if they already have several children. You know, I tell people all the time: ‘Don’t tell me you can’t be used by God with kids, because I started a ministry with four. One of them was a baby.’

“So when you are gripped by God to do something, it’s very difficult to get away from it. And so, desire and passion always makes a way.”

Joyce Meyer is founder
of Joyce Meyer Ministries
Fenton, Mo.
Web site
Phone:1-800-727-9673

  read more

Doris Machin

Are you married?

“No. There’s another obstacle. I am about to be 40 years old. The Lord has me in this state where He ministered to me years ago. He said, “Take advantage of this state because it’s a gift that I give you.”

“It’s not that being married is not a gift. That is a different gift. But He said, ‘This time that you will be single is a gift that I give you so that you can do for Me what I ask of you. You can give Me your maximum without having to hear your heart, and without having distractions.

“So, I’ve given the best of my 20s and the best of my 30s to the Lord. And I would do it in a heartbeat. I know that the Lord has my prince somewhere. In fact, in one of my albums I wrote him a love song. It is called, ‘I Wait For You.’

But, I know he’s out there somewhere. I’m not in a hurry. I’m just waiting on God’s time.”

What is your view of women in ministry?

“I think it’s great. … There is a pro and a con. … I think that women were made by God to be sensitive, to be sensible and to be passionate about everything they do. That is the pro.

“But the pro can be turned into a con. Because women are passionate, women can be emotional. … For me, someone leaving the church is, Ooooh! It’s like they killed me. Because I have that mother’s heart. I’m thinking, ‘Oh, my God, my kids. How are they going to eat? Where are they going to go?’

“Men just see things differently. They react differently. And of course, I’m learning to balance that. … I think that as women of God … we need that Joyce Meyer quality where “I went through all this … I’m strong and I can do this, and I’m invincible, and here we go!’ That kind of thing!”

Doris Machin is senior pastor
of The Worship Tabernacle
Miami, Fl
Web site
Phone: (305) 234-9024

  read more

Cindy Jacobs

What advice would you give to a woman being called into full-time ministry?

“Well, first of all the Holy Spirit would really make your call clear to you. There are women being called into business and law. They’re called to be a mom. Listen, to be a mom is a high calling.

“But, you know, as far as the traveling, being a traveling minister or something like that; a pulpit ministry, I would say, make sure that you don’t have any bitterness in your life toward men. It’s very important.

And, you know, one thing I want to say is that we women have to not only be prepared, we have to be better. We have to walk with excellence. And there is a lot of proving of yourself you’ll have to do. Don’t get mad about it, just do it.”

Do you believe it is part of God’s design for men and women in the church to work together to advance God’s kingdom?

“That’s part of what He’s saying to the church today. That God is raising up men and women to work together.”

Cindy Jacobs is co-founder of Generals International

Red Oak, Texas
Web site

Phone: (972) 576 8887
Fax: (972) 576 8899 read more

Where Family, Ministry and God Intersect

Listen as Ron Luce shares tips for winning and keeping your children's hearts.

{audio source_mp3="http://www.charismamag.com/images/stories/audio/RonLucerelationshipsection.mp3"} download mp3

Interview by Valerie G. Lowe, Charisma's associate editor

Read the full article about the Luce family here.

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Charisma Online

Living Life Without Limits

Nick Vujicic, who was born without arms or legs, travels the world inspiring people with his miraculous testimony and illuminating smile. Watch a day in the life of Vujicic here. You can also view clips of his testimony. Our profile of Vujicic begins on page 42.

 

Tranquilize Your Tongue

Click here to find Scriptures that will help you control one of the smallest, most destructive parts of your body—your tongue.

 

Where Family, Ministry and God Intersect

To hear Teen Mania founders Ron and Katie Luce discuss family values and the culture war, click here.

 

Frustrated With Your Children?

Want to know the secret for creating peace in your home? Click here for helpful parenting tips from trusted Christian leaders.

 


 

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Quotable

“It is time to dream again. Receive courage to rise up out of the death of the past season and to embrace newness of life. Don’t merely dream the dream of the past. Let your dream now rise to a new level and begin to act on your dream. You were born to be a dangerous dreamer who causes dreams to come true!”

Barbara Wentroble, charismamag.com

Find other informative and inspirational blogs by our newest bloggers such as Barbara Wentroble and Harry Jackson here. read more

Tame Your Tongue: Scriptures

Study and meditate on these Scriptures to help control your tongue. All verses listed here are from the New King James Version.

Job 27:4
My lips will not speak wickedness, Nor my tongue utter deceit.


Psalm 15:3
Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?

He who walks uprightly,
And works righteousness,
And speaks the truth in his heart;
He who does not backbite with his tongue,
Nor does evil to his neighbor,
Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend;


Psalm 34:13
Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit.


Psalm 35:28
And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness, And of Your praise all the day long.


Psalm 37:30
The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, And his tongue talks of justice.


Psalm 39:1
I said, "I will guard my ways, Lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, While the wicked are before me."


Psalm 119:171-173
My lips shall utter praise,
For You teach me Your statutes.
My tongue shall speak of Your word,
For all Your commandments are righteousness.


Psalm 139:4
For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.


Proverbs 10:31
The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, But the perverse tongue will be cut out.


James 1:26
If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless.


James 3:4-6
Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.


1 Peter 3:10
For " He who would love life
And see good days,
Let him refrain his tongue from evil,
And his lips from speaking deceit.

 

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Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

A young woman is checking IDs on a Saturday night outside the Kitchen Club in Miami. In the glow of moonlight, her wan face radiates against the coal black of her lips, eyeliner, hair and clothing. Darkly accented patrons drift by her to be frisked before vanishing into this Goth club situated along a main street of the tropical city.

Everywhere inside the cave-like club there is black—on the floors, the walls, the ceilings. Jet black clothing shrouds hundreds of Gothic allies of the night who are here after midnight. They are adorned in capes, hoods, wings, spikes and chains or veiled with leather, lace, wool, fishnet, vinyl and velvet. read more

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A Special Report: We cannot remain silent about the plight of persecuted Christians. Believers in China, Indonesia, Pakistan and Sudan shared with Charisma their accounts of harassment, torture and imprisonment.

Ayub Masih.

I heard those words from the pastor of a small, oppressed underground church in Warsaw, Poland, in 1955. It was my first trip behind the Iron Curtain. At the time I didn’t know there was a persecuted church. Little did I realize then how often I would hear that sentiment expressed in various ways through­out the next 46 years of ministry in restricted-access areas. read more

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Jesus stands high over Rio de Janeiro, His arms spread wide. His famous statue atop Corcovado mountain could be welcoming the thousands of tourists who travel to the “Marvelous City” from around the world for her beaches, nightlife and renowned Carnival.


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AIDS kills more than 6,000 people a day in sub-Saharan Africa, leaving hopelessness and havoc in its wake. But pastors and intercessors are coming together to break this curse and bring healing.

Rose Mukantaganda lies on a makeshift bed in a tiny, borrowed room, waiting for her day to die. The 28-year-old learned she has AIDS nine months ago and has since sent her child, who also has AIDS, to die with her husband’s relatives. read more

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