“Whenever renewal breaks out, God unleashes women.”
If you spend any time around me at all, you know this about me: I have a special place in my heart for the next generation of women. To be specific, I am wildly passionate about equipping the next generation of women in the church. I devoted my entire doctoral work to understanding how we can better equip women to steward their gifts, and I get annoyingly loud about the gifts of women in my life (like, it embarrasses them.) But I don’t care! Because I consider that my job: to play my part in passing this mantle on to the folks coming after me.
I am just one link in a long chain.
Because of this, I came up with an idea several years ago to feature the voices of twenty-something women on my blog. I invited women to submit entries that I would edit and post. My goal was to expose my audience to younger voices, but I also hoped it might serve as a first step for emerging writers. It can be tough finding sites and publications to feature your writing, and I wanted to offer a little bit of early momentum.
However, I have to confess I underestimated the amount of time and work the series would require. I was flooded with submissions and overwhelmed by the work load. At the time, I was about to release my first book, and then I got pregnant a third time. The honest truth is that I couldn’t keep up. Eventually, I had to let the series go.
But, the idea stuck with me. For two years
Enter Sarah Caison. Sarah is a student at UNC, and we met last year when she started babysitting for us a couple times a week. Over time I realized Sarah has a call to ministry (big time!), so we began talking about it often. She joined me on some of my traveling but she was hungry for more, so I told her about this idea that I’ve been wanting to pick back up…
Well, after months of conversations and planning, we are ready to kick off a new blog series called “She is the Future.” Twice a month I will share the writing and perspectives of young women who are coming up in the church, and I CANNOT WAIT for you to meet them!
Now, the theology nerd in me feels the need to qualify this title and explain that it is not eschatalogical (that is to say, JESUS is the future!). That said, I chose this phrase because of what I see happening in the church right now–
I have become increasingly convinced that the wind of the Holy Spirit is raising up a generation of women leaders across the church. I see it in all sorts of traditions, in all sorts of forms. God is filling women’s mouths with a message for our time, and it makes me hop with excitement, but you know what else it makes me want to do? Move where the Spirit moves.
And so this spring, I am handing this space over to new voices, voices that I see God raising up in the church. They are serving in all different spaces (church, ministry, non-profit, school, their homes), so I hope you will consider this series a sneak peak of what God is cooking up for the future of the church.
Here is where you come in:
Sarah and I have already gathered guest posts from women I know or I have crossed paths with over the years, but I am inviting YOU to submit also. If you have ever dreamed of writing, or you have a message to share, this might be a great first step for you. This is a limited series, so I may not be able to publish all the submissions we receive, but here are the guidelines:
Any topic of your choosing within the following parameters:
Critical thinking without a critical spirit
Good news (Love God, love people)
Send your pitches to Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sarah will also handle the editing.
And, because this series is called “She is the Future,” I will be giving preference to women of color.
Y’ALL, I am so excited about this! Ever since we launched our church and my bandwidth narrowed, I have had to let this blog lie fallow. It has seemed like such a waste of a space, so I am delighted to put it to better use. Stay tuned for the voices to come, and I look forward to hearing from some of YOU!
I love this, and the spirit behind it! Thank you for creating space for voices to be heard. Quick clarification on “young” writers — are you desiring to keep this focused on 20-somethings? Thank you!
Y’all I’m so excited about this! I’ve followed Sharon and have loved reading her writing! I’m passionate about writing and so appreciate your giving young women this opportunity!