I was pretty excited when I heard about “Naturally Supernatural” a new conference from Soul Survivor. It should be natural for us to me living and moving in the supernatural (which, for me, is about doing the normal stuff of life in the power of the Spirit – knowing that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in my life – and your life – just read Romans 8!)
“Naturally Supernatural” is billed on the website as a conference for the whole church . . . so, glancing at the speakers list I am so disappointed to see – of the seven, just one is a women. Leading worship seems to be split 50/50 so a small “yippee” for that.
But, just one woman could be found to talk, engage and inspire people? That’s less than 15% of the speakers. Now, I want to leave aside the “we asked a load of women and they couldn’t come” mantra. I have heard that so many times. That just isn’t necessary.
Here is why.
For goodness sake, if you are “Soul Survivor” this thing that births a national movement / conference / bunch of leaders and spawns international youth conferences . . . how on earth can you be in a position where you haven’t anyone in your own church that can speak?
Obviously, there are three that can and do – Mike Pilavachi, Andy Croft and Ali Martin. I’m thrilled Ali Martin is in there and will be speaking . . .
But, for me there is a deep irony about running a conference that is called “naturally supernatural” and be off hunting for people from elsewhere (normally with globe trotting ministries or books) and believing, wrongly, that you can’t run a conference without these people.
Our conference culture nonsense will never change in this county if every time we have a “new” conference we follow the pattern of what has gone before.
I’m assuming that at Soul Survivor, during the week at meetings and gatherings that there are women speaking to young people, leading them, encouraging them, praying for them . . . leading ministry times.
If this is the natural and normal stuff we want to see the whole church grasp, “this promise is for you and your children” kind of stuff as Peter quoted Joel on the day of Pentecost . . . then why on earth not have some female speakers from your own church step up.
What better way to demostrate that it is the Holy Spirit who is at work in us than have people who don’t have a string of books or a “ministry” but are just living life in the power of the Spirit encourage the rest of us to do the same.
HALF the church is women. THREE QUARTERS of my own house is – and I am fed up with being invited to conferences, events, meetings where I just see and hear yet more people who look like me, have had opportunities like me and yes, been preferred like me, it is wrong – and it doesn’t even need to be happening.
The conference / platform culture is a nonsense. It needs calling out and it needs to stop.
– It is a lie to suggest you can only speak to 1000s if you have a “ministry” to do so.
– It is wrong to create an environment of “credibility” around a narrow deffinition of who someone is based only on what they have done (when, we know that it is Christ in us who is at work).
– It is poor planning and preparation to get to a point with a conference where you can advertise the thing and the only people you can put up on the programme are men.
Naturally supernatural . . . just the name of the conference, come on Soul Survivor . . . this is normal life in the Spirit stuff – is the purpose of the conference to call us out to be healing the blind on our streets? Or, maybe in the power of the Spirit be living more faithfully, honestly, justly and just getting on with trying to follow Jesus in the day to day . . . but knowing that we are equipped through the Holy Spirit.
Just one woman? Not good enough.