How I Became an Egalitarian: Discovering my Gifts

This is Part 4 in a series that started here.

The summer after my freshman year of college, I felt God prompting me to start a Bible study to help youth group students grow deeper in their walks with God.  I felt this prompting, even though I had never been a participant in a Bible study before!  Nervous and uncertain, God showed me that I ought to, like Peter, obey simply because Jesus told me to (Luke 5).

We met at Pam’s house.  And what started as a small group turned into quite a large group as the summer went on.  I will never forget the way the Bible came alive to our group.  We were awed and amazed as we discovered new things about God and about our redemption in the pages of Scripture.  As the Bible study flourished, I could sense that this was just the beginning.  This was definitely something I was meant to do for the rest of my life.

When the summer drew to a close and my second year of college began, I continued to lead that Bible study.  At church, I also continued to be an advisor for the high school students and also began teaching them from the Bible on Sunday mornings.

Meanwhile, other things began happening on my college campus.  I had joined the Navigators, a collegiate Christian fellowship, during my freshman year.  When I joined the group, it was right around a time of transition and confusion.  But during my second year at UCSD, God began to use this remnant group that had remained after the transition.  Together, we were able to lead a handful of friends to Jesus.  In order to help them learn how to walk with Jesus, I began to meet up with two of these new believers.  This experience of teaching Melissa and Melody about Jesus and showing them how to know him better gave me a new-found love — discipling young believers!  As their relationships with God flourished (and is still flourishing to this day), I knew that God’s hand was in this.

The rest of my college years meant more of this.  Teaching, speaking, discipling, encouraging, exhorting, evangelizing and watching God make everything grow.  Again and again, he confirmed these spiritual gifts he had given me, as a teacher and as a shepherd.

Click here for the next part in the series.


4 responses to this post.

  1. Hi MaryAnn, It’s good to be reading your blog again. I’ve been enjoying this series. I’m going to go and share it on one of my facebook pages.


  2. I followed over from Marg’s facebook link. I’ve read your story so far and appreciate it. Loved the questions in the first post. I recently wrote up my story as well. I tried for so long to use my gifts in a complementarian church setting. I don’t want to be a pastor, but just the ability to use my gifts in mixed-sex adult settings, rather than ONLY with women and kids. I gave up. Thankful to have found a church that is both evangelical and egalitarian. I recently taught adult sunday school for a month – men and women together! How amazing! Haha! Sad, but true to be so thankful for such an opportunity. Recently I saw this quote: “If you want a different destination, it starts with changing your location.” Perhaps this is not always the case, but for me, it was – changing my location was the key. Looking forward to reading more from you!


    • Hi Laura, Thanks for reading and for sharing a bit of your journey as well. Sometimes God does call us to stay to challenge the status quo but sometimes he does call us to go. I’m glad you were able to discern God’s leading for you and have been obedient. Blessings on your teaching ministry!!


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