While other denominations look down on women for leading the church, a minister shared about how the Assemblies of God (AG) gives importance to women ministers like her.
Speaking to Stephen Strang in his "Strang Report" podcast, Dr. Beth Grant, AG's first female executive presbyter, said that the church has been recognizing women as its important part since its formation, Charisma News reported.
"It's great to look back at the beginning of the history of the Assemblies of God. ... [the denomination] was comprised of powerful pioneer women who were called to pastor, to evangelism, to missions. Many places in the world, there were women who were the first ones to go into countries-many of them single women-who were incredibly courageous. And so we had this great legacy," Grant, who became executive presbyter in 2009, said.
Strang shared that his grandmother herself became AG's minister when the church was founded in 1914.
Grant further said that the church has never discriminated anyone in the congregation to preach, as long as they are empowered by the Spirit of God.
"And so from the very beginning, the Assemblies of God has had very much as a part of who it is, the recognition that when the Spirit of God-the Holy Spirit-is moving, there are women and little girls, as well as men and boys, who stand up and say, 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. He has anointed me; He's called me to preach. He's called me to teach,'" the minister stated.
Grant recalled that 20 years ago, Dr. George Wood, who would later become the church's general superintendent, discussed with her about the dwindling number of credentialed women ministers in AG, dropping to just 15%.
She said that Wood questioned the decline given the church's history and suggested to "initiate something," encouraging female ministers "to step up and become credentialed." She added that the credential does not empower but it recognizes God's anointing on a person.
To address the issue, Grant created a task force, encouraging women for ministry. The initiative has doubled the number of women leading the church, increasing to 30% of AG's credentialed ministers today.
"I feel like also, it's a part of something I see God doing, and what I feel is a prophetic movement in our nation's history and our world. What I feel passionately, the more I look at Scripture: The call of God is not a gender issue. It's an obedience issue," she further said.
She added that "being female is not an excuse for not obeying God."
She also gave a couple of advice to young women who are contemplating on what God would want them to do. First, Grant said that they should look for wise counselors who are women of God. Second is to not insist on how God would use them, limiting God. Instead, they should pray for God's leading on their further steps.
Moreover, she said that women should act on something if God has given them a creative idea to serve, like her daughter who used her interest in the arts to minister to women who were sexually exploited.
Further, she encouraged women, who were given creative and unique gifts, to be brave in doing something unusual if God has led them to. She urged them to take "one step of obedience at a time."
Grant is also a co-founder of Project Rescue, a ministry that seeks to "rescue and restore" the victims of sexual slavery through the power and love of God.