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"Women are leaving the church," author and speaker Jo Saxton told a group on Wednesday, March 28, during her lecture "Empowering Women for a Missional Movement" on Fuller's Pasadena campus. "How do we ignite the seed of God-given potential in women?"
Saxton, a director for the church-planting organization 3DM and author of recently published book More Than Enchanting: Breaking Through Barriers to Influence Your World, says there are three methods that Jesus undertook to disciple: information, imitation and innovation.
"As we seek to empower women in a missional movement, as sent ones—wherever they are, we need to look at these three things," asserted Saxton.
First, Saxton describes three important pieces of information: reconnect women with their God-given identity, with their rich Biblical heritage, and with the global picture. These three provide the context to the historical and current state of women across the world who have pursued and are pursuing a life of evangelism and service.
Second, imitation requires development of "vehicles and processes" that cultivate character, birth a range of opportunities, and develop competency. Saxton uses an example of imitation in her church's leadership small group. The group met regularly around two questions, "What's God saying in your life, and what are you going to do about it?" This experience brought leaders together to learn from each other in ways that they would not have been able to do alone.
Third, "Jesus said to his disciples, 'You'll do greater things than me,'" Saxton notes. "He was in one area but said, 'You'll be witnesses to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth.'" She affirms the importance of making sure that "the ceilings we have in our lives become the floors that the next generation of men and women stand on." Completing this task requires innovation--creating new ways for future generations to develop and live out their missional calling.
The event was sponsored by the Lowell W. Berry Center for Lifelong Learning. .