Speak Up, Daughters of Heaven

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Taylor Madge -SheSpeaks7

By Taylor Madge | Instagram: @shespeaksunited | Facebook: @SheSpeaksUnited

I am not a professional public speaker.

I just want to put that out there so you know this isn’t coming from an expert in the field. I am a woman who works full time outside of the home, is married, is raising two teen daughters and loves to say yes to Jesus, even when the yes makes me shake in my boots.

About 18 months ago I was at work when suddenly my heart was overwhelmed with a sense of urgency. I felt like something had to be done and it had to be done right then. Frustratingly, I had no idea what it was. I prayed and journaled and read scripture, but I couldn’t shake the unsettled feeling. As I sought Jesus for answers, an idea started to form in my heart.

I believe when women gather, there is power. I have had a passion for women’s small groups for years. Leading groups sprouted my teaching skills and built up my confidence in sharing with others. I wanted to multiply these talents, but I wanted an opportunity for my group members to grow in these areas as well.

PREACH

I began to imagine a group where we would learn together, seeking God for messages and communicating them effectively through practice and loving feedback. I saw two amazing benefits to this:

  1. Girls would gather and hear the word of God. (You can never go wrong there!)
  2. Women would begin building up their arsenal of words to become powerful tools for God.

Now let’s back up a few years. My first church experience as a young wife and mother was one where women were told to be silent. It was an “ask your husband at home” kind of place. They meant well, and believed deeply  they were following God’s word, but women were not empowered to teach, unless of course you were in a Sunday school class or women’s group. As I grew in my relationship with Jesus, I came to realize God loves to include God’s girls in the mission of telling the world about himself.

In 2008, our family moved from northern British Columbia to the middle of Alberta, Canada. We found ourselves at a church where there was a female pastor! I had never seen a woman preaching on a Sunday before. Not only was she “allowed” to get up and speak, but she was a firecracker of a teacher. God showed me I could serve as a teacher in God’s house.

I started reading books by men like J. Lee Grady and Ed Silvoso. I started to see a culture of women leading in our church and churches across Canada. I was given opportunities to meet and have conversations with some of these women. Sparks turned to flames, and so began the refining process to get me to a place where I could say YES to Jesus and not be hindered because of my gender.

In September 2015, I started a small group called She Speaks United. I invited ten ladies to commit to meeting once a month for ten months. Each would take a turn sharing messages and receiving feedback from their peers.

O, my heart melts and I am overwhelmed with such awe in how God has grown these ladies (and me) over these ten months. We have learned how to seek a message from Jesus, take risks and share deep vulnerabilities. We are passionate and eager for opportunities to share with others. We are all unique in what we bring to the group. There is such beauty in how we each teach with our own set of gifts and talents, with our own flavour. We have varying degrees of previous speaking experience. These women are gentle, brave and powerful and I cannot wait to see how God will unleash them into the world. Some have already had opportunities to speak at their workplaces, church events and small groups. It has been a wildly successful experiment.

So, how could it stop there? It shouldn’t. I couldn’t grasp that it would. I asked God, “What is next? Where do we go from here?”

I felt challenged to think BIGGER. What if it wasn’t just our group of ten women setting off to spread the gospel in our little corner of the planet? What if women all over Canada and beyond could have an opportunity to be a part of a group like this? What could Jesus do with that? My pulse quickens as I consider the impact we could have!

This is where I invite you to step into the story. You can start a She Speaks United group with the powerhouse women in your church. You can learn and practice and grow together and watch what opportunities God will bring.

Be bold. Be equipped. Be unleashed. Speak up, Daughters of Heaven.

_____________________

Taylor MadgeTaylor Madge is a wife, a mother to two brilliant daughters, and the founder of She Speaks United. She is a Jesus Junkie who can’t get enough! She wholeheartedly believes that when Jesus says go or do, you say YES. Even if you are shaking in your boots! (Which she is often.) This has taken her on some pretty amazing adventures. She is passionate about women’s empowerment through Christ; she has lead connect groups for ten plus years, is very involved in the women’s ministry at her church S.ice 2014 has been doing weekly coaching at a women’s prison. She believes in the God given gifts and talents put in the hearts of every one of His girls and desires to see those developed in as many women as possible through She Speaks United.

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