Who is the Church Lady?
The answer is complex. However, there is one effortless way to describe her: she is God’s daughter.
Let me explain. One night I was awakened by the Holy Spirit at 3:30 in the morning. The vision I had (you can read more in my book) would begin an 8-year journey in search of the modern-day Church Lady. When I asked various people “Who is the Church Lady?” I was disappointed not only by what they said but also by their emotional reaction. Much to my surprise, the reputation of the Church Lady has been tarnished—bound up by negative stereotypes.
What comes to your mind when you hear the words Church Lady? Some people, if old enough, think she is a judgmental late-night comedy show character played by Dana Carvey. Others think she is a self-righteous woman from their past. Others, more graciously, consider her the sweet, godly, elderly lady who sits on the third pew at their church.
The top 3 responses I got when I asked churchgoing women of all ages if they considered themselves a Church Lady were:
1. I’m not old enough to be a Church Lady.
2. I’m not good enough to be a Church Lady.
3. Please! Don’t call me a church lady because she is legalistic and judgmental.
Moving Beyond the Stereotypes
Heartbreaking, isn’t it? We, the church, have allowed a satire or the ungodly attitude of “someone in our past” to tarnish our reputation as God’s daughters? I say, it’s time to reclaim the name. To humbly, yet confidently, consider it an honor to be called a Church Lady. After all, we are the church, the body of Christ, and we have a purpose!
“Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other” (Romans 12:4–5 NLT).
Can you see the damage done? Sisters, we need to wake up! The body, the church, is under fire. Could it be Satan? Of course! And I’m not joking. He loves the fact that we, God’s daughters, have been lumped into negative stereotypes in spite of our love for God, service to people, and reflection of Christ. We are the hands and feet of Jesus, and we are alive and well! Amen!
In Church Lady, I hope to shatter the stereotypes and redefine the Church Lady. My hope is the Lord will use these real stories of real Church Ladies to set free those who may be held hostage by their past or who have been misguided or misunderstood. Your heart is sure to be touched, perhaps changed. More than anything I pray you are freed—freed to be a woman of God!
Now . . . look in the mirror. Who is the Church Lady? You woman of God are the Church Lady!
Chandra Peele has been endorsed by pastor and author Max Lucado; Christian contemporary recording artist Natalie Grant; author and speaker Jennifer Kennedy Dean; and many others. Chandra is a dynamic speaker who has a passion for Jesus that is contagious!
While speaking to one or thousands, God has blessed her with the gift to connect with women of all ages. She speaks straight from her heart and God uses her authentic style to lead others to the feet of Jesus. She encourages women to live with peace, hope, and joy while experiencing true freedom that comes when we step into God’s amazing grace. She and her husband, Bruce, live in Houston, Texas.
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.