Because life is a series of edits

When Did Women Become an "Issue"?

In Thought on December 13, 2006 at 9:53 am

From a one-page reflection Learner turned in for his Epistles class:

Whether you are a traditionalist or an evangelical feminist, describe how you believe women should use their gifts in the church effectively in the church today.

My experience with women in ministry has been primarily within a parachurch organization rather than a church. As a result, I am not uncomfortable with the idea of women leading men (at least within parachurch ministries), though I would say I am traditional in my perspective of men being theological leaders within the church.

That said (and perhaps blending my parachurch experiences with my church theology), I think there is much more room for women to use their gifts in the church today than they perhaps have opportunity to do so. I appreciate our church’s efforts to incorporate women into the worship service (formal welcome at the beginning; reading the Scriptures; leading musical numbers; co-teaching with men on topics that are more relational than purely theological). In addition, our church is reinstating the role of “deaconess” in 2007, a move which I think is great for meeting crisis needs women in the church might have through a woman trained and commissioned to deal with them.

The key to allowing strong women gifted in the area of leadership is to ensure that strong men are positioned to provide leadership for them. The women in the New Testament were strong women, but there was no question that Paul, Peter, and the other apostles were equipped, confident, and over them in a leadership function and role. I think this fits both biblically as well as experientially, and I hope that my generation can do more to strike a happy medium in which men are fulfilling their roles within the church so women can as well.

It’s a little short and under-developed, but you get the gist.

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