This last week I have been video streaming, reading blogs and following Twitters about the PC(USA)-218th General Assembly in San Jose, CA. If you are involved with the denomination then it can be somewhat interesting…at times. Otherwise, it can be quite tedious.
It’s interesting to watch them discuss at great detail issues that I thought had been decided 2-3 years ago…and they have been by many other denominations, churches, and culture itself. So from that viewpoint the whole process seems “for show” at times.
That had me thinking about one issue in particular…
Now, this blog isn’t to debate whether women should be in ministry or not, because many of us have differing opinions. But because I believe they should be in ministry at all levels, I want to hear from mainly those who also hold the same view.
What concerns me is when we say we are for women in ministry, or our church and denomination claim women have a role at all levels of ministry, yet you look around and wonder if that is true or not.
I have talked to more women recently who have become disillusioned, or frustrated when the believe they are serving in a church or denomination that stands behind women in ministry, yet behind the scenes they realize they are actually quite limited, finding their hands tied at all levels.
So my question: Do you, your church, or denomination really believe in women in ministry or is it just lip service?
It’s a question of praxis. Do you put your beliefs and theories into practice in this regard, or would one look around your church and realize that it’s just a good idea and theory, but not good in reality.
At least those who don’t believe women should be in ministry are quite up front about it (i.e. the men at Together for the Gospel. They don’t communicate one thing, but do something different behind the scenes.
So as you look at your church, and if it’s a church that advocates women in ministry, I’m wondering a few things:
- Do women have equal say as the men in decision making?
- Are women afforded the same opportunity to preach as the men, or are they placed up there a couple of times a year as almost a token?
- Are the male staff members really advocates of women in ministry, or do they quietly believe that a woman’s place is in the home?
- Are the women staff members equally respected as their male counterparts?
If we really believe that women should be in ministry, then shouldn’t we be living that out in our decision making?
And, if we are part of the PC(USA) of which I am, then shouldn’t our churches reflect our position of women in ministry more thoroughly?