The Semantic Game of Women in Ministry

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Out of Ur has begun posting a series of videos about the different viewpoints on women in ministry. The first video from Rose Madrid-Swetman is posted below:

The thing that stuck out to me most from this video was Madrid-Swetman’s point about how many churches sidestep the heart of the issue by wrapping it up in semantics. As she says, women can hold the title of “Coordinator,” but if a man were to have the same position and responsibility they’d be called the “Pastor.” Worship Coordinators are functionally the same as Worship Pastors; same for Children’s Coordinators and Pastors.

It’s inconsistent for churches to hide behind word games in order to appear as if they’re upholding their theological views on gender roles in the church. If you’re going to be a complementation church, I think you have to be consistent in the way you describe those roles.

The scandalous women in Jesus’ genealogy

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

How much do you know about the women in Jesus’ genealogy? While many Bible studies focus on the famous men in Jesus’ line of ancestry—most prominently the Israelite king David—it turns out that there the Bible records the lives of many interesting and sometime even scandalous women in Jesus’ family tree.

Jonalyn Fincher (of Soulation) outlines some of these women’s lives in a recent blog post, and ponders what each one tells us about God and faith.

Some Advice to Both Sides of the Women in Ministry Debate

Friday, July 11th, 2008

jonalyn.jpgJonalyn Grace Fincher’s blog is consistently deep. She’s not one to write light and fluffy pieces about her day, but rather in-depth analysis of issues or extensive glimpses into her thought process.

She recently had some great insight into the often vitriolic debate about the roles of women in ministry and the household. Her thoughts jump off of two articles from Christianity Today last month titled Wounds of a Friend: Egalitarian and Wounds of a Friend: Complementarian:

While I do not believe Adam’s first sin was his silence (God never judges or rebukes him for this) I do believe men are guilty of silencing their God-given partner. Koessler warns complementarians from using Scripture to push a certain social construct and control over women, one of which is manifest in calling stay-at-home mother’s as those who are accepting “God’s highest calling.” As one woman friend tells him, “My children are grown and out of the house. So when I hear people say that a woman’s ‘highest calling’ is to be a wife and mother, I find myself wondering if there isn’t anything else for me to do for Christ.”

This is precisely what some complementarians have done to women, in their eagerness to uphold the excellent work of mothering, they’ve allowed all other valuable, excellent jobs, vocations, ministries to pale in comparison. This is not what Christ teaches, which Koessler points out in detail in his article. I mention this here because of a recent post and long, dedicated discussion many of you contributed to the topic of stay-at-home mothering.

In a follow-up article, Dr. Sarah Sumner warns egalitarians (those who believe women and men should serve in any capacity in which they are gifted be it elder, deacon, pastor, teacher) in her article “Wounds from a Friend: Egalitarian” that egalitarians need to be careful to use carefully exegeted passages to defend their belief in women’s public ministry, not political ideologies (and I’d add gut feelings like, “I feel very strongly that women should be permitted to preach.”) Egalitarians must be careful about taking Scripture out of context, not slapping just one definition of “head” on I Cor 11, to be wary of a marriage where there is no mutuality, but only independent individuals operating without the other’s input or love and to guard against a genderless church.

There’s more to the post on Jonalyn’s blog. And if you’re interested in more of her thoughts, check out her book, Ruby Slippers.

Evangelistic Women from Stonecroft Ministries

Friday, December 14th, 2007

In the 1930′s Helen Baugh hosted a dinner where the gospel of Christ was presented in a loving and relaxed manner to other women, after that first meeting the women asked if they could come back again the next week. The weekly meetings took off and soon Stonecroft Ministries was born. From those humble beginnings the ministry branched out to include Christian bookstores, tracts, and bible studies. Currently there are Stonecroft Ministries’ bible studies in sixty-three countries around the world!

Here are some informative pages from their web site:

  • An interesting set of videos about people’s perceptions of Christians from Stonecroft media.
  • Stonecroft daily news.
  • The main page for Stonecroft Ministries’ small groups. If you’re interested in joining a Stonecroft group they have a location finder here.
  • Main page for Stonecroft bible studies.
  • Stonecroft Ministries, “is a non-denominational organization that equips women to impact their communities with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, providing resources to enable women to connect with God, each other, and their communities.”