I Don't Like to Fight
I didn’t get into ministry to fight this battle.
I’m not one to stir things up and I really don’t enjoy invoking criticism or argument.
After 5 years of ministry, the fact that I’m a woman in a high level church leadership position occasionally raises some eyebrows. I’ll be honest. I took my job at Cross Point with limited knowledge regarding what the scriptures have to say about women leaders. I was just doing what God had naturally gifted me to do and that was never challenged until I applied those gifts in the church.
I encounter people every day with varying interpretations on what they believe the scripture to say in regard to women leaders, pastors, teachers, etc. It’s funny because it felt so foreign to me that gender would matter in any of these areas. It really caught me off guard as I began to get questioned about it.
So for the last couple of years I’ve been researching and studying what the Bible has to say on these issues. I understand why there is confusion. I understand why the church has wrestled with this for literally a couple of thousand years.
I’ve been praying for God to give me insight and clarity. I’ve been praying that he would remove my pride and my bias. My heart is to help the church better understand God’s unique design of people – all people, all races, both genders. I pray that the church could be effectively functioning as the body of Christ rather than bickering over interpretations and prejudice.
My heart is heavy on this. I don’t have all the answers yet. I may never have them all in this lifetime. But I’m committed to studying and seeking God’s heart.
Recently I was sent a copy of a brand new book on the topic: What’s With Paul and Women?
In this book, Jon Zens tackles one of the most confusing passages of scripture regarding women, 1 Timothy 2. If you are just beginning your journey of study on this topic, this is a great place to start. It’s a quick, insightful read and I particularly appreciate the cultural context that Jon explains.
If you’re a ministry leader, will you join me in this study? Will you take some time to study and seek God’s clarity on the gender dynamics in scripture?
I believe this issue is one of the most misunderstood and the most avoided discussions in our modern churches. But the issue is bubbling under the surface and as church leaders I believe we have a responsibility to seek understanding and lead with clarity and discernment.
If you have done some personal study on women leaders, pastors, or teachers, what resources have you found beneficial?