Saturday, March 12, 2011

I never grew up wondering what the position of women in the church should be. Never was part of a church that relegated women to the nursery or planning potlucks or singing; in fact, the thought of a place like that, were it not for the conservative and complementarian churches that I read about or have friends who attend, would be foreign to me. It is astonishingly sad to think of our churches without the contributions of women in leadership -- a Willow Creek without the remarkable programming of Nancy Beach, Menlo Park Pres without the leadership development skills of Nancy Ortberg. These places would be so much poorer without these women, would be a shadow of what they could be.

Yet there are so many people and churches in existence who would have them stay at home with their children while their husbands were tasked with finding jobs and providing for their families. Without even entering into the conversation about the kind of pressure this puts on men, what a tragedy this is for the women whose spiritual gifts, should they fall too closely to leadership or teaching, must be ignored and caused to wither. What a loss for the Kingdom of God!

One of the greatest gifts that my father ever gave me, in retrospect, is his commitment to women in leadership. When I was eighteen, we moved from Chicago to Northern California. There was a church in southern California that had offered him a position as well - a good church, with good people, who were immobile about their commitment to maintaining a male-only teaching staff and elder board. So we didn't go. And I think it would have been easy for him, or for lots of males in his position, to ignore it. To not think about what this meant for his daughters, or his wife, or any other woman. But his commitment to women in leadership, in part, told me that I could use my gifts of leadership. His decision was an enormous, if unwitting, gift to me - because it contained a commitment to the truth of Galatians 3:28, and because it contained a commitment to me. I am so grateful to my father for that decision, to my mother for exercising her enriching gift of leadership, to a God who sustains them both.

4 comments:

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Anonymous said...

Yeah but your parents are nearly ignorant of the Bible...your dad going on about whether one is good enough to be ready for heaven not aware that Jesus says none are good...your mom going on about breath prayer incantations and kundalani spirit arousal in yoga...your dad thinking the Gnostic hero's journey of Frodo is a story of how we can redeem ourselves (no Redeemer necessary)...I could go on...but then you would need more therapudic psychobabble which is all that comes from the pulpit now at the new age MPPC.

Laura said...

I don't know who you are, but this isn't the place to attack my parents. Feel totally free to attack me as much as you would like, but this isn't their forum.

Your information is also incorrect, but I don't suspect anything I say will change your mind about it.

Anonymous said...

Very well...see comment on your comments on Marc Driscoll and yoga...that comment is addressed to you....its more youier. signed, me being me-ier