Thursday, December 4, 2008

40 to 40 (Gratitude 29)

I am grateful for the value that my church places on women. Not to open a theological Pandora's box, but my church allows women to teach and preach. One of the pastors is a woman. I know that this may be controversial for some, but it does make me feel valued as a human being. (And, yes, I do think my church takes scripture seriously. I honestly believe it is one of those issues that honest Christians can disagree on.)

When I was on staff with InterVarsity, the women in ministry issue blew up in my face. We were selecting officers for the next year. We were talking about various options and one of the students turned to me and said, "We won't have a woman president." At first I thought he was joking. He wasn't. He took the issue to my pastor. I went to a church at that time that did not allow women to teach men. I knew I disagreed with the leadership on this issue, but it fit me in other ways so I bit my tongue there. My pastor, instead of making a local call to me, called InterVarsity's national headquarters. He knew me well but couldn't call me first? I was grateful that the vice president that he spoke with backed me and my roll up.

I had been on staff about 3 year and taught numerous times and got good feedback. When this issue blew up, students started staying for worship and getting up and walking out if a woman was teaching. It was heart wrenching to see this exodus as well as disruptive.

I don't teach at my church, but I am grateful for the value that says that I could.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

that is a tough thing. I know that our church, as a baptist church, has had a history of women not teaching men.
I know (and it is history now that I have only gotten a hint of) that the one female worship team leader we have right now (besides me... now that I have started the most recently) pioneered the position of being a female worship leader, and from what i heard, got quite a bit of flack from the older members of the congregation.
Our pastor's wife annually gives a mother's day "talk." To appease, maybe both her beliefs, and any issues someone in the congregation may have, she never stands behind the pulpit, but off to the side, and it is a "talk" not a "sermon."
It is amazing how much things like that can be an issue, where you don't expect it.
Thank you for sharing, and I praise God that we are both in churches that don't squash us, when it is obvious that we have gifts in specific areas!

And Amy, I just wanted to thank you too for something else. Seeing you doing a post a day for the 40 to 40 series, well, that was what inspired me that I could do a post a day for the Advent season. It gave me the idea for more frequent posts, and how to do them... though some of them are getting longer than i would like! :)
Thank you for the inspiration you are. You are a gifted writer, and I love coming to your site, to hear what you have to say... and how God chooses to speak through you.
God bless you my friend...