For the past few days, I’ve been searching for a new topic, I didn’t feel quite ready to continue on in Genesis, but knew I had to be on the look out for a topic to write about.
I came across it this evening in the pub, I feel as a student all of my thinking “should” be done either in a pub, the library or heaven forbid… a lecture theater!
I had an excellent discussion with a few friends in the pub (don’t worry I’ve had plenty time to sober up!), and when walking home with two different friends, who weren’t in the original group I asked the same question –
What do you think of women being Church Leaders?
To clarify, not women leading the within a church, but being the head honcho – the Lead Pastor, or Senior minister, what ever your terminology – within a church and the Church how would you feel if the buck stopped with a woman?
I think we agreed to some extent that it was non-issue, and Leadership in Churches (and anything else really) has to be decided on a case… The three of us agreed presented with a man and a woman both going for the same task, you shouldn’t pick the woman because she’s a woman, or the man because he’s a man. The important thing is determining who is best suited to the roll, and in a church environment if that person is called to be the leader of that church.
Our discussion went back and forwards, with all the usual mis-phrasings and communication issues you might well expect from three chaps who’d had a pint or two. We talked about personal feelings, I very much see myself as an “alpha male” which I use to mean a leader and manager, rather than just the strongest bloke in the block.
So would I feel comfortable being led by a woman? Yes, assuming I thought she could do a better job of it than I could. Would I feel comfortable being led a man? Yes, if I felt sure he could do a better job than I could.
I think the problem is more within our society, we live in a world that has been male dominated for millenniums, so we have a large percentage of men who are comfortable enough to step out and face the challenges that present. It’s harder for women though because there are fewer of them already in the position to do so.
Examining the problem from a Biblical perspective makes things more challenging, for starters you have to remember that it was written for a society that was far more male dominated that our own, that was really a case of the strong survive, and the strong nominally only protect themselves.
The most quoted passage on marriage… summed up in the final verse of the passage
” However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” (Eph. 5:33)
At the start Paul presents a “rule of thumb” this is the way to do things, however, he recognizes that the specifics of inter-person relationships are very complex, and do not respond well to such rules, with the commandment to love and respect each other.
So yes, it is good for men to lead, and as it was then, it is most common for men to lead. Yet men! We must love women as much as we love ourselves, and if a woman is called to lead, then we have to support her in her calling as much as we would support a man in his calling.
Jesus was not a man who lived well within a set of complicated rules. Jesus broke rules of his society all the time, He went out and befriended the outcasts, loved the sinners and always put others before Himself. As such, when we really follow Jesus and his teachings then we have to live radically! Respect the guidelines that are there. They are there for a really good set of reasons, yet remember they are just guidelines. Picasso isn’t remembered because he worked within the guidelines of art – he is remembered because he saw that his own special way was more right for him. He went and he did it differently, and it worked.
So if you are called to be different from the “normal” don’t step back, don’t worry that you might be wrong – pray, seek the will of the Father, and remember Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul, and your love neighbor as you love yourself.