Saturday, August 20, 2011

Women and the Church

One reason we need more female pastors, priests, and leaders in the Church:

This past June I accompanied my husband to Kentucky where he attended a class as part of his seminary degree.  As this class involved numerous field trips, I ended up tagging along and got to know one of the two women in the class.  She and I spent quite a bit of time together and we exchanged views on a variety of things.  She told me that the residential seminary was composed of about 30% women and it was often difficult being among the minority there.  She also talked about the difficulties of being a single woman looking to get a church assignment once she graduated.  As we parted, I tried to encourage her by telling her what a wonderful pastor she would be - because I know she will be.  

After returning from the trip, I really started noticing that even the contemporary, "hip" churches are made up of mainly white men.  I started looking at church web sites and noticed that when there was a female on staff, she was usually in a traditional role, either as the secretary/office manager or the children's minister.  Rarely does one find a woman as the lead pastor or in any kind of leadership role.  It seems kind of lopsided to me as many people turn to the church for counseling and in times of crisis.  Personally, should I ever need to confide in a church leader, I would only do so to a woman and the church secretary or children's minister would not be the appropriate person to turn to.  I don't think I'm alone in this so I think the Church is failing 50% of the members.

Until the Church begins to encourage more women to go into the ministry and to rise to leadership positions, I believe the Church will continue to look backwards and out of step to the outside world.

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