From Laura Ortberg Turner:
Women make up only 10 percent of senior pastors and are paid less than their male counterparts, according to a 2009 Barna study. The figures are even lower among evangelical churches. At a time when women are making great strides in other areas—advancing in higher education, heading up a record number of Fortune 500 companies, and gaining influence in government—why is the church lagging so far behind? And what are the obstacles that restrict women from understanding and using their gifts on behalf of the Body of Christ?
Anecdotally, we can probably all list the reasons. Women find themselves reluctant to stand up in lead in an environment where we’re not encouraged (or even discouraged) to do so. We are taught that church leadership roles are reserved for men; we grow up hearing that it isn’t polite for us to express our opinions; we are still told, at least implicitly, that our place is in the home, with the kids, the cooking, and the Pinterest crafts.
But is there a place for women at the table? If a woman possesses the spiritual gifts of teaching or leadership, would it be best for her to ignore them so that men can take their place? Paul’s writings in Romans 16 and 1 Corinthians 12 have a great deal to say—which might be surprising, considering the bad rap Paul gets when it comes to women’s roles in the church.
I’m glad to see CT routinely take this up at the Her.meneutics blog, and I’m especially glad to see young leaders like Laura put her able pen to the task. I wrote on this in two settings — Blue Parakeet and Junia is Not Alone. And I’m teaching a course, starting June 17 at Northern on women in ministry … why? Because some refuse to listen to the reality of God’s gifting of women. We must turn the argument over. For years we’ve put up with the traditionalists accusing us of not believing the Bible. We need a change: it is the person who denies women leadership, to teach and to preach, that goes against the grain of what the Bible teaches. It is that view that is unbiblical.
There is but one question to ask: Do women in your church do what women in the Bible did? Or, ask it another way: What did women do? WDWD? Hey, make that a bracelet.