Last week in this space, I wrote about a flawed Proverbs 31-focused approach one congregation took when they decided to rethink their ministry to women. Even as I raised concerns, I noted that I’ve been enriched by time spent in prayer, study, fellowship, worship, and service with women’s-only groups.
Do these single-gender groups reflect who the Church is? Paul highlighted diversity within the Church, even as he reminded us that there is one Savior for all: “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28) Even so, there are specific gender-related discipleship instructions in Paul’s letters (for instance, here).
As the purpose of women’s ministry has received new attention in recent weeks, I’ve been reflecting on both gifts and lumps of coal I’ve received as a result of participation in various women’s ministry efforts over the years. [Read more]