Early in my undergrad studies, I came to the realization that I had never wrestled with the issue of whether or not women should be pastors. At the church I worked at during this season, we did have one woman on staff called a “Pastor to Children and Women.” But, I had never been part of a church where women regularly preached or even functioned as lead pastors.
I now, after much study and prayer, believe that women are to be liberated for ministry! In fact, part of the reason I chose my denominational family, the Brethren in Christ, is because they ordain women as pastors and bishops without reservation.
When we tell women “No” we hold back the potential for the reign of God to surprise us in beautiful ways.
One helpful resource during this time of reflection was NT Wright’s Women’s Service in the Church: The Biblical Basis. He says:
I believe we have seriously misread the relevant passages in the New Testament, no doubt not least through a long process of assumption, tradition, and all kinds of post-biblical and sub-biblical attitudes that have crept in to Christianity. Just as I think we need radically to change our traditional pictures of the afterlife, away from the mediaeval models and back to the biblical ones, so we need radically to change our traditional pictures both of what men and women are and how they relate to one another within the church and indeed of what the Bible says on this subject. I do wonder, sometimes, if those who present radical challenges to Christianity have been all the more eager to make out that the Bible says certain things about women, as an excuse for claiming that Christianity in general is a wicked thing and we ought to abandon it. Of course, there have been plenty of Christians who have given outsiders plenty of chances to make that sort of comment. But perhaps in our generation we have an opportunity to take a large step back in the right direction.
Consider also these two videos as well:
For this video, you may need to turn up the volume on your computer as the sound quality is not as good!
Finally, I would invite you to look at my series: Liberating Women for Ministry.