In a few months a conference will be held in San Diego exclusively for “pastor’s wives called “Defined by God.” I think that in many ways this is great. I know that my wife and the wives of many male pastors would benefit from this conference greatly. I think this will be a solid event… asumming it doesn’t seek to reinforce victorian house code ideals (usually upheld by complementarians as the “biblical roles”).
As regular readers of this blog realize, I believe that women ought to have their Spirit inspired gifts fanned into flame, including the gift of leadership. Women are called by God to have the unhindered chance to seve Christ as pastors, elders, and bishops. I defend this view in a short series called, “Liberating Women for Ministry?“.
Like I said, assuming this conference doesn’t impose a theological complementarian perspective, it would be something that I would be happy to support. The description is very good:
You have a lot on your plate. Your husband is a pastor, and that means you’re the woman that everyone in your church looks to. You face conflict and gossip. You balance family and work life. You raise children and counsel adults. And that’s not easy.
At Defined by God, you’ll connect with other women like you. You’ll discover how other pastors’ wives are applying the Bible to their marriages, families, and friendships. You’ll leave empowered and equipped for greater service. You’ll also enjoy a two-day break from any distractions!
My concern is that conferences like this easily reinforce the myth that the spouses of pastors are automatically women. The reality is that we need more conferences that are for the “spouses of pastors,” as there are MANY faithful female leaders within the church in North America. In my denomination, women are free to serve on all levels of leadership – being judged by their spiritual gifts/calling, not by their gender (as Scripture clearly teaches when read in context).
So, what do you think? How long will it be before we see evangelicals creating conferences for pastors’ husbands?