The tradition I came from (my people if you will) never even discussed women being senior pastors. Rarely did a female approach the stage unless it was a small church and there really wasn’t any other options. The first church I pastored had all male leadership and even though we considered ourselves empowering of women, the things we empowered them to do was limited. Instead of arguing all the elements of this theologically, let me just throw out a proposition from one of my friends.
“I don’t think women “can” pastor men—I think women need to pastor men. If you’re a male and you don’t have a female pastoral influence, there’s a good chance you may have a skewed view of God.” Beau Hoffman
I would never deny that religion has had a history of patriarchy, and therefore it makes sense that they would believe that was the right path. But it is never too late to fix our ignorance – our institutions and governments and families have limped along long enough – let us move forward! It is time to start hitting on all cylinders. It is time to hear all voices. Let us move forward with a clearer view of circumstance and an eyes wide open approach to the future.
Recently I have experienced this fist hand. While I went through one of the toughest weeks of my life, I noticed the female influences in play. I was enrolled in a program called Souljourners that helps develop spiritual directors. My spiritual director during that time was Sister Marcia Ziska. I literally might not be alive without her direction during that period in my life. While I was there, several women spoke powerfully into my life at key moments.
As I listen to more and more women “preachers,” it is almost like scales are falling off my eyes or at least the other half of stage curtain is being pulled back. Like Beau, not only do I think we can be led and influenced by women, I believe our view of everything is skewed and limited without their perspective.
I often tell women that I am ready for them to take over the world. I don’t even know exactly what it means, but I suppose it’s a reminder to me not to stand in the way of progress in any way. My voice is important, but every time I fall in love with it, I tend to silence someone else.
We must not let the voices of the past silence the great words of the future. There are currently some voices in politics and religion desperately trying to shame the new voices in our world. Their shameful attacks reveal their ignorance, and they will soon “go home” to their obsession with half of the universe where they will slowly fade out of relevance.
Let us learn to listen and listen well to all of the voices of this wonderful world.
Let us give up our need to dominate, control and influence to hear something we never even imagined before.
Let’s move forward.
Karl Forehand is a former pastor, podcaster, and award-winning author. His books include Apparent Faith: What Fatherhood Taught Me About the Father’s Heart and the soon-to-be released Tea Shop. He is the creator of The Desert Sanctuary and Too Many Podcasters podcasts. He is married to his wife Laura of 32 years and has one dog named Winston. His three children are grown and are beginning to multiply!