Friday, February 04, 2005

Women Part 2

I just returned from the Emergent Conference in San Diego. I was not there for the entire conference. I went with Off the Map. OTM had a critical concerns course on Tuesday and Wednesday.

I attended a couple of the Emerging Women's Leaders Initiative meetings. One in particular was very eye opening for me. A roundtable with women leaders and Dan Allender. Dan met with this group to brainstorm the issues of women in leadership and how Mars Hill Grad School might be helpful.

A number of issues struck me but the most helpful was this: In my association (not my local church) over the past few years there was much talk about women pastors and more specific if women should be ordained and serve as a senior or lead pastor. During several of those discussions I was experienced by others as having an "agenda" agenda being a negative thing.

Dan pointed out to me that I am in a double bind--because I do have an agenda....

So, I have been thinking about that statement and to be honest I have to own, I do have an agenda. I looked up "agenda" and here is the dictionary definition....1 : a list or outline of things to be considered or done 2 : an underlying often ideological plan or program ...

Here is my agenda that I won't give up...

I want to see space created in the church for women to lead

I believe (and many good people disagree) that women can and should be ordained if that is how God has called them and gifted them to function in His body....

I want to see more women visible so that younger women or women that have not seen female leadership modeled can and be encouraged to pursue faithfully what God would have for them.....

I don't want to see men or women as token leaders for the sake of making any kind of statement.....

My experience in meeting with leaders in my association has been met with a mix...some men and women very supportive and some men and women not.. it has run the gamut

I am fortunate, in my association, each local church is autonomous so each church can decide on the issue as they see it...

what is sad is that when we all come together for a conference or seminar it is still usually more often than not men who do all the visible leading....

I cannot change that, but I can create space for women in my sphere of influence to grow and reach for all that God has for them...

I also will watch for opportunities to voice my "agenda" when necessary and where I find openness for honest dialogue...

By the way, Brian McLaren is a class act...did you see him on Larry King?






3 comments:

Antony Hanson said...

I regret that I did not get to see Brian McLaren on Larry King Live. I've heard nothing but glowing reviews about the appearance. I have seen him a couple of times in person though, and you're so right. He is indeed a class act.

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