Black women make up most of the church membership in Black churches, yet they have historically been excluded from the decision-making tables. We must consider how these women serve when we evaluate women’s equality.
We have had many significant moments in the past thirty years in the journey toward gender equality. The difficulty is that large leaps of progress often leave room for invisible, subtle barriers for women in ministry.
Patriarchal beliefs in American evangelicalism regarding women and men’s roles are pervasive—even in egalitarian churches. This helps explain the exodus that begins when a woman enters a church as pastor.
Before women can be equally represented in church leadership—especially as pastors and especially at egalitarian churches—they need more time, outside affirmation of their calling, and an opportunity to heal.