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If William Carey was the “father” of modern missions, was there a “mother?” Certainly, many prominent women have made their mark. Lottie Moon is considered the patron saint of Southern Baptist missions. Ann Judson was every bit as capable a missionary as her husband Adoniram.

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Lillian Trasher aimed to serve “the least of these” (Matt. 25:40). Her orphanage in Egypt took in abandoned children with physical disabilities and illnesses as well as vulnerable widows.

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Many people don’t know that African American women were leading and pastoring churches from the beginning of the modern Pentecostal movement in the early 1900s. Meet two of these women: Lucy Farrow and Jennie Evans Seymour. 

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I was raised in something of a theological echo chamber where my complementarian convictions went undisputed. All diligent Bible readers would obviously conclude that men were to lead, and even more obviously, that women were not to be pastors. What could be simpler?

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When it comes to leadership, the assumptions we make and the stereotypes we unwittingly fail to challenge can have much more far-reaching consequences.

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As I wrote this article, I was en route to a conference for Air Force Reserve chaplains. Only three hours before, I received a call from my baby's pre-school. They informed me that my daughter was running a fever and needed to go home. I rushed to pick her up, take her to the pediatrician, and drop her and her antibiotics prescription off with my husband so I could get to the airport in time to catch my flight. 

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I later learned that common conceptions of ‘evangelical’ were shaped by memories of fire and brimstone pre-millennial tent revivals, or perpetuated by negative caricatures of tele-evangelists or mega-church sales gimmicks asking for money.

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The term “priest of the home” is an attempt to put more leadership, control, and responsibility on men, stripping women of the equal access Christ died for. This term, which never appears in Scripture, is an attempt to uphold patriarchy, a sad reality women have endured ever since the fall.

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Christ leads, and we both follow. When my darling says to me, “I think God may want us to…” I am all ears.

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There is no biblical basis for the kinds of claims Brunner and Schlafly made about manhood. Let’s take a closer look at some of the assumptions men deal with in our day and age.

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