It matters that Mary and Jesus are often inaccurately imaged with light skin in the West. It matters that pastors preach on Jacob, David, and Peter but not Rahab, Tamar, and Priscilla. And it matters that, Sunday after Sunday, women don’t see preachers who look like us in the pulpit.
Many women preachers and worship leaders have trouble speaking; they struggle to fully use their physical voices. Maintaining that there is often a disconnect between the woman's self-understanding as a preacher and her own body, Nancy Lammers Gross presents not only techniques but also a theologically empowering paradigm shift to help women fully embody their God-given preaching vocations.
Recently, Perry Noble, pastor of megachurch New Spring, wrote an article defending the idea that women should preach. To that, theologian Tom Schreiner wrote a response for The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW).
I’m not sure if I ever totally believed that the Bible mandated inequality between the sexes, but that’s just the way it was. I grew up in a church that didn’t necessarily preach such inequalities, but practiced them none the less. By their example I understood that there was a “man’s place” and a “woman’s place.” The men held positions of leadership and the women were in charge of the nursery and potluck dinners.
Throughout history, charismatic men and women of God have risen up, almost out of nowhere, to lead spiritual movements and shape theological discourse. These leaders often build churches and large followings before the institutional church pulls them in for a chat. The air is tense, awkward. At some point in the conversation someone asks a deceptively simple question: “Who gives you the authority to do the work you are doing?”
Women in Pentecostal and Charismatic Ministry concerns women and Pentecostalism. It introduces the way the Pentecostal / charismatic movement has been shaped by and has shaped women from its beginning and offers a wide variety of responses to the opportunities and limitations women have experienced in their commitment to religious service.
Recent revelations in the news and social media have once again highlighted the discriminatory and sometimes dangerous environments that women must navigate, both in the world and the church. Women expect to face discrimination and mistreatment in the world, but we hope to find comfort, shelter, and respect in the church.