Women in Leadership | CBE International

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Women in Leadership

A few years ago I finally visited our neighborhood church. Having driven past it almost daily for over a decade, and then looking for a worship community closer to home, I decided to scout it out and see if it could be a fit for our family. My vivid first impression was of the two pastors, Pastor Stephanie and Pastor Ed, standing up front to greet the congregation and deliver announcements. I was immediately struck by the remarkable chemistry they demonstrated in the way they played off each other, practically alternating sentences. Their way of interacting set a welcoming tone and suggested an environment of close community and leadership through partnership. I had never witnessed this sort of real-time collaboration between pastors and it provided a strong clue that I had discovered o... Read more
The whole time she was preaching, I was thinking "Oh, if I could only be like her." I said it over and over in my 18 year-old brain as I observed the anointed woman preaching the word with great power and authority. It was in those few moments that I was convinced, not only in my head, but also in my heart that God could also use me. How could I ever forget this single moment? How could I ever forget evangelist Irma Contreras? Seeing her and interacting with her impacted my concept of women in ministry for life. In an area where male leadership is predominant, female role models are essential for young girls and women responding to God's call to ministry. I see a longing in the hearts of so many young women for someone to walk alongside them and coach them in their jo... Read more
This month marks the 31st anniversary of my ordination. I have spent about 28 of those years serving congregations as a pastor. As October rolls around, officially "Pastor Appreciation Month," I'd like to share my perspective on how you might appreciate your own pastor. Recently, a younger pastor, also a woman, wrote to me:   "I find being a pastor an incredibly awesome and wonderful calling. In what other job can I study God's word, proclaim the gospel, pray, reach out to the hurting--and get paid for it? I feel blessed and privileged to be able to serve in such a position."  I feel encouraged just by reading those words--that being female has not been an impediment to the vocation this woman has received. When I was ordained in 1983, I wa... Read more
“Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me; O LORD, be my helper. You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever” (Psalm 30: 10-12). If there was ever an embodiment of these verses, it is in the lives touched by Channels of Hope for Gender in rural Durham. From middle-school children dramatizing the importance of HIV awareness, to children mesmerized by a math teacher, to Sunday School teachers, youth and pastors who have welcomed the liberating message in Scripture, one that free males and females from bondage—newness of life danced before us these past few days. Yet, the deepest transformation seemed to... Read more
Happy Friday! Another great week of posts speaking out against patriarchy and lifting up the biblical ideal of mutuality in marriage and leadership. Be encouraged, dear friends. Apostles, Deacons, and the Women of Romans 16, by Nicholas Quient One can only imagine the honor of hearing the stories of one of the most outstanding women God has given to the world, and what a debt we owe to her. Christian history, it seems, is built off the deeds of such women. 10 Ways Male Privilege Shows Up in the Church, by Gail Wallace (The Junia Project) I think many Christians are becoming more aware of racial and class privilege, but I don’t see the same level of awareness about male privilege in Christian circles. A Legacy for Women, by  Michelle Mosier Would... Read more
In order to better appreciate church life in this century, it is helpful and perhaps essential, that we understand how Christianity has been lived since the very beginning. Mindy & Brandon Withrow have combined their gifts for writing and a passion for history to bring us 5 easy-to-read books with the series title "History Lives" Each book covers a period in church history with different tiles describing the church at that time. So we have 'The Ancient Church', The Medieval Church', The Reformation Church, The Awakening Church and The Modern Church. One reviewer says...'This is history without the wooliness and with all the wonder'. There are some charts and statistics along with important timelines. Church councils are explained, types of music desc... Read more
With our recent conference in Colombia, and today being Liberian Independence Day, I couldn’t help but remember that this exact time last year I was in my homeland of Liberia, and how our conference theme fits exactly with the experience that I had there. Liberian women created a movement of liberation during the civil war, and after it, they are creating a movement of sustainability, peace, and equality. This movement has intense religious ties, as ordinary market women realized the change that they could bring to their country. My experience in Colombia and the conference topic of identity in Christ made me realize that I became confident of that identity in Liberia. Post-war Liberia is now beginning to highlight the equality that God has put in both men and women, equipping... Read more
What an amazing week. Because of a week-long synchroblog called Faith Feminisms, the Christian blogosphere has exploded with posts about biblical gender equality. Can faith and feminism coexist? The resounding answer: YES! Not only coexist, but feminism comes out of our faith in a Lord who breaks down the walls that divide us and limit us along gender lines. There is no hierarchy in the kingdom of God. I'll highlight some posts here, but if you want to immerse yourself in the bounty of these writings, please go to FaithFeminisms.com to check out the entire list. Here are a few of our favorites: RECORDING: Faith Without Feminism, by Emily Rice (Thirty Seconds or Less) I need feminism in my faith to challenge those lies and to remind me that all are made in the... Read more
I'm reading N.T. Wright's latest popular installment entitled Surprised by Scripture and chapter 4, "The Biblical Case for Ordaining Women", caught my attention. Having previously read his stance, I expected not to be "surprised." Though I wasn't "shocked, amazed, stupefied, or bewildered" (all synonyms of "surprise"), I did get another picture, of sorts, about Galatians 3:28 (from which my blog's theme takes it's name, by the way). This text likely means so much more than a prima facia reading suggests. For starters, "this verse is often mistranslated" (p 66). Here's Wright's take on it: "Neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female.... Read more
We came across these fantastic blog posts advocating for biblical gender equality. What an encouragement. I hope you will be encouraged, too. Changing My Mind on Women in Ministry, Part 2, by Mark Moore (Missio Alliance) I know that many of you are in the same place I was. You are worried that if you change your mind on a doctrine, like the role of women in ministry, it will mean that you have sold out and become a liberal. Fine. Don’t change your mind. Nobody is forcing you to do so, especially not Jesus. However, I do believe that Jesus is asking the church, his bride, to love one another and to be open to listening to one another. 1 Corinthians 14 & Women's Silence in the Church, by Mark Kubo (The Junia Project) Paul affirms the right of women... Read more

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