Women in Ministry | CBE International

You are here

Women in Ministry

At a conference recently, a poet performed several poems about sexual violence, acknowledging that as a man he would not speak on behalf of women, but would hold other men accountable. A member of the audience stood and responded:  “I am working class, a woman of color, and a political minority. I feel like I am constantly speaking up for one of my communities, and worry that I have become that girl who people roll their eyes at: ‘Here she goes again talking about how oppressed she is.’ It means so much to me when someone else thinks I am important enough to speak up for.” It is one thing for my roommates and me to plaster our dorm wall with women leaders who inspire us—it serves our own needs by boosting our self-confidence. It is another thing for... Read more
This week, the CBE Scroll features a series called “The Parsonage,” written by CBE Intern Krista Wilson, who is currently a student at Bethel University in St. Paul, MN. In it, she writes about her experiences living with a group of women who have felt God’s call to minister in the church. Enjoy! Moving into the Parsonage for me was sheer luck—the kind of “luck” as in God orchestrated all of the details while I was busy studying for finals. Little did I know that, behind my back, my friend (slumped over a desk) was serving as my stand-in voice. My future, shaped by this singular question: “Does she support your call to ministry?” “YES! OF COURSE!” would be my emphatic response. Maybe I would have gone as far as to st... Read more
This week, the CBE Scroll features a series called “The Parsonage,” written by CBE Intern Krista Wilson, who is currently a student at Bethel University in St. Paul, MN. In it, she writes about her experiences living with a group of women who have felt God’s call to minister in the church. Enjoy! With six unmarried but highly eligible women living under one roof, there is no shock that at least once a year a Parsonage resident gets married. This is a fairly regular cycle in the Parsonage—a strong woman meets a man who respects her, they fall in love, get married, etc. We consider this cycle both a celebration (She’s married!) and a loss (She’s leaving us!) But here at the Parsonage, we appreciate those males who are eager to walk alongside us and... Read more
This week, the CBE Scroll features a series called “The Parsonage,” written by CBE Intern Krista Wilson, who is currently a student at Bethel University in St. Paul, MN. In it, she writes about her experiences living with a group of women who have felt God’s call to minister in the church. Enjoy! At the Parsonage, the entire first floor is essentially one long room. Of course there are walls, but if you stand at the entrance and lean to your right, you can peer straight through the dining room, kitchen, living room, and out the back windows to the garage. Not that this presents a problem in and of itself, until you want to have a private conversation. Unless you plan on whispering, no matter where you sit, anyone can hear you from the living room back through the... Read more
In the middle of a not-so-quiet street in Northeast Minneapolis resides a single-family house affectionately named, “The Parsonage.” The white picket fence lining the front, reminiscent of friendly suburban neighbors, it the only separation between the house on the left (previously the home of over a dozen marijuana-packed refrigerators) and the house on the right (previously the home of a stereo-blasting funk-band). Walking down the street on any given day you can hear the shouts of arguing couples, the frequent shrills of sirens, and the occasional gunshots. I live in this single-family house in Northeast Minneapolis with five other unrelated women. This is odd to the outside world— that a group of women would willingly choose to live on such an uncertain street and... Read more
This week, the CBE Scroll features a series called “The Parsonage,” written by CBE Intern Krista Wilson, who is currently a student at Bethel University in St. Paul, MN. In it, she writes about her experiences living with a group of women who have felt God’s call to minister in the church. Enjoy! On moving into the Parsonage I was given a gift: a ring. The ring is symbolic. Two Celtic symbols of the Trinity tipped on their sides, the bottom two points at the very center, touching. We all have one on our hands, some more tarnished than others, worn by daily life and the shaking of hands, slipping on gloves, sipping out of coffee mugs; the metal metamorphosing from meeting new palms,  or chipping from clinking against porcelain surfaces. Being gifted this ri... Read more
Ah yes, some will say, but look how large and consistent those sex differences are—in aggression, nurturance, verbal skills, spatial abilities, and so on. Surely this strongly suggests (even if it can’t absolutely prove) that women and men have innately different talents—“beneficial differences” in the language of both CMBW and (some) CBE adherents. Everybody knows that men are from Mars and women are from Venus—at least on average. Really? Just how large and consistent are such differences? Just how much do (or don’t) those bell curves overlap for women and men? Because there is so much bad science journalism floating around about these matters (written by people of every political and religious stripe), more comments on social science methodology... Read more
Egalitarians are often accused of sliding down the slippery slope of "soft androgyny"—the view that claims virtually no differences exist (or should exist) between males and females other than the most obvious anatomical and physiological ones. But, what do we mean by male and female complementarity? From a theological standpoint, like all other human activities, gender relations reflect a mix of good creation and tragic fallenness. It is challenging to sort out what’s creational and good from what’s fallen. Moreover, if gender complementarity somehow mirrors the relationship of members of the Trinity as they work together in creation and redemption (a point on which both sides in the debate seem to agree), then it is probably not going to be any easier to fully... Read more
A weird thing happened to me a few weeks ago. I was at our twins’ basketball game, sitting by myself, when a vivid memory swooped in out of the blue from seven years ago. At the time, I was still on big-church-staff, and we hosted a special event where several of us shared dreams for our different ministries. Right afterward, an elder came up to me and said, “Wow, you’re a pretty good speaker for a woman.” “You’re a pretty good speaker for a woman.” At that point I had been getting stronger as a leader and came back with at least a halfway decent response (although I’d have a way better one now!). I asked, “Um, is that a backhanded compliment?” He just chuckled, and there was an awkward silence before we both went our separa... Read more
I recently spoke to a pastor who made his case for not supporting women as senior pastors. “I’ve asked many men this question,” he said. “As a man, when you see a woman up front preaching or teaching, what’s the first thing you think about? The first thing that comes into your mind is if she is attractive or not. This distraction is one of the main reasons women should not be senior pastors or preach to men.” I was somewhat shocked by this argument. Not because he believed this, but because he said it out loud and so boldly. He stated it as if it were a biblical truth. To me, his statement was more about the sexism within evangelicalism connected to the sexism within the broader society, than some well thought out theological position on women in mini... Read more

Pages