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Women in Ministry

There are still church pastors and church leaders worldwide who believe women have no authority to pastor and should remain silent in the church. It is further exacerbated by the misinterpretation of 1 Timothy 2:11-12. Saint Paul wrote these scriptures to guide a troubled, first century church, not to create a discriminatory church policy against women in the 21st century. Yet, the reality is women are being discriminated against. It is a silent and stifling church policy that must come to an end! Sacred scriptures are misused to silence women and some stop them from pastoring because there is no biblical model. The truth is some men use sacred scriptures to limit competition for pastoral jobs, church management, and remain in power. There are some churches founded by women, bu... Read more
“Why are you single?” I don’t know how often married people are asked why they are married, but I have a feeling it is less often than singles are asked the reasons behind their marital status. It’s often followed up with “Are your standards too high? Have you been hurt? What vibes are you putting out?” Yes, to my face, out loud, these questions come. Sometimes condescendingly, other times in genuine wonder, trying to put together my awesomeness with my singleness. My answer varies depending on my mood and depth of relationship. But in my rawest, most honest moments I say: “I am a Christian. I am a woman. I am a leader. Remove any one of those statements and I believe I would be married.” This is a loaded claim. I get it. And beca... Read more
On International Women’s Day, I read this blog post by Steve Holmes. And then I saw it retweeted by some other men. I shall declare upfront that I like Steve very much on twitter, and I like his blog, and I really really like this particular post, (and I really like the other men who I saw retweet it) but… Oh, come on, of course there’s a "but," if there wasn’t a "but" I wouldn’t be writing this post. Now, listen, the argument is great (and well argued, not going to try and fight the rhetoric). He lists some amazing women who did amazing things, whose achievements really really should speak for themselves, and their right to be in ministry shouldn’t have to be defended by anyone. I really want to go with him a... Read more
The following column is posted with permission from his blog. I have defended the ministry of women in the church in public for a while now, including on my blog. I don’t think I can do it any longer. Not because of any lack of calling or gifting in their ministry, but because of a lack in mine. Take Phoebe Palmer. She began to be involved in leading a Bible study in New York around 1830. She soon received invitations to preach across the USA and in the UK. Something like 25,000 people were converted by her ministry. 25,000 people. Converted. Does that need defense? Really? She visited prisons regularly, ran a society helping poor people in need of medical attention, and was involved in an ambitious project to challenge the new problem of urban poverty through the provision... Read more
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

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