Prayerfully consider the following questions and write down your answers:
Think of the last three times a woman approached leadership with an idea or concern. What was the response?
Think of the last three times a man approached leadership with an idea or concern. What was the response?
Reflect on the scenarios above:
When multiple women come forward expressing concerns that are similar, are they ever accused of gossip? Are men? What term(s) is used when women share ideas or gather to talk? What term(s) is used when men share ideas or gather to talk? Which group is more likely to be taken seriously? Dismissed? Why?
Thinking back over the last three projects your church implemented, where did these projects originate? How much were women or men engaged in developing/designing them? Who was involved and how were they chosen? Who backed them? Who approved them?
The Barna Group found that female pastors are more likely than male pastors to report that congregants’ comments on their leadership were “critical,” “judging,” and “unhelpful.”
Name ten male experts in the church (on any subject). Name ten female experts in the church (on any subject). Do you notice differences in the lists? Why did these people come to mind most quickly? How does gender play into the way you evaluated them or considered them experts?
Research indicates men have a hard time noticing women leaders, while women have a hard time considering themselves experts and are less likely to assert themselves as such. How might this affect the way a church operates?
When you have all-church events, who handles child care? Who works in the kitchen? Who decorates? Who cleans up? Who works behind the scenes? Who stands up front? Who takes notes? Who makes announcements? Who is asked to pray? Who offers teaching/the Word? Who leads worship? Who serve on strategic planning committees, leadership teams, or boards?
Examine whether women might not be accepting or pursuing leadership roles because they are busy with other work expected of women. Are men willing to fill these roles?
What kind of training do you offer so women/men feel better equipped to volunteer for roles not traditionally filled by people of their gender?
Is child care available for all activites or meetings? If not, which meetings or activities do provide child care? Which assumptions underlie when child care is or is not provided? What implications does this have for parents who wish to access activities where child care is not provided? How easy or hard is it for parents to bring their children with them?
Who in your church has access to church financial data and planning, strategic planning documents and spaces, evaluation documents and spaces, decision-making documents and spaces? Do women and men have equal access to this information? Why or why not?
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