Pastor’s wife problems: Getting slapped on the behind after your husband’s sermon while the congregant calls out, “Good message from Kris today”. Almost like “good game” after a sporting event. Woman pastor’s problems: Getting grabbed by the face after your sermon and pulled nose-to-nose with a congregant while she gruffly declares, “I don’t believe in […]
This is another 2017 Junia Project blog contest winner. We hope you enjoy! My siblings and I were setting the table when we heard an echo from the kitchen. “Honey, please put down that chain saw and come in; dinner is getting cold.” It was a typical weekend growing up in our home. My dad […]
This post is another 2017 Blog Contest winner! We hope you enjoy it as much as we did! Sometimes I still believe the myths. You know, the soft rumblings of that devilish voice that says, “you don’t have much to offer a congregation beyond your work in children’s ministry” or “you can preach, but only […]
As I listened to the pastor of my new church describe the insults and attacks he and the elders had endured after they made the decision to invite women onto the elder board, a weight lifted off my soul.
For the first time in my life, I discovered what it felt like to have male leadership take the hit for me.
Prior to this, only one or two individual men had heralded my gifts. Finally I knew what it meant to be part of a church body where I did not need to keep my mouth shut or squirm in my seat or disagree in silence whenever issues regarding women were addressed. Because that is my world for the most part.
While my own position concerning the role of women in the church has gradually changed, my work environment has not.
When we open a Word doc on our computers, the default settings are different depending on the program we use. The default settings in Word on a PC use the font Times New Roman. But on a Mac it’s Calibri, and in Google Docs it’s Arial. Maybe, like me, you’ve tweaked those default settings so […]
I should have realized it long ago; I should have recognized the signs.
But I didn’t. I suppose I was so lost in my own ideas that I didn’t notice. My husband and I were both raised in complementarian or patriarchal homes. Both of us were taught that the man was the head of the home, the priest and leader of the family, and that the woman was to submit to his leadership. He was wise to take her counsel, but the ultimate decision lay with him. He, as the man, made the final decision. And the wife submitted.
Soon after our 8th anniversary, we began homeschooling our children. The homeschooling community is, by and large, staunchly patriarchal. I threw myself into the whole scene. Women were to be raised to be keepers at home; there would be no careers for my daughters. I still remember my 5 year old daughter throwing herself on the couch in tears when she realized I didn’t support her desire to become a doctor.
Shaping future pastors doesn’t begin with college, or even a call. It begins at birth. It begins with parents and church families who intentionally foster the idea that our little boys and girls alike can be anything God calls them to be.
It begins with communities who nurture strength and bravery in their little people from the very earliest ages, who foster a faith in Jesus and a confidence that they are created in the perfect image of God.
There are four things that we can actively do to raise little girls today to be women pastors tomorrow.
I was a freshman in college and I believed that I needed to take the backseat of Christianity.
I was headed to Columbia, Missouri with some peers to do homeless ministry. People were piling into cars, and it came down to who was getting shot gun. Without a fight, I took the backseat. I told one of my peers: “I will take the back seat, I guess I am going to have to get used to this submission thing.” Defeated, I quietly slid into the back seat.
Learning to be an advocate for women is difficult when you have to unlearn years of a complementarian mentality, male privilege and the effect of centuries of patriarchy.
But I believe this is what we are called to pursue.
This has been my journey. Sometimes I think it has been difficult, but what is more difficult is seeing how women are being oppressed. Every man needs to face the messiness of what it means to be egalitarian, regardless of how uncomfortable or challenging it may be.
While at times I identify myself as egalitarian, sometimes it is more useful to say I’m a recovering sexist/complementarian/patriarchist. This reminds me I’m always on a journey in pursuing equality – not only because it means liberation for women from oppressive structures, but also because it means liberation for me.
So here I share a few things I have learned in my journey about being an advocate for women.
I recently had a conversation with a good friend. As we were talking, I shared some frustrations I had surrounding ways that many husbands live out headship and their perceived authority in marriage. My friend is in his sixties, he’s a “PK” (pastor’s kid), and a good guy who has loved God his entire life. He’s a husband, dad, grandpa, and successful in his career.
As we talked, he paused and declared; “Tim, you talk so much about equality/inequality, authority, submission, hierarchy, and headship.
How to Be Egalitarian with a Complementarian Spouse. Well you cry a lot, sometimes, especially in the beginning. You both get mad and accuse the other of not being the person you married. You get into theological fistfights.. You sit opposite each other on the kitchen floor and joust back and forth with “Well how come we care about the prohibition of women teaching but not women wearing gold jewelry?” and “Well despite Jesus being so countercultural in his treatment of women, why were The Twelve all men?”
“If You Give a Woman a Bible” is a Top 3 Winner for The Junia Project’s 2017 blog contest. Laura Atwater cleverly uses the structure of the best-selling children’s book “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” to illustrate the complexities that women in ministry must navigate.
If you give a woman a Bible, she will sit down and read scripture.
Once she reads 1 Timothy 2:8-15, she will question women’s roles.
In her questioning she will look to other scriptures.
While looking for other scriptures, she will come across the story of Phoebe and believe she is called to ministry…
This post is a Top 3 Winner for The Junia Project’s 2017 blog contest. “It was an American supermodel who first showed me an egalitarian view of the Bible. Kathy Ireland shared with me in an interview about her first modeling trip overseas when she was 18, when her loneliness led her to read the Bible her mom had slipped into her suitcase, and how Jesus’ love, honor, and care for women led her to God.”
We are SO excited to announce the winners of the 2017 Junia Project blog contest!
We received more than 60 entries and we had a blast reading every single one! Thank you to everyone who trusted us with your beautiful stories. It was amazing to read about how God is moving in your lives, and that is something we don’t take lightly. Please continue writing about your experiences even if your post was not selected this time around! Many of us have experienced healing and growth from the process of reflecting on our experiences and observations.
We received so many amazing entries that we decided to select 15 for publication instead of 10! As a reminder, all the winners will have their entries featured on The Junia Project blog, but only the top 3 entries will receive Junia Project swag. So here are the results (top 3 first, and in alphabetical order).
In 2015, a few months before my wedding, I wrote a blog for the Junia Project titled, 6 Things Egalitarian Marriage is Not. At that point, I had only a theological and biblical understanding of egalitarian marriage. Today, Ryan and I are just just shy of our 2 year anniversary, and I’ve got some egalitarian newlywed experience to offer as a sequel. Two different, individual people coming together to live as one flesh, come to find, is a process! It’s all too easy to live in the world of “me, myself, and I” when it comes to feelings, thoughts, opinions, and decisions. I continue to learn what it means to be “us”, and that what I do always has a direct effect on my husband. With that said, these are the relational dynamics that I’ve found to reveal whether or not an egalitarian marriage is underway.