2016 is the 3rd year that The Junia Project has been blogging about egalitarian theology and mutuality. As we look back over this last year, we realize there is so much to be thankful for! Here are 7 things we wanted to highlight… 1. Missio Alliance held the SheLeads 2016 Conference We had a blast co-hosting SheLeads […]
“I’m looking for book recommendations that are egalitarian friendly and address the subjects of manhood and masculinity. I can’t find anything and our men’s ministry leaders are asking me. Please help!! Thank you!!” B.
An interesting thing happened on the way to writing this post. Since I am not a man, I asked eight men for book suggestions and got back ZERO recommendations. Not because they don’t care about the topic, but because 1) they were not aware of any resources on this, or 2) because there has not been much interest in studying “biblical manhood” in their circles. ALL of them told me they were very interested in anything we could find! It is encouraging that manhood and masculinity are not “hot topics” in church circles that support the shared leadership of men and women in ministry and socials contexts. But there is still a need to provide resources for churches that push back against the harmful “authentic manhood” rhetoric that is popular in some Christian circles today. Here are three books that would work well for individual or group study and are written from an egalitarian perspective.
Recently, the phenomenon of “locker room talk” among men about women has made national headlines. This has kick-started a new wave of awareness about the pervasiveness of sexual assault against women. All this has provided an occasion for me, and I am sure many other women, to relive a moment when a stranger grabbed me in exactly the way described in this “locker room talk.” I was twelve and walking with my Mom and older sister. As a group of older teenage boys walked by, one of them pretended to bump into my shoulder and as he did, he grabbed me between the legs—not an accidental brush but a deliberate, unmistakable grab. My mother and sister had no idea and we just kept walking. I was too stunned to respond. But I had already learned that this was the kind of thing boys do.
The Junia Project recently published an article written by my wife entitled, A Day in the Life of a Female Pastor.
The unfortunate reality for my wife and many other women who live with a burning passion for and calling to ministry, is that they have been told by some (mostly men) that the Bible frowns upon or even forbids women to serve as pastors/clergy.
The point of this post is not to address all of those issues, which have been batted around and debated for years. Personally, I still can’t believe that with all the pain, brokenness, disillusionment and despair in the world, there are people who think it’s a good and biblical idea to prevent one half of humanity from serving and giving themselves to its healing and wholeness.
But I digress.
So let me just share with you what my wife, a female pastor, did on the day her post was published and let that speak for itself.
A Day in the Life of a Female Pastor Most mornings I wake up to a certain heaviness in my body. I feel it from the inside out. It is as if every bit of unresolved brokenness from the day before wells up overnight and now balances on my chest like a heavy bucket of […]
#SHELeads is coming on October 29th! This is a one day summit convened by Missio Alliance for women who lead in church and ministry contexts. But it’s not just for women – it’s also for men who long to see the mission of God advanced through the “the Blessed Alliance”; the co-laboring of men and women […]
Northern Seminary student Megan Westra recently posted a reflection on Facebook about starting classes for her Master of Divinity degree. We asked her to share more of that journey with you today, along with the original post.
To you it may just look like another chair in another classroom
But to me it represents the five-year-old girl who wanted to be a missionary
It represents the ten-year-old girl who planned out summer camps
and programs she could run in her backyard
It represents the teenage girl crying in her journal at night
because she felt like she would never fit,
because she just couldn’t keep quiet…
From the mailbox: “Just wanted to say thank you for your article on 1 Timothy 2. It was a great reference for me as my 13 yr old daughter asked me about it when she read it during her devotions. I was not sure how to respond to her until I found your article. Thank you!” God Bless, Brian. As long as 1 Timothy 2 continues to be used to restrict women from fulfilling their call to discipleship we will continue sharing good scholarship on this passage. Today’s “long form” post is by seminary professor Patrick Franklin. In it he identifies 3 general reasons and 6 specific problems with using the passage in this way. This is our most comprehensive post on 1 Timothy 2 to date – be sure to bookmark it for further reference.
“A man’s place is in the army.”
So starts David M. Scholer’s satirical list of reasons why men shouldn’t be pastors. Most of you have probably seen the list before; it’s been around a number of years. We’re sharing it as a reminder that humor can be very helpful when discussing a hot button issue like women in ministry. (And to do our part to keep this great piece in circulation!).
Keep in mind that Scholer’s purpose here is NOT to put men down, but to use satire to show that many arguments used to restrict women from pastoral roles are rooted in cultural expectations and gender norms. And so without further ado:
10. A man’s place is in the army.
9. For men who have children, their duties might distract them from the responsibilities of being a parent.
8. Their physical build indicates that men are more suited to tasks such as chopping down trees and wrestling mountain lions. It would be “unnatural” for them to do other forms of work.
On Saturday, October 29, 2016, the #SheLeads Summit will be convened by MissioAlliance. On that day, women and men will gather from coast to coast at regional sites, in churches, and in homes across the United States to talk about the unique challenges that women who lead in church and ministry contexts face and to advance a vision of shared leadership between men and women. The Junia Project is proud to be a sponsor of this event and hope you can join us, either in Pasadena or at a regional venue in your area. Mainstage speakers include Carolyn Custis James and Jo Saxton, and local venues will be adding their own flavor to the mix. Here are five reasons we think you won’t want to miss this event.
Eugene Hung is a talented writer and fierce advocate for women. He recently started a new blog –feministasiandad.com – and we can’t get enough! He graciously let us repost this from his site so we could share it with all of you and spread the word about his inspiring new blog. Check it out and give him […]
Earlier this year we shared a guest post titled “Why I’m at a Church That Doesn’t Support Gender Equality”. The post led to a robust discussion of the pros and cons of staying versus leaving. Today a seasoned leader shares a consequence of staying in a complementarian church that did not come up in earlier discussions and is worth considering.
“The work of a pastor is fashioned after the work of a shepherd who watches over, protects, nurtures, encourages, and loves the sheep. When a sheep wanders off and is hurt, the good shepherd runs after that one and guides or carries it to safety. If a lamb is caught in a crevice the good shepherd does whatever is necessary to free the lamb and heal its wounds. The good shepherd sings to the flock at night soothing their souls encouraging peace. When danger encroaches, the good shepherd chases away the enemy even fighting or killing them if necessary. The good shepherd has eyes on each member of the flock at all times for their betterment, safety, and joy. Jesus is our example of the good Shepherd.
After 40+ years of serving in teaching, preaching, and leading capacities I’ve accepted the fact that pastors and leaders who do not believe in women ministering in these ways will simply not shepherd women in their spiritual development. We’re on our own there.”
Sometimes I find it amusing that our churches of today seem to be more anti-women than the Bible is. We doubt women’s ability to preach truth, when the first person to share the gospel – He is risen! – was a woman. We question the idea of women in leadership, when once upon a time […]
On a recent tour of Germany I came across the Stolpersteine Project. Stolpersteine (stumbling stones) are small brass-plated blocks or stones embedded into the streets to commemorate victims of Nazi oppression. Each stone is made and laid by hand. They are usually placed just outside the place where the person named on the stone was forcibly taken from their home or business. Each stone begins with HERE LIVED…… One stone. One name. One person. The idea came about while German artist Gunter Demnig was painting a white line through the city of Cologne to commemorate the historical deportation of 1000 gypsies. The line would show where they had been chased to the train station. One day an older woman stopped to scold him, insisting that there had never been any gypsies in Cologne. Shocked, he investigated and found evidence that in the 1930s thousands of gypsies, as well as Jews, had lived side by side with Germans. To combat the human tendency to forget, he designed the first stones. To date, over 48,000 stones have been laid in more than 20 countries. In a sense, The Junia Project is very much like the Stolpersteine Project.
On the third Wednesday of each month I set up camp in a conference room at the hospital where I work. I set out water bottles, a tray of cookies, and boxes of tissue. I post signs throughout the hallway, and then sit down and wait. As the clock nears 6:00 pm they start to arrive – the surviving spouses of the hospice patients I have served. Sometimes they smile when they see me, other times they make it through the door just barely, a bewildered and tired look in their eyes.
It seems odd that I, a 29 year old with less than 5 years of marriage under my belt, would be tasked with running a support group for bereaved spouses. In reality I do very little to ease the burden of grief. I give group members permission to talk about their loved ones and their loss. I sit and bear witness; sometimes I have to tell myself to stay and be present, and other times I am captivated and drink in their stories.
The latter was the case with a man who attended my group in March. He was old enough to be my parent and then some, but by far the youngest person in the group. He was also the most reserved.