Thank God for those who protect a woman’s call! “I’m not sure I can continue as a leader in this church.” So exhausted from lack of sleep, and reeling from the many personal life changes swirling around me, I could not believe those words had escaped from my mouth. Seated directly across from my former […]
I am a part of a Christian tradition that has ordained women as elders since its inception during the American Holiness movement in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The first church in which I ever served as a pastor was founded by a female circuit rider who planted churches across west Texas and southeastern […]
“There were zero women pastors in the Bible and no women apostles. There were no women pastors in nearly 2000 years of church history. Therefore, women cannot be pastors.”
This argument has been thrown at me on a number of occasions. There are a few things to unpack here. What does the New Testament say about pastors? Were there women pastors in the Bible? Were there women apostles in the Bible? Can we determine whether or not the early church had women leaders?
“Girls can’t be drummers.” My 3-year-old daughter.
“I had no idea I could be a youth pastor.” A female high school student.
These two statements have had a profound impact on my pursuit of gender equality. Let me start with my daughter.
She and I love to watch music videos together and one morning, we were watching a band with a girl drummer. With the certainty of a toddler, she uttered the statement above that broke my heart a little bit.
She wasn’t sad; she wasn’t feeling excluded. This was just the simple reality for her because she had never seen a woman drummer before. Of course, girls can’t be drummers!
The situation was remarkably similar for that female high school student. Every winter, we hosted a winter retreat for middle school and high school students. Every year, we invited a local pastor or youth pastor to be our speaker for the weekend. And every year, that pastor was a man.
I realized what we had been unintentionally communicating to our students by this choice: girls can’t be pastors. So I decided it was time to invite a female pastor to be our speaker.
As both a woman in ministry, and a mom, I often feel like I live in tension.
I’m sure all working moms feel this tension. There’s a constant pull between pastor-me, and mom-me. I have moments where I feel like I’m not using my gifts to the fullest, like I’m not living up to my calling, like I’m not doing all that I could be doing. I look at others, and I feel that twinge of jealousy. How are they doing it? What choices have they made? What is different in their lives?
This is a 2017 Junia Blog Contest Winner! We hope you enjoy it! For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a pastor. Raised as a pastor’s kid, my childhood is filled with memories of church and all things related. As a child, I loved the church; the building, the people, the […]
This is a 2017 Junia Blog Contest Winner! We hope you enjoy it! 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 […]
This is another 2017 Junia Blog Contest Winner! 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 […]
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.
“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 is What a Leader Looks Like” is a series adapted from an interview project on women in leadership conducted by Naomi Hall. Naomi recently served as a student intern with the Center for Transformation Leadership, a joint endeavor of the Free Methodist Church of Southern California and Azusa Pacific University. Meet Natalia Álvarez. Natalia is from […]
Welcome to “This is What a Leader Looks Like”, a series adapted from an interview project conducted by Naomi Hall. Naomi recently served as a student intern with the Center for Transformation Leadership, a joint endeavor of the Free Methodist Church and Azusa Pacific University. Today’s interview is with Janette Ok, a Teaching Pastor at Ekko Church and Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies, New Testament at Azusa Pacific Seminary. She writes “In the fifth grade, I attended a camp for Korean-American youth. At the end of the camp, I received a “paper plate” award that read, ‘Janette is bound to become a Sae Jong camp counselor someday due to her leadership abilities.’ That was the first time I saw myself a leader and, ever since, I have tried to discover what it meant to be a great one.”
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 […]
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…