Episode 076: Women in Ministry // (The “Tough” Texts)

In this episode, with John MacArthur’s controversial comments regarding Beth Moore in the air, we sit down to talk through some of the key texts for thinking about a theology of women in leadership.

The charismatic movement believes that God pours his Spirit out on all people… so in my journey, I’ve always wondered, “What would prevent a woman from preaching?”

For me, I came to Christ in high school, and my very first youth pastor was a woman, so I didn’t even realize it was an issue… when I started really reading the Bible, I saw women all over the place… so when I got to the troubling passages, I assumed there had to be an explanation…

Our entry point into the conversation really does matter… and we can’t just enter into it through our experience, and try to make the Bible match our experience… but it turns out that the Bible does have a whole lot to say about women in ministry…  

“Suitable helper” in Genesis is actually a bad translation… it is saying that alone, Adam can’t fulfill the commission…

The Hebrew word that is used for “helper” is actually most often used of God in the Old Testament… if the Old Testament had wanted to communicate subordinate status, it did a bad job of that…

With Mary and Martha… “sitting at the feet” is the same description used of Paul with Gamaliel; Martha is mad because Mary is transgressing a social boundary, and Jesus welcomes it…

What winds up happening is that we take a couple troubling texts and use them to dismiss all the others that seem to be saying something else…

In 1 Corinthians 14, we need to remember that this is one side of a correspondence… Paul has already given instructions on women prophesying in the church… in chapter fourteen he is quoting the Corinthians back to them to say, “This is NOT what I teach…”

In 1st Timothy 2, Paul is offering a specific prescription for a specific thing happening in the church… this is Pastor Paul showing up and trying to correct something that’s wonky inside the church…

We need to realize that either we are misreading Paul, or Paul is flat out misreading Genesis… instead what Paul is saying to the Corinthians is, “YOU are misreading Genesis…”

 

Grab Lucy Peppiatt’s book Rediscovering Scripture’s Vision for Women HERE 

Grab Pastor Brady’s Book Let Her Lead HERE

Episode 075: Creating a Culture of Ongoing Leadership Development

In this episode we sit down to talk about how senior leaders can create a culture of ongoing leadership development—both values and methods.

It’s so important in ministry to never stop growing… oftentimes churches get a bad rap for using and using up people… our hope is to actually leave people better than when they joined our team…   

Pastoral ministry is so diverse and requires a really unique toolbelt… people pick some of those tools up naturally, but struggle with others… if we just assume that they’ll pick everything up on their own, we’re shooting ourselves in the foot…  

We used to do a once a month training time for our staff, but we realized it just wasn’t enough… so not we’ve switched to three, eight-week runs of gatherings where we can spend longer on topics and get more return…  

Part of how we’re deciding on topics is that we’re putting our finger on the pulse of our staff and saying, “What is it that we NEED?”

At a very basic level, culture is shaped by the stories, practices, and language we share… these meetings are not just about information transfer but about learning a shared language and developing shared practices…  

The conversations we’ve had have tended to breed a lot of compassion and connection among our staff… we’re sharing about our stories, our families, and the things that have shaped us… it’s helped develop relationship and connection…  

For our volunteers we do three big events a year… one is a huge celebration, one is a vision event, and one is investment… that model gets replicated at a smaller level across our ministry teams…  

The truth of this is that if you don’t invest in other leaders, it dies with you, or is limited by you… your limitations will become the boundaries of your ministry… if you invest in others, you increase the Lord’s work exponentially…

Start small… find an initial group of key leaders and do what is manageable and life-giving for you… start there and let it build and flow naturally… don’t try to do too much at first…

Episode 074: A Conversation with Amy Julia Becker

In this episode we sit down to talk with author Amy Julia Becker about her book White Picket Fences: Turning Toward Love in a World Divided by Privilege.

I was planning on writing a book about children’s literature… I began to notice that the books I read to my kids were the ones that were read to me as a child… but I saw that they were all mirrors: they were all about white suburban families who had nice lives and similar problems to ours…

I began to recognize that we did not have books about people of color, which set me on a journey to find them, and to realize that a lot of them just hadn’t been written… which led me to ask some serious questions about my childhood…

Eventually I realized that I wasn’t writing a book about children’s literature; I’m writing a book about privilege, about what it means to be a person born into relative affluence, access to opportunity and education, and whiteness… what does that mean and how do I reckon with it?

My image of my (southern) childhood was idyllic… it was somewhat horrifying to look back and realize that I went to a private school that was founded because of desegregation… I loved that school, but as an adult I needed to recognize that that was an injustice…

Trying to hold grief and gratitude about my past together was where I ultimately landed…

Many people feel as though they are forced to either reject their parents and their childhood in order to reckon with injustice, or simply tow the party line and ignore it all…

One of reasons we shouldn’t demonize privilege is that we need to recognize that we are born into a social location… as Christians we need to ask what is God doing in me and through me in this place? God blesses us to be a blessing…

As my daughter (who has Down Syndrome) grew up, I began to recognize my own impoverishment… getting to know people with intellectual disabilities helped me see what I needed… the ways in which I didn’t understand love or relationships being more valuable than productivity… I desperately needed them…

What I am hopeful for is a holistic response to the harm of privilege… we need to do the intellectual work of reckoning with our history, learning about our cities, etc.… we need to engage our hearts in lament… and after that work, we need to, in community with others, determine what we will do to participate in God’s healing of the world…

Pick up Amy Julia’s book White Picket Fences here.