Feminism, the Church and Old Dudes

Male equals female

We like to separate everything, and I mean everything. Think about it. With the food on your plate, you put the good stuff to the left and save it for last… or if you are a dare devil, you put it to the right and hit it first. In school we picked teams based on strength and friendship. At the grocery store we skip the brown and green bananas and look for the golden trophy fruit. We even separate people culturally and racially. Today it is common thought, that one who separates based on race (aka a racist) is an idiot. But if we had a conversation in regards to separating people based on gender, the general response is nawwwww… that’s not true. Then when a select few decide to speak up, we squash them. Then they get louder, so we squash them harder. Then they get angry and we call them feminists.

The words feminist and feminism are thrown around more than ever. Our Prime Minister JT even calls himself a feminist. But is it feminism? Or is it just bringing balance back to a larger picture. The world has always been run by old dudes in suits calling the shots from squeaky leather chairs. They created unspoken rules holding the tension of gender equality at arms length, but firmly in their grip. Easy to deny but hard to let go of. For example: my wife won a preaching award, theology award and was valedictorian at college. I failed public communication AND preaching, had a fairly mediocre GPA and barely showed up to class. Which one of us do you think has been in full time ministry their whole adult life? Yup, not the most qualified one.

We have watched this happen in the church world for eons of. We are eager to take Paul out of context and have a debate that has gone on for way too long. The problem with this debate, and most others inside Christianity, is that there is never a winner. The people who won’t place females in leadership still won’t and those who want to move on do so. The whole thing just makes me cringe some days.

Do you remember Philip in the book of Acts? Not the apostle, but one of the seven who got the task of handling the feeding program with prophetic insight. Well, that guy had 4 daughters who like himself received the gift of prophecy. I am assuming because women weren’t aloud to speak in the church that God gave them that gift just to mess with the system. “Here is the most public gift you can receive, don’t use it or you will be in trouble” (said in a booming God type voice) Maybe it was a secret agent use of the gift -where you could receive your word from God written on paper and delivered by a man, who would of course also take the credit for it. But it’s ok if he did because that would keep you humble and at home near the stove. There is no way that is how it went down! This is just one example of course. We don’t see a ton of examples of strong female leaders taking the reigns in the NT. I would propose that this has more to do with male dominated societies than it had to do with a Godly endorsed separation. This is the same issue we still deal with!

Let’s be honest, there are women out there who could do my job WAY better than I can. So what holds them back? We do! In some marriages the guy would be better off staying home and the lady staying at work. I hope we see the social freedom in this in the years to come. Our struggle was that Amberley is better in career and also the better stay at home parent. I wonder how many families are the same way? Ladies, you don’t have to stay home and raise the kids. If you want a massive impacting career, go get it!

In my career I find it much easier to work with women. Here is why. I have a D (in the disc personality typing) personality. However, I have worked hard to soften the edges of this personality over the last 5 years. So in turn I find it easy to work with females leaders who also have D personalities and are very driven. I find it easy to make opportunities for them to succeed because they hustle. When working with guys who have D personality (and some other mixes) I find that they are so concerned with steam rolling their way to the top that they never want to learn how to climb the ladder effectively. When we take on interns, I intern them with the mentality that I want them to become better at everything I am teaching them than I am. Some can handle that and of course some cannot. I would  love it if a female leader replaced me one day as I transition out of my role. That would be amazing, and I would feel like I helped balance the scales. I would also feel accomplished because I know that in a lot of cases the better and more qualified person would be getting the job.

Female senior leaders do not have to be a unicorn or some other mythical creature that we only hear about at conferences and in books. Female senior leaders can and should be taking the place of prominence today. Help me find ways to balance this scale in an accurate and biblical way! Let’s bring Christianity into 2017 and ignore all the cultural stuff that held the church back from taking its rightful place as bright and glorious! The last hundred years of tradition should be a great example to us that some things didn’t work and do not matter anymore!


If you enjoyed this read, check out some of my other articles and share them with friends! You can also follow along on the following AND coming this fall (2017) The Next Up Podcast, where I will be talking with friends about everything from church planting to music I like to how to make the most of your life.

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