Church + Women Leaders = Hope

Kathy-FB-memeWhen I look at the church, what gives me hope?

by Kathy Escobar

When I look at the church today, there are a few things that are bringing me hope.  The first is that there are more and more women emerging as leaders in different contexts, using their voices and sharing their gifts despite the obstacles. In the past 10 years of pastoring, I have seen more women at the table, more women leading ministries, more women on teams than ever before.  We still have a long way to go and so many structures and systems are still far too imbalanced to only men, but it does give me so much hope to see some churches and ministries really making an effort in this way.

These women are so passionate about the kingdom of God, but it's often underground, out of the spotlight of traditional power.  When I look at our city now and ask, "Where is there action happening in terms of kingdom connections and life and justice and compassion?" I come up with a long list of women who are out there doing amazing work that is often unknown on the outside but inside is having a huge impact on people.

The other thing is that I see more focus on practice rather than knowledge.  There's a desire to put our faith into action and get out of the pews and actually live it out in a tangible way. I continue to hear more stories of people trading "going to church" in the traditional sense for actually "being the church," and that gives me a lot of hope for our future.

Kathy Escobar co-pastors The Refuge, a mission center and Christian community in North Denver. Her books include Down We Go: Living into the Wild Ways of Jesus and Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything You Believe is Coming Apart

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1 Response

  1. Irma says:

    I am a Pastors wife and my husband and I serve in a small church denomination here in Ontario Canada. We have also served in a large evangelical denomination.
    One of these have had one female pastor serving in a large city of 300,000. The denomination we presently serve in has one in is in a town of 20,000 and the other in a large borough of Toronto. All these churches have remained small,60 or less. So my husband and I struggle with women in lead pastoral roles. We have seen female worship,children's,youth,seniors pastors have large groups they take care of. And as Christ chose only males as disciples, we wonder if there's a correlation. Yes, Paul had female leaders in house churches,but there again,how big could they have been when their homes weren't very large.
    We applaud the women who work behind the scenes and add greatly to the different ministries of the church into their communities. We just find male lead pastors more authoritative when it comes to sermonizing.
    Maybe it's a cultural issue since we find a big difference in the attitude of our American churches. Both of the denominations we have served in began in the brethren churches of Pennsylvania. And we have found that American pastors who have come to serve in our Canadian churches, have returned back to the States after only serving one or two years of their term. Yet we have many Canadian pastors who have served long terms in the U.S. Maybe there are female lead pastors of large churches in the U.S. We're just maybe unaware.
    Any thoughts on this?

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