… or so I’ve been told – (and yes, it is a direct quote.) As a female pastor in a Baptist church, I am a rarity indeed. When I was growing up, I did not consider going into ministry because I did not know any female ministers in the Baptist world. I just accepted the common notion that, as a female, I would volunteer with the youth at a church, rock babies, collect money for missions or serve in some other volunteer capacity while men assumed the official roles of pastors.
Ten years ago [Twelve years as of 2012] when I first began serving as an associate pastor in a congregation, I was sensitive to the judgements of others regarding my “call”. There was a great deal of judgement from other pastors and congregations who strongly opposed females in leadership. I even had some friends who did not agree with obedience to my calling. What bothered me the most, though, were the comments directed to the youth in my ministry – that our church was unbiblical; that we were teaching evil; that we were all sinning because we allowed females to serve in pastoral roles (even though these other congregations had females in pastoral roles in every way BUT title.) Comments to female youth in the ministries of these other churches who, when feeling a call to ministry, were told they were wrong.
We have attended several youth camps and events where I was the only female youth pastor. My youth either didn’t notice or if they did, they were perplexed. They couldn’t imagine anything but a female youth pastor. For which I am thankful. Thankful that the girls in my ministry over the years can listen to God’s call regardless of gender. Thankful that the guys in my ministry over the years have seen the heart, gifting, and calling of a female pastor.
I came across this video today which really touched me and does an eloquent job of explaining what is loss in the evangelical church by the omission of the female voice from church leadership. Take a listen and leave your thoughts – even if you disagree. But please keep your tone and words in the heart and nature of Christ.