Women in Ministry

A few weeks ago, Focus on the Family’s Pastoral Ministries division was on campus at Denver Seminary. They shared the statistics of a recent survey they administered. A number of us were surprised at a variety of the findings. For example, over 40% of the pastors surveyed are between the ages of 50-59 in comparison to just 1.6% between the ages of 20-29. There were several others that surprised people. But one statistic jumped out at me. 95% of the pastors surveyed were male. Which, as I’m sure you figured out, leaves only 5% female. Is there something wrong with this picture? I know several friends who attend churches where woman ministers would not even be permitted. But I find a large number of churches claiming to not have a problem with woman ministers and yet, have a staff composed of 3 male pastors. There are just not very women pastors out there. I mean, even as the senior preaching series begins at Denver Seminary, all of the sermons will be given by males. I don’t think a woman should be included in the group if she isn’t deserving, but where are all the deserving women going? Are they pursuing other careers where they are more accepted? Is it because they have not seen many women pastors in leadership roles?

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4 Responses to Women in Ministry

  1. Craig Blomberg says:

    Great questions. This is the first year in quite awhile we have not had a woman among the six senior preachers, and the last two years the senior preaching award was won by a woman. Going back a few years, it was also won by your colleague in ministry at First CRC Denver, Joy Engelsman. We don’t have a huge percentage of women in our M.Div. program but it’s higher than at many evangelical seminaries. If they’re not in ministry after they graduate, it’s seldom for lack of trying but for lack of churches willing to hire them.

  2. mudsaltlifebreath says:

    Not seeing women in leadership roles, not seeing women who are in leadership roles be given the same respect as their male counter parts, and certainly a lack of discipleship/training by women…for other women are also factors that make women shy away from a certain “title”. At least–have made me shy away from it.

  3. Sara says:

    “Hello, my name is Sara. I’m a deserving woman, but I have no discernible future.”

    “Hiiiiiiii, Sara”

  4. bethy says:

    The irony of your post is upsettingly perfect. I am sitting at this very moment next to “Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood” as I am in my brother’s apartment. Both of my brothers said this was near the top of their “must read” books.

    So, in regards to your post, I don’t think it has so much to do with exposure as interpretation. People today refuse to read things that disagree with their viewpoint so they load up on arguments for their side–as if to convince themselves. They struggle to view the Bible as permission-giving to women and think its non-Biblical for a woman to be anywhere but the kitchen. God forbid we allow them in the church. Even though its 2/3s of the congregations we have, we’ll just ignore they are there because God obviously assigned them the background roles and gave them the gift of making coffee and teaching our children only. oh, and those mangy heathens in foreign countries.

    …and i apologize for the rant. 🙂 see you Monday!

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