I’m glad for my denomination’s stance on women in ministry, I’m glad that we have always had female pastors and leaders. I’m glad we have a female General Superintendent (Carla Sunberg), that we elected a female DS this summer (Rose Brower-Young on the Canada West District) and I’m glad that one of our large, historical churches (Pasadena First Church is pastored by a woman (Tara Beth Leach). Having said that, (instead of complaining that we aren’t doing enough, which, by the way, we aren’t providing enough opportunities), allow me to offer my fellow male pastors some tips on ways we can do better:
1). Hire Female Staff members. (And not just in the children’s area. In a moment of full disclosure both of the children’s pastors at my church are female and they are great, but we also have another female pastor on staff. In past churches I have pastored we have had female visitation pastors, middle school pastors, evangelism pastors, and discipleship pastors).
2). Enlist Female Role Model Preachers. Find the best female preachers and invite them to speak at revivals, mission’s gatherings, special services, whatever. Give those who are being called positive role models.
3). Preach about God calling woman and men. Remind your congregation that God needs female voices as well as male voices to reach this generation.
4). Let Young Preacher’s Preach. When God calls these females to preach (and God will) let them preach. Give them opportunities. This past Sunday night, one of our young preacher’s preached. She did great! She did far better than I would have done as a 19-year-old, I guarantee you that! She is talented and called and will be a great pastor one day.
5). Encourage your District Leadership to include female preachers on interview lists of churches and to serve as interim and supply preachers, schedule women preachers for pastors’ retreats (not just for the spouses of the ministers at such retreats) but as the actual main speaker and for events like camp meetings and District Assembly and Pastors’ Day enrichment experiences.
If we truly believe Peter’s words in his Pentecost sermon where he quoted the prophet Joel:
“‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams. Acts 2:17
Then do all you can to encourage your daughters to prophesy along with your sons. Call them to follow God’s calling upon their life and encourage them to become the Women of Christ that God will use for the Kingdom’s glory!