In my last post, I suggested that the releasing of women to co-labor alongside men in the Kingdom may be one of the next moves of God. Here are five (somewhat subjective/anecdotal) reasons I believe this:
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- The increasing number of respected theologians and leaderswho are vocally expressing their support of women–theologians such as Ben Witherington, N.T. Wright and Scot McKnight through their clear exposition of the Scriptures, leaders such as Bill and Lynne Hybels, Alan Hirsch, Dave Ferguson through both their words and actions.
- The number of books being written. Thirty plus years ago, when I first started examining this topic, it was hard to find a book written on this subject. There are an increasing number coming on the market–both theological such as Man and Woman, One in Christ by Philip B. Payne, and What’s With Paul and Women? by Jon Zens, and experiential–I think of Unladylike: Resisting the Injustice of Inequality in the Church by Pam Hogeweide and The Gospel of Ruth: Loving God Enough to Break the Rules by Carolyn Custis James. (And yes, I ask myself, is there a need for one more–the one I’m in the process of compiling? I hope so. It will take a different approach.)
- I’m beginning to see tracks for women in leadership at conferences, and seminars designed specifically for women who are taking a lead. Conferences that traditionally only had male speakers on the platform are making room for women too. It’s a small number, but it’s a start.
- An increase in opposition. The conversation is becoming more heated, which often happens when something worthwhile is about to break.
- The number of both men and women who are changing their minds about women in ministry. I hear this quite often at a personal level, and the book, How I Changed My Mind about Women in Leadership details a number of stories from prominent evangelicals who describe their change in belief.
Are there other signs that I’ve missed?
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8 replies on “5 signs that God may be on the move re women”
Felicity, Your book be a blessing, because it will not compete with others, but it will examine the issue from an intriguingly different perspective, as you always do.
One personal way that I see that God is giving signs, is expressed in Psalms:
“The Lord gives the command; The women who proclaim the good tidings
are a great host” Ps. 68:11 NASB
When I go to South Asia, the women there are like tigers, with the anointing
and fruit from the Holy Spirit. The numbers of women that I see that are ‘doing the stuff’
of the Kingdom are an unmistakable sign that God is increasing this mode
of operation. Similar reports are coming in from every quarter.
Bruce, thank you. That’s another great piece of “evidence.” I’ve seen it too and long to see similar things happen here.
I think the men should look to their laurels – once those women catch up, what’s to stop them shooting far ahead? 🙂
On a more serious note, sigmoid curves are common in biology and statistics. These curves rise very slowly at first, but as they rise they become steeper and steeper. By the time they arrive around 50% the change is at its fastest. They go on rising after that but ever more slowly and growth finally stops as they approach the 100% point.
This is a great simplification, but you get the idea. I’m sure you’re familiar with such curves from your medical days, Felicity.
I think we’re still on the lower part of the curve but there’s been enough change that larger numbers of people are starting to take notice, and that’s why the opposition is growing too. It’ll die away again as more and more people make the mental switch to the new paradigm.
Your book? Yes, much needed and as Bruce mentioned you will bring a unique perspective. Go for it!
This is very useful, Chris. I agree with your assessment of where we are now, and it’s helpful to think about where it will take us in the future too.
Loren Cunningham with another Bible scholar, David Hamilton, wrote Why Not Women? Very good. Also, Women as Risk-Takers for God. Excellent. My good friend, a missionary in Romania, was leading gypsies to the Lord. When she tried bringing them to church, the pastor and elders made clear they were not welcome. When she asked what she was to do, this male-dominated, legalistic church culture told her to start a church for them. She did. She is the founder and pastor of this non-traditional structured Romanian gypsy church and it is thriving!
I love the book, “Why Not Women” too. I haven’t seen Women as Risk Takers for God–I’ll look it up.
I love the story about your friend starting a church with gypsies!
[…] Read more about gender justice in the church on Harriet’s blog Story in the Middle. For another view on the tilting seesaw see 5 Signs that God May Be on the Move Regarding Women. […]
[…] Pope’s remarks read “Asking the Pope for More” at Challenging Tertullian. -Also of interest, 5 Signs that God May Be on the Move Regarding Women, by Felicity Dale. – Graphic […]