Most people who read this blog know that, although its main emphasis is usually on simple/organic church, for several months I’ve been writing consistently about women. The reason? For the past two years, I’ve been compiling a book on women in the Kingdom. That process is very now very nearly finished. Just the final details on the last chapter to go before the manuscript is ready to send to the publisher (YAY!)
Here’s a little history behind the book.
Five years ago, recognizing my own need for peer fellowship, I reached out to a few women who play a significant role in the body of Christ. We connected via conference call. As our fellowship grew deeper, a natural discussion topic was the role of women in the church. Between us, we were aware of many women who desire everything God has for them, but yet who hang back, waiting for a man to take the lead. What could we do to give them permission to follow the Holy Spirit with all their hearts no matter where he led, even if it meant them taking the initiative? How could we encourage men to stand with them?
We knew from experience that in the church in the West, with notable exceptions, women have been sidelined and marginalized. Because they’ve been taught that they’re stepping out of line if they initiate or lead, they have settled back into passivity. Men lead; women follow. That’s the godly pattern. The result? The mission of Jesus suffers as a large portion of the workforce for the harvest waits for men to take the initiative.
On a couple of occasions, our team of women went away together for several days of prayer and fellowship. Always we came back to the idea that God longs to free women into their destiny, that if they were released, the workforce for the Kingdom of God would potentially double. The obvious follow-up question: is there anything we can do to inspire and empower other women?
Then came a weekend when God spoke to a larger group of 12 of us about Deborah and Barak. As a result of studying that story, we decided to approach some men who we knew stand with us in our beliefs about the role of women. We recognized that if a group of women tackled this subject, we would be perceived as feminists with an agenda, but if both men and women were involved, it had the potential of contributing to a Kingdom movement.
Many men actively advocate on behalf of women. Some take every opportunity to speak about the injustice that exists in the church and do everything they can to promote women. Others have made the study of the Scriptures concerning women a priority. Still others take practical steps to hold open the doors allowing women in ministry. Several pledged to stand with us and together we would seek to release women.
The group of half a dozen women finally concluded that we would write a book together, and that we would ask men to contribute.
We approached several men who agreed to share from their particular area of interest and expertise. We are so grateful to them for their willingness to identify with us and to actively champion the cause of women.
The final list of contributors to the book apart from myself:
Peggy Batcheller-Hijar, Neil Cole, “Jan Diss,” Katie Driver, Dave Ferguson, Michael Frost, Alan Hirsch, Suzette Lambert, Floyd McClung, Julie Ross, Frank Viola, and Jon Zens
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9 replies on “Update on the book on women”
So glad you are doing this, and hope it will be from a strongly organic perspective. There are already some great books out there from a more institutional perspective, and I appreciate them, but I have felt so strongly about having one from a more scriptural perspective than I have even thought about writing it myself! (Obviously more people will pay attention with your names on it!)
I hope it will emphasize the Lord’s view of leadership. So many of the problems with ‘woman in ministry’ simply fall away when you learn that no one in the body is supposed to have titles. offices, or ‘exercise authority’ over others. Not the men or the women. And that leadership and powerful ministry is not the same as those things. We don’t want the men to share their titles and offices, we want them to lay them down for real ministry and true spiritual authority.
Maybe I can encourage you to write down some of your own thoughts and find a way to get them out there. If you don’t (or can’t) put out a book, consider a blog or try Scribd (www.scribd.com) where you can post material free of charge.
Every point of view is important, all of us need to hear what the Spirit is saying about this. As the Bride of Christ we can never be spotless and without blemish as long as there are unkindnesses done in the name of doctrine. Jesus (the Bridegroom for whom we’re waiting) will accept no injustice, no lack of love, no lording it over one another. In him there is no male/female, slave/free, wise/foolish.
I’ve been blogging about leadership for a while. From your comment, maybe some of those posts would be of interest.
Be encouraged. If you have something to say find a way to say it. Follow Felicity’s good example!
I agree with what Chris says. Write something down. (I’d happily consider a guest blog post from you). Write a blog–there are various sites where you can post it where many people will read it.
On the view of leadership, you will really like the chapter Neil writes where that is his main emphasis. He talks about the “monster hybrid” that the church has created on leadership.
Because the book is aimed at the church in general, other viewpoints on leadership are expressed in the book, and some of the authors are not primarily organic in background, but all of them emphasize the importance of women being free to do and be all that God has for them.
Felicity, it’s good to know that you are making this such a widely joint effort. I pray that the book will be a great success and cause many readers to think about the topic in new ways.
Good for you! Good for all of you! I can’t wait to read it and will make reviewing it a priority.
I have such a strong sense that this book is coming at exactly the right time.
Thank you Chris. As always, your comments are so encouraging.
Me too. Thanks again for your contribution to it.
I’m looking forward to it. Did you or the publisher decide on a name yet? Who’s the publisher? I’m sure my wife and I will enjoy it together and no doubt I will get a few good laughs as well just from yours and Neil’s writing.
The book has had the working title of “Why would God Pick a Woman,” but that will be changed by the publisher. We had a choice of 3 publishers but the one who seemed most aligned with what we want to accomplish through the book is The House Studio, a smaller publisher who I think has more influence with the pioneers and early adopters. It’s publish date is April 1st (a prophetic date?).