Since I recently wrote a blog on “Why have a Women’s Minstry”, this post on Her-meneutics The Christianity Today blog for women caught my eye: Why it’s Your Job to Break the Women’s Ministry Stereotype
Here are some thought-provoking quotes from the blog:
Emotional forms of ministry have their place, but women in the church are eager to move beyond emotion, and beyond the surface.
Blogger Emerging Mummy recently captured this sentiment in her impassioned post “In Which I Write a Letter to Women’s Ministry”:
But I’m here with you tonight because I want what the world cannot give me. We’re choking on cutesy things and crafty bits, safe lady topics and if one more person says that modest is hottest with a straight face, I may throw up. We are hungry for authenticity and vulnerability, not churchified life hacks from lady magazines. Some of us are drowning, suffocating, dying of thirst for want of the cold water of real community. We’re trying really hard – after all, we keep showing up to your lady events and we leave feeling just a bit empty. It’s just more of the same every time.
But she is not the first to express such concerns with women’s ministry.
Several years ago author Wendy Horger Alsup wrote a post titled “Pink Fluffy Bunny Women’s Bible Studies” in which she criticized the “emotional fluff out there masquerading as Bible study.”
… Women’s ministry, as a form, is in the midst of a massive shift. Many women’s ministries have responded to the outcry and evolved, but the stereotypes have not always changed accordingly. Rather than doing justice to the change, broad stereotypes have remained, further stigmatizing women’s ministry in the minds of female church-goers.
Nowhere has this stigma been more apparent to me than in my efforts to involve young women. In most of the churches where I have served, the 20-somethings have been all but absent from women’s ministry events. This younger generation has grown up hearing about “fluffy” women’s ministries, and the stereotype has become entrenched. Even when change is happening in their churches, many young women persist in the belief that all women’s ministries are inherently superficial.
I’m happy to report that the PCA has been fighting this stereotype for years. The first General Assembly adopted a philosophy and theology of women’s ministry which they continue to actively teach and explain. We may quibble about how successfully we’ve implemented the vision, but at least the vision is theologically driven — not program, project or personality driven. The theology provides the guideline for mapping the specifics of our programs and evaluating them.