Lopsided Church Council – Part 2

This is the reply Rose received from her pastor that we read about in the blog on Monday.  You remember that Rose said: “He is really a good and humble man, and I am fortunate to have such a pastor that I feel comfortable talking to.” 

Dear Rose, 

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.  We certainly did not intend to have such a lopsided set of nominees by gender.  I hope you would believe me that the deacons’ nomination process contained no gender consideration whatsoever, even the makeup of our nomination committee was quite balanced when it comes to men and women. I think you know that we have never shied away from nominating qualified women into deacon-ship (I know we are not quite ready on elders yet). While the outcome may not look like it, but the nomination was totally based upon personal qualification, not gender. In fact, several key women declined nomination this year for valid, personal reasons that we had to respect.   

However, your observation is well taken and your comment is noted. Appreciate your friendship and willingness to share with me your viewpoint.  Signed Your Pastor

This is Rose’s reply to her Pastor:

Thank you for your answer. I respect and accept what you told me. 

However, I still believe that most women feel uncomfortable stepping up into the limelight as a result of cultural conditioning. 

Men have personal reasons too, but it never seemed to loom as large as to become an impediment to taking on a leadership position.  

Also, while choosing, even if gender is not on the conscious mind, it could be on the subconscious mind. 

I understand that we want someone to represent the various ethnic congregations within our church, and did everything to nominate a representative for those groups. We need to do more to have women representation. 

This lopsided phenomenon has been going on forever. The question is why? Why were there no years where there was a lopsided representation of women? If, in fact, the nomination is totally unbiased, this lopsided outcome will not happen only in one direction year after year, right? 

The 12 men and 1 woman did not come about by chance. The fact that no one feels uncomfortable with the makeup (except me) should have some significance, don’t you think so? 

I attended Sunday service at a megachurch while I was on vacation. I noticed that the church allows women to be elders and to preach on Sundays. But that mega church’s denomination does not allow women to be ordained Pastors. That’s another reason I think Complementarianism, and I use the term reluctantly because it is a deceptive term, and represents a false doctrine as no-one can figure out where to draw the line in the sand. It often results in a double standard and confusion. Thanks for listening. Signed Rose.

This is a very good example of how to talk to your pastor.  Always be courteous, and firm, and do not be intimidated by the smooth words in your Pastor’s reply.  Listen carefully to what Rose said: “Also, while choosing, even if gender is not on the conscious mind, it could be on the subconscious mind.”

The average congregation member will never get more than just a few minutes to speak frankly to her pastor.  Those few minutes will be hurried, and possibly in the middle of a group of others waiting to speak to the pastor.  That is the reason it is very important to write down what you want to say.  You can choose your words carefully and make better sense to lay out your case before your pastor with the written word. 

Many Thanks to Rose for sharing this conversation with us.  Let me hear from you.  What letters have you written to promote women’s equality?


About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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2 Responses to Lopsided Church Council – Part 2

  1. KR Wordgazer says:

    FWIW, I didn’t hear any “smooth” words in this pastor’s response. Compared to so much of what I’ve heard from other church leaders, this man sounds like he’s sincere in his desire to include women (he even says his church is “not quite ready” when it comes to women elders– implying that he is open to the idea when so many are completely closed). Rose is quite right to point out subconscious factors in the imbalance– but I get the feeling her pastor really is trying, and trying a lot harder than many do. But I sense no dishonesty, no attempt to placate her with soft words. He seems to really desire equality; he just has no idea how to accomplish it. Kudos to him for his openness and willingness to listen to Rose; and kudos to Rose for continuing to work respectfully with him!


  2. Mabel says:

    I do agree with Wordgazer’s observation.


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