“I can’t talk to people about equality in the church,” you say. Many people feel that way, and probably if you asked me to stand up in front of a church and make a speech about women’s equality, I would shake in my shoes, and the words would flee from my mouth.
But speech takes many shapes. It is the spoken word, to be sure, but it does not have to be out loud vocal. It can be in what we write and what we promote with our time and money. Last week I pulled up behind a truck with this bumper sticker “Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History.” (That is a quote by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich in 1976.) I wondered about the woman driving the truck. I was interested to know how that particular quote speaks to her. What you have in your car, or on your car, presumably tells others something about you. These things are talking points, conversation starters, or visuals to get people thinking.
I have a bumper sticker on my car and I have a window decal. I call myself a “street evangelist for women’s equality.”
Not everyone is comfortable with decorating their car with bumper stickers and decals. Certainly not everyone has a book (or two!) to promote. A little over a year ago, I wouldn’t have either. But now I do and that is what I use.
Ways to speak out for women’s equality:
- Help someone who is speaking out. Speak words of encouragement to that person.
- Make plans to attend the Christians for Biblical Equality Conference in Los Angeles in July 2015. Gather a group to go, learn all you can about this organization. Become a member. Give a donation. (cbeinternational.org)
- Help make it possible for someone to attend a conference on equality. (CBE International in Los Angeles in 2015, or a local CBE conference).
- Support Christians for Biblical Equality through membership and by telling your Bible study group and Sunday school class about this organization and encouraging them to become members. (cbeinternational.org).
- Make a change in the way you think about women in your Sunday school class. If you are a Sunday school teacher of either adults or children, look behind the scripture to find the women in the stories. There is usually a mother and women in these stories. Read “Every woman & Child: All the Scriptures Pertaining to women & Children in the New Testament” by Adele Hebert.
- If you are a children’s Sunday school teacher, focus on the women to make sure girls find strong women heroes in their Bible stories. If you write children’s books, ditch the stereotypes and ban the witches and focus on brave women leaders.
Attend a small group Bible study or book discussion group, facebook, or internet group that promotes women’s equality. Make one change in the way you speak about women’s equality among your church small group or Bible study class, or in how you participate in worship services and church activities.
This week, starting today, find one way to speak out for women’s equality either through the spoken or the written word.