CHICAGO, IL (March 19, 2013) – Why are women leaving the church in greater numbers than men?
Responses to that provocative question and other timely issues of interest are currently featured in a blog from the Commission on Biblical Gender Equality (BGE) of the Evangelical Covenant Church.
An article that appeared in Relevant Magazine addresses findings from a 2011 Barna study revealing that women are leaving the church today in greater numbers than men. That article has generated a number of comments, notes Gricel Medina, commission chairperson, in her BGE blog reflection.
Commission member Jeff Ondrey then proceeds to localize the conversation with two questions addressed to Covenanters, with a request for feedback. Click here to access the blog.
The blog seeks to establish a platform for the church to connect with the existing affirmation of women in the Covenant at all levels of leadership, Medina says. “We wanted to create a tool that will promote Christ-like conversation of the many facets of biblical gender equality, including ethnicity and culture issues.”
The blog is just one element in a refreshed vision the commission has created as part of its advocacy on behalf of women at all levels of leadership. In seeking to even the playing field within the church on issues of biblical gender equality, Medina stresses the importance of creating an environment in which “women and men can learn how to affirm the gifts and calling of God in ways that promote teamwork, respect, and healthy leadership collaboration without gender or ethnic bias.”
In support of that goal, the commission website area offers a wide range of tools and resources to assist churches and individuals including “A Biblical & Theological Basis for Women in Ministry,” an occasional paper of the Covenant; the popular “All God’s People,” an exploration of the call of women to pastoral ministry; a number of study guides; and a guest and pulpit supply list of available preachers.
Two video segments that explore the commission’s work in the area of biblical gender equality are also available, featuring David Kersten, former executive minister of the Department of Ordered Ministry and now dean of North Park Theological Seminary. Click here to access an abbreviated version (3:42 minutes) of Kersten’s comments, and click here to access the full version (37.44 minutes)
“My prayer is that the BGE blog will give the church a reality check to the issues of biblical gender equality and widen the net of leadership development,” Medina says.