5 Steps Toward Becoming a More Egalitarian Church (and not just talking about it!)

  1. Attention Male Pastors: Read books, blogs, and commentaries by women!

It’s astounding how few books by women many male Pentecostal leaders have read. Take inventory of your library, especially your biblical commentaries and theological books. Does it represent an egalitarian church?

We have a policy at our church that when our preaching team teaches through a book of the Bible, at least one of our chosen commentaries must be by a woman.

Occasionally one is hard to find (as a result of the hurdles many women face in theological education), but there’s always at least The Women’s Bible Commentary, which every pastor should own.

The Pentecostal Gender Paradox includes citations of hundreds of articles, books, and biblical analysis by women.

  1. Make Sure Women Regularly Preach

This sounds so obvious, but my experience (and research) demonstrates you can sit in many Pentecostal churches for years and never hear a women preach on a Sunday morning.

The best way to change the minds of your congregation about women in leadership is not to teach about it, it’s to let them experience the ministry of women, which benefits men and also encourages future women leaders because “If you can see her, you can be her.”

  1. Regularly Preach About Women

Although #2 above is way more important, this matters too. I’m not just talking about preaching an apologetic for women in leadership (which should be done!), but featuring the women of the biblical text as well as in Christian history (and Pentecostal history).

We do an annual “biography sermon” at our church and we’re sure to feature great women of the faith. Past messages include portraits of Zelma ArgueAimee Semple-McPherson, and Julian of Norwich.

  1. Include Women in Sacramental Acts (“Ordinances”)

When’s the last time you were led in communion by a woman? If you have to think, it’s been too long! Consider at least regularly having a woman and man co-lead the Lord’s Supper and having two people in the baptismal to baptize and perform the baptismal proclamations.

  1. Require Equal Representation for Women at the Tables of Decision Making

This includes (but is not limited to) your pastoral staff and your Church Board/Council. In the 10 years of our Church Council, 8 have consisted of a majority female council, including all women at one point. We’ve also had several years where the majority of our pastoral staff were women. I always consider this one of the key factors in why our church has grown to 5x as many people over that time!

These are only 5 of the many ways we can move toward egalitarian churches. For more ideas and resources, visit The Gender Paradox Blog, read the book, or contact me!

Read the Introduction Chapter of The Pentecostal Gender Paradox

BCYD Blog readers can save 35% on the e-book or hardcover edition by entering code GLR AQ4 (with space) at https://www.bloomsbury.com/ca/pentecostal-gender-paradox-9780567713681/

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