Session three at Orange 2009 was led by Nancy Beach from the Willow Creek Association. The Orange team brought her in to talk about her views of women LEADING in the church. There is no doubt that this is a hot button issue that can bring passion from all when discussed. I am not going to go into detail about all the Nancy said because I do not want to take it out of context of give others the chance to take it out of context. Nancy has served at Willow Creek Community church as a teaching pastor for years now. Nancy was asking church leaders to think about how we empower women to use their gifts in the local church. God gives each of us specific gifts that he wants us to use for Kingdom. Do we hold women back from using their gifts in the church? Nancy said that there are several groups who WIN when we encourage women to serve in their giftedness…
The church congregation (women have unique qualities and perception)
check out Judges 4:4 Deborah the prophet LED ISRAEL
the Non-churched in our community (the outside world sees an absence of women leadership in many churches and it is a WIN when people outside the church see us empower women)
Our Pastoral Staff and Leadership Teams (women have influence that can add to the depth of our leadership teams!)
Our Daughters and the Next Generation (our young ladies need to embrace the call of God to serve God vocationally)
So, when this issue is brought up how do you respond? Most of us run back to what we were taught as a kid in our home church and never investigate what the Bible actually says about the issue. I recommend reading The Blue Parakeet by Scott McKnight for a fresh perspective on the issue. At GCC we have strong women leading on our staff, on stage leading worship, in community groups, in our kids environments, on mission trips, and in our community. We are striving to help women find their strengths and then serve and lead. I am so grateful for the strong women leaders we have speaking into the life of Grace Community. It is so cool to see our gifted women leaders follow the leadership of Chad, Ron, and our Elder team. How does this all work…it is called respect! Our staff team respects and is thankful for the gifted women leaders God has given GCC. Amazing things happen when we love each other as we love ourselves (regardless of GENDER!). Thanks for teaching us that Jesus! I have daughters and I want them to know they can serve God will all their life VOCATIONALLY if God leads them to that dream for their life!