Last week, I went on a little mini rant about women in leadership. If you need a review, you can find it
As I stated last week, I have plenty to say about this topic, so consider this a continuation. This week, let’s talk numbers, not the fourth book of the Bible, Numbers, but real and rational numbers, integers and such. (I’ve been helping my baby with her algebra homework.)
Anyway, I visited a Methodist congregation on Sunday. It was Men’s Day, so the House was packed with brothers in bow ties. It was a beautiful sight to see close to 20 men in the choir stand. Another 10-15 men supported from the pews and the pulpit. I can’t tell you the last time I walked in church and saw 30 or so brothers, except maybe at a funeral. This was a beautiful sight to see.
But guess what else I saw. A sea of sisters. I counted about 30 men in the sanctuary. I counted 30 women sitting in my section. There were two other sections in the sanctuary. They were also filled mainly with women.
I would guess that the women outnumbered the men 2:1 in that church. And that was on Men’s Day. I’ve been in churches, where the ratio was closer to 5:1. My guess is that if you have been in church for any amount of time, so have you.
Women likely account for a majority of attendance, and a majority of the giving. The church would not survive without its female congregants. The men are simply outnumbered in many churches across the country.
And even in churches where the ratio is 1:1, disqualifying fifty percent of your membership from professional ministry is a terrible idea if you want the church to continue.
Years ago, I was in a church where new officers were being ordained. The church only had a congregation of about 100. Of those hundred, about 15 were male, and because of this leader’s faith tradition, he literally overlooked 85% of his membership to find the church’s leaders.
I felt bad for that pastor. I felt bad for those men he ended up choosing. Some of them were probably ill-equipped for the jobs they were assigned. (Ministry requires more than just having male body parts.) The men who were called and qualified were forced to pick up the slack for those that weren’t, and were completely burned out just months after taking over their offices.
Do you know who I felt the worst for? The female members of that congregation, the ones who were gifted for ministry but disqualified because of their gender, the others who would be forced to sit under leadership that would not or could not equip them to be their best selves, because the leadership team itself was ill-equipped. The whole church suffered as a result.
If we want our institutions to survive, we have to be able to use one of our greatest resources, our people. ALL of our people.
And if anyone should ask you why you are loosing them, you shall say, because The Lord hath need of them!
Paraphrase of Luke 19:31