When I was in my preaching class at seminary, my professor once pointed out some of the advantages a female preacher has in the pulpit. I’d like to name a few of them today.
One of the advantages is related to our culture today where there are often single mother’s raising families. Sometimes a person in the congregation might relate to the voice of woman more, because they have learned to trust a woman in their life. The courage and strength of single mothers is impacting the world, and changing our culture. Men who have grown up in a home with a mother will often associate females as leaders, because they have known their mother as a leader. We need both women and men as leaders in the church and as role models, but I am pointing this out because some have seen this as a disadvantage, when in reality it is an advantage. The voice of a woman has power, authority, courage, strength, beauty, emotion, and wonder. We need this in the church. We need more preacher-women.
Another advantage a woman may have in the pulpit is related to her keen interpersonal and relationship skills. Sometimes women understand relationships at a different, and maybe even deeper level than some men. Some scientists and psychologists have studied the intuition many women have, and how they often notice body language of others at a deeper level. Women often notice facial expressions more than some men, and have the ability to understand emotions more quickly than men. All of these incredible gifts within femininity can help women in the pulpit. A woman may be able to connect on a completely different level with the congregation, because she is a woman. The voice of a woman is refreshing to the congregation, because it is a different perspective than that of a man. A woman understands her femininity, and her role as mother, wife, sister, daughter, niece, aunt, and best friend. A woman can speak about the deep places of her heart, and is given more liberty to be emotional. We need emotion in our culture. We need to learn how to identify and name our feelings, and the voice of a preacher-woman can help our society and communities. If your church does not have a woman on the regular preaching schedule, you are missing an incredible gift from God.
As a female speaker or preacher, you have a lot of gifts to offer. God designed you to be female, and there was no mistake about it. You are valuable and loved, and this needs to be shared within the church. It is hard for me when I see boards in churches which do not have women members, leadership groups without women, and churches which hire multiple pastors but neglect to have a female pastor. I once walked out of a service in tears, because there were no women on the church board. I cried, because I knew what the church was missing, and it broke my heart. I also once felt a great sadness when I looked at a picture of elected officials and saw no women, and very few people of color and ethnicity. I know this is not how heaven will look, and I long for the day when I see a picture of elected officials with equal representation of women and men, and people of color and different ethnicity.
There are varying opinions about women in church culture, and the role they can and cannot play in leadership. The majority of these opinions are held without biblical scholarship, and open hearts and minds. Most people and leaders have not taken the time to study the scriptures. They either read books for or against, and then make their decision. We have to study the scriptures. We are commanded to do so. Surprisingly, there are more women named in leadership positions within the New Testament than there are scriptures about the infilling of the Holy Ghost, yet there is incredible resistance. I have to ask myself why. I have to question equality. Even if someone believes a woman cannot be a senior pastor, they are still missing an incredible opportunity to have a female lead as a family pastor, children and youth pastor, music pastor, or an administrative pastor. God is calling the Pentecostal church to be evangelical-counter-cultural. Evangelical Christian culture has often prohibited women from leadership roles within the church, and it is not Biblical. Our Pentecostal heritage began with women preachers and pastors, and we have forgotten those women. It is time to reclaim our history, and go back to our beginnings. If we truly claim to be restorationists/primitivists, then we will recognize the women disciples, apostles, prophetesses, and pastors in the New Testament church. They are right before us in scripture, but we have not taken the time to notice and see them. We have glanced and rushed over those scripture, because we did not feel they were important. From Genesis to Revelation, every scripture is important.
Simply put, women have an incredible voice and value to add to the church. We need women leaders. Without them, we will not know great revival.
Copyright 2014 Crystal Schmalz