Dr. Laura Levens, BSK’s Assistant Professor of Christian Mission, has started a series with Rev. Lauren McDuffie, Associate Pastor at FBC Morehead, for Baptist Women in Ministry’s blog. The series is entitled “Call Her Pastor” and, in it, Dr. Levens and Rev. McDuffie will explore the issues facing women in ministry. They will also provide possibilities for supporting women in ministry within a congregation. The first blog post in this series, written by Dr. Levens, is entitled, “Call Her Pastor: Supporting Women in Ministerial Leadership: ‘I Don’t Know What to Do with You.'” Dr. Levens writes,
“Congregants are still getting used to the presence and leadership of women in ministry, even though they may value ministry equality in theory. Statistically, women in ministry are rare birds. It is a common occurrence for women to encounter outright surprise whenever they enter a space as a ministry leader. Newcomers entering into the church do not assume that a woman will be the leader. Remarks like, “You don’t look like a hospital chaplain,” or “I didn’t expect you to be on this committee,” are often code for “I’m shocked a woman has appeared here.” Wearing suits and other professional clothing does not always help. And it is not immediately clear if this surprise will lead to acceptance or rejection. Female ministers constantly negotiate between gender and leadership expectations in order to do their jobs.”
To read Dr. Levens’ post in full, click HERE.