Some people do not think it will work for a woman to pastor a church. They say it might be biblical but not practical. It works if a woman understands the culture.
I recently read the book Why Men Hate Going to Church (and what to do about it) by David Murrow. While I do not endorse everything the book says, he does have a valid point about reaching our culture. Toward the end of the 2011 revised edition, Murrow tells the story of Rev. Dr. Jennifer Wilson. This female pastor of a mainline denomination read his book and started seeing her church grow. Her denomination has been in decline for years, but her congregation has doubled. They did not throw out the organ or the hymnal to do this, though (okay, some of the songs they ditched, but… they probably needed to).
Jenn also read Murrow’s How Women Help Men Find God (a book I have not yet read). She told the author, “I started doing all the stuff in your books. Other than the Bible, your book has shifted the way I do ministry more than any other book I‘ve read.”
She said the first change she made was how she wrote sermons. She started asking “How would a guy like a bricklayer, a farmer, a mechanic, or a line worker hear this?” She started using more masculine metaphors and illustrations that males could relate to. Then they started changing the décor so the church did not scream “Female only!” They started selecting guy-friendly background slides of natural images like mountains, stone, and deserts rather than all pastels and flowers. They started having four special events each year that they call “Go for the Guys Sundays.”
The church sees new men each week. “One of the women in my church is thrilled because her husband is coming to church more now than at any other time in his life. Normally he would be on the golf course on Sunday, but now he rarely misses…” she said. The men who come are not pew sitters but are involved and excited about where the church is going. They participate in community projects and in a recent building renovation. There is a growing corp of single guys. “I’ve got two or three men who would die for this church,” Jennifer says. “I mean it.”
If a 160-year-old church that is part of a dying denomination can grow under the leadership of a woman, what more can happen with Spirit-filled women who understand how to communicate to men as well as women?
Learn more about how the Bible endorses and models women in ministry at HeCalledHer.com
Let me know what you think about women pastors!