[This article is based on an interview with Dawn Stephens who works full time in leading small groups of women in her local church in Alabama. She discusses the 2 biggest obstacles facing women who minister in the church- understanding of scripture and dealing with sin as a child of God.]
Q: What do you think are some of the biggest obstacles facing women ministering in the church?
A: There are really two broad obstacles I see for women ministering in the church: a muddy or unclear understanding of scripture, and facing consequences of sin as a forgiven child of God.
1) An unclear or muddy understanding of scripture. They may have a piece of this, a piece of that, but I find they have fragmented pieces of biblical knowledge and faith. And, they don’t know how scripture relates to real struggles like sexuality, parenting, or marriage.
2) Sin that is brought into church because, of course, we are sinful people. And so then obstacles become facing questions like:
As a believer, a forgiven child of God, how do I walk through consequences of sin?
How do I process the consequence of sin either put on me or sin I chose to commit, and how do I live through these consequences?
Q: What are some of the things you think the local church can do to help with those obstacles?
A: I believe God has given us all we need within the local church to disciple our women.
Tweet this: I believe God has given us all we need within the local church to disciple our women #vergewomen
So we can and should speak into the process of sound teaching in a confidential, safe, loving environment within the context of biblical community as much as possible. I think the key here is the leadership, sound biblical teaching by women who are older and emotionally healthy. They’re not perfect. They make mistakes, but they:
have some years behind them
can identify and call out inaccurate and unbiblical thinking when they hear it from other women
are strong enough to hold other women accountable to scripture
are able to ask tough questions
consistently go back to the word, not adding opinion to it, and ask, “what does the bible say?”
Tweet this: Dawn Stephens shares some characteristics to look for in women who can lead in your church. #vergewomen