Tornadoes - April 27, 2011

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  • Hi, my name is Jan Owen. I am a woman following, loving, seeking and worshiping Jesus. These writings are my thoughts as I journey through both the pains and joys of life. After serving as a worship pastor for 15 years, I am now a worship missionary, serving as the President of the Give Worship Project, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)3 organization to help equip indigenous church leaders, particularly in the area of worship. You can donate by using the DONATE button below. All your gifts are tax-deductible and very appreciated. Thanks! Check it out!

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    « We All Have It - How Are You Using It? | Main | A Brand New Start »

    February 01, 2010


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    John van de Laar

    Thanks for this, Jan.
    It's an important reminder for all who are in leadership. After all, according to Genesis, both men and women are created in God's image. Without the women's voices, we lose half of the revelation!


    Sarah Chia

    I agree that women don't always have enough voice in the church. I'm not sure I agree that the way to accomplish this is through women doing Sunday morning teaching, though! 1 Timothy 2:11-15 tells us that it's not just a cultural thing for women to not be teaching men. It is linked to God's order for creation. It's the same thing as the idea of men being the leader of the home... not because of inferiority or an oppressive culture, but because God is orderly, and he has decided that is the best way.

    I believe that a woman's voice can come out through her teaching her children, and through her husband loving her in front of the church. If a pastor isn't talking to his wife about the kind of things he should talk about as he preaches, then he's probably not managing his own household very well. I feel like a woman should be in discussion with her husband, and her voice will be made public through him. There are also things like what Mark Driscoll has done of having his wife come up on stage to get a woman's perspective. It's more a conversation between them on stage than a sermon, but it brings her voice out.

    I also like what Mars Hill does in having women deacons. Many churches only have male deacons, and I definitely feel that women get overlooked in their leadership to be kept out altogether. I'm hoping that as our elders pray about this issue that God will tell them it's okay to expand the deacon-ship to include women!

    Jan Owen

    Thank you for your insight Sarah. As you read this, don't think about "authority" but "wisdom and experience and story".

    I think that men can learn how to lead their households from hearing other women's perspectives - it might hugely benefit their families. And I'm always mindful of women who aren't married at all or aren't married to the pastor but have the spiritual gift of teaching or leadership. Where is their "voice" heard in the church? Or what about women who are married to men who have no desire or gifting to teach? Is their participation in church, the beauty of their journey, never to be shared within the church?

    And no offense to my husband but he has not lived my life. I walk with God as Jan, not as Phil's wife. My growth in Christ is mine alone although we will encourage each other and grow together along the way. I believe the same can be true about all members of the Body of Christ.

    This is not about authority. This is about making room for the perspective and hard earned experience and wisdom of women to benefit the church. AND to use their gifts. I believe wasting their gifts is a grievous sin and one the church will be accountable for one day.

    We need to learn a valuable lesson from Apple and put a woman on the team. (the iPad debacle) :) If only they had had a woman in the room! There would have been no more "monthly" jokes!!

    I probably have a very different perspective because of my experiences. We can both learn from one another because of that. Thanks for reading and commenting, friend!

    Sarah Chia


    I totally agree with the underlying thoughts about growing the gifts of women. I still feel like men need to teach men, according to what the Bible says. I understand your sentiment, but I don't see the Biblical support for it.

    We need to start at the Bible, and then see our experiences through that lens. We can't start with our experiences to form our opinions.

    I think in all the situations you mentioned there are numerous ways for women to influence the men of the church and the other women without doing the main teaching.

    Jan Owen

    I never meant to say that my experience trumps Biblical truth. That was not what I said or meant. I've studied this issue ALOT over the years as my experience raised questions for me. There are many interpretations of that text even among very conservative theologians. And there are many different practices among conservative congregations. You might just say that as I studied and dug and read I reached a different conclusion than you did. Since we're not in disagreement over a major tenant of the faith such as the cross, salvation, resurrection, or who Jesus was, I am okay with that! But please rest assured that I am not interpreting scripture based on my own experiences. My conclusions were reached in a heart-wrenching manner and through many hours in the Word and on my face. And I'm willing to admit that I am not sure this is a black and white issue. But respect for one another in the Body of Christ and a humble attitude towards one another so that we can learn from one another IS always necessary. So we can always grow and be aware that we have much to learn from one another.

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