For discussion

March 2, 2011 | Feature | Number 5

1. When did your congregation first have a woman preach a sermon or first have a woman pastor? How open was the congregation to this change? Were there surprises in who resisted? How has the attitude toward women pastors changed since the 1970s?

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2. How did the acceptance of women in leadership happen in your congregation? Did the first woman on church council or the first woman elder/deacon have something to prove? Are there any differences in our expectations of men and women leaders? Are women’s gifts for ministry different from men’s?

3. Martha Smith Good says she found the “traditional women’s roles of the 1950s stifling.” Why do you think traditional societies tend to limit the role of women? Are there negative consequences to opening possibilities for women? Do men also have stereotypical roles that can be stifling?

4. Have you ever encouraged anyone to enter pastoral ministry? What gifts did you see that you wanted to foster? How important is this encouragement in drawing people into church work? Should we be more deliberate in encouraging people to consider pastoral ministry?

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