She is Called

The audio recording of “She is Called” is available on iTunes.  

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“I want to introduce you to these four women called to ministry in Churches of Christ.  I know them because they are completing or have just completed professional degrees in the Graduate School of Theology in preparation for vocation in ministry.

I sat down with each of them last Spring to talk about their experience and their sense of calling as women in Churches of Christ.  Some of them I have known for several years as students, others I have only met recently.  I knew of their own struggle as females preparing for ministry in Churches of Christ, but I wanted to hear them talk about it.  And I wanted others to hear them talk about it.

So, my aim today is to simply let you in on those conversations.”

If you are a part of a gender inclusive congregation of Churches of Christ or know of one click here.

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Responses

  1. I recently had my heart broken in a relationship I had with a COC member. I am a child of God, saved by His Grace. I love God more than anything. I am called to many different kinds of church leadership, and I have many spiritual gifts. I have been baptized (as an infant), and I am a woman. Sadly, my boyfriend made me choose between my calling to be a worship leader and my relationship with him. I know I will have to give an account of myself before the Father someday, and I know I would have to answer to Him if I gave up my callings and talents. I am praying hard not to possess bitterness toward the Church of Christ and to love the church for its ministries that save lost souls. I am so glad that one day in His Kingdom, we won’t know what kind of churches we attended because we will be too busy praising our Jesus. May my heart have the strength and divine guidance from Him to remember that the members of this church are my brothers and sisters in ministry.

  2. The item I posted was done so out of love and concern for the Church. Seems that you don’t want the viewers to see anything from a woman who chooses to conform to the roles God has chosen for her. If I’m incorrect then answer me this please. Should an employee disregard the instructions of his employer because he thinks his own ideas are better? He or she would be fired if they took such actions.
    Don’t you think that a response would have been fair? After all, I had supplied my email. I’m curious to know why you chose to delete my post when I gave an honest view of a woman who seeks to serve the Lord on his terms.
    I’m not seeking to embarrass or offend anyone so feel free to send a response to my email. If I am mistaken and my post was not deleted then please be so kind as to direct me to where it’s located as I don’t see it here.

    • See reply to your previous comment.

  3. The item I posted was done so out of love and concern for the Church. Seems that you don’t want the viewers to see anything from a woman who chooses to conform to the roles God has chosen for her. If I’m incorrect then answer me this please. Should an employee disregard the instructions of his employer because he thinks his own ideas are better? He or she would be fired if they took such actions.
    Don’t you think that a response would have been fair? After all, I had supplied my email. I’m curious to know why you chose to delete my post when I gave an honest view of a woman who seeks to serve the Lord on his terms.
    I’m not seeking to embarrass or offend anyone so feel free to send a response to my email.

    • Kathleen,
      I received notification of your comment yesterday (Sunday). I review comments and only exclude those that are unkind, personal attacks on individuals. Your comment was neither unkind nor a personal attack. The delay (of about 24 hrs) was simply due to the fact that I received it over the weekend and on Sunday. I am happy to include your comment.

      I think you will find that many different viewpoints are included in the comments on “She is Called.” I do not censure differing viewpoints. I only monitor the blog for personal attacks, particularly those upon the four women represented in this story. Your comment was not unkind or unfair. I am happy to include it. Thank you.

  4. I am a woman who happens to be a family member within the Church of Christ. I do not see my role within the church as a restriction of any sort. I strive to follow Christ, to love him, seek him, obey him. I don’t have to always understand his reasons, I only have to trust him. It’s not always in my best interest to gain what I want, but to obey him is always in my best interest.
    I am child of God and a mother (only a woman can be a mother just as only a man can be a father). As a woman and a mother I have one of the greatest responsibilities and the greatest honor;to raise my children, both sons and daughters, to love, honor, respect, obey, and trust in Christ! I, a woman, am instrumental in teaching my sons to become the obedient leaders of the church. My role is NOT one of exclusion or slavery. My role is a gift from God that serves the Church well. My role is an honor and one that a man cannot do.
    I’m not interested in the wants and desires of the flesh, but rather the wants and desires of the Lord who died in my place, though I did not deserve it. My job or “role” is not to cater to the wicked desires of mankind, but to live and grow in him, and teach others by my actions to do the same.
    I am a woman of the Church of Christ and am proud and thankful for the role I have been given by the Lord. My only grievance is with myself, that I have not done it more perfectly.

  5. It’s sad to say that we as Christains who have faithfully followed the teaching of our Lord thus far can now change the directtions to a new kind of teaching apart from the bible. As far as woman’s role in the church in 1 Tim 2, Paul has given the reason why woman should not teach and have authority over man (v. 13). Eve was deceived and led Adam to fall into the same path. God knows what will happen. God’s thoughts are not the same as our thoughts. If this kind of movement still carries on, sooner or later the history will repeat itself like the day in the garden and Satan will have a big laugh. So please read the word again. I know that you are students of the bible. Time and culture have no impact over the truth. The word of God never changes according to time or culture. The fact is the fact and it will remain as the fact. We need to uphold the word instead of interpreting the word to suit our desire. Stop this before it’s too late.

  6. Shalom from Jerusalem,

    First, I am happy that these issues are being brought up for discussion in an open and honest way. The role of women in the congregation is one of the most important roles. It is in my opinion the place and role of women in the church is even more important than the preacher’s role, because it is actually a hands-on role that serves the people in the place that is most personal.
    Second, what I see in the audio recording and text messages is an existential expression of need and frustration with the culture of the church. This is not unimportant, but it is a cultural need and frustration, but there is not one mention or discussion of the teachings of the biblical text. There is not one shred of dealing with the text of 1 Cor. or Paul’s instruction for women in the letter to Timothy.
    Third, dealing with the need of women and their desire to minister in the Body of Christ is noble and important, but not enough to ignore the clear instructions of God’s Word. The Word of God has plenty of instructions for the role of women, instruction that the conservative factions of the churches of Christ have ignored for many centuries, like the order of women to pray and prophecy, and for the possibility of exceptions like Anna the prophets in the story of the birth of Jesus, or like the women who served and ministered to Jesus and with Jews all throughout his ministry – what does this mean, and how does it play out in the 21st century. These questions need to be examined and dealt with with the tools of dealing with the historical texts and with honest conclusions based on the Word of God.

    I feel for the frustration that women have and I would like to see that frustration elevated and resolved, but only with a true and honest and respectful attitudes to the text of God’s Word.

    May God have the last word in this discussion.

    Joseph Shulam

    • Thanks for your comment, Joseph. As for dealing with biblical texts, please see the number of podcast episodes that deal with texts such as 1 Timothy 2. Also, please see Dr. Cukrowski’s presentations on the Resources page.

  7. We are to obey God rather than man. How can you say you love Him when you do not do as He says. We do not choose what we want to do that suits us or our selfish desires, we do what God tells us He wants us to do. This is not your church it is God’s His Son died for it, did you? This reminds me of Nadab and Abihu and if you read your Bible, you would know what happened to them. God has given man and woman a work to do and each a different role….do what He tells you and sin not against Him!

  8. Women & Instruments-

    The elders at the church that I attend have begun to share a study they recently concluded regarding the role of women in the church as well as the use of instrumental music. They have just begun a 6 week class sharing their findings, so I want to be careful to not mischaracterize them.

    The premise of the class is to remove hinderances to younger generations and unchurched people, and the restriction of instrumental music and the role of women in public worship are two they plan to address. It appears as if one of the church’s two Sunday morning services will begin to utilize instruments as well as less restrictions on the role of women.

    I am interested in the thoughts of those that read this blog. I am not endorsing this course of action nor condemning it, but wanted to simply share how my church is trying to approach gender inclusion as it is a much different approach than I have previously seen in other churches.

  9. John Carlisto,

    You sound like a compassion person. I know in your mind you mean it when you say that you do not value women less they just have different roles. For many people, including myself, you cannot make that statement with integrity. To exclude someone from anything based on gender or color or race is a devaluing act. The reading of the Bible that tries to continue the “roles” of women, if followed through, would also sanction slavery.

  10. There’s an illustration that has come to me recently, as I try to understand our continued insistence on silencing the gifted women among us.

    I love to eat at covered dish meals at church. It is always some of the best food I’ve ever eaten, because everybody brings their very best recipes. What’s especially fun is to go through the buffet line right behind my wife, because she frequently knows whose dishes are whose. Knowing who made a particular dish can make it taste even better.

    So here’s the thought I’ve had lately. Imagine that the church leaders were to announce that we’re going to have a covered dish meal this coming Sunday, and people are encouraged to sign up and bring their very best contributions to the meal, but there’s only one restriction: Only the MEN of the congregation are allowed to prepare the food.

    Question: Could we have a meal with that restriction? Well, yes. Would it be filling? Nourishing? Presumably yes. Some of the men I go to church with are excellent cooks.

    But here’s the more compelling question: Would we be MISSING OUT on some really delicious and nourishing fare, lovingly and creatively prepared and presented?

    The obvious answer to the question is an emphatic YES!

    When I see us gathering, week after week, year after year, and when I see spiritual women among us who have so much to say, so much wisdom to impart, such valuable perspectives to offer; and when I see those gifts and insights squandered, buried, unappreciated, etc., I feel as if I’ve been shortchanged; deprived of the best part of a delightful meal.

    With all my heart, I believe we are impoverished and malnourished as a result of silencing the women among us in the ways we have.

    Does that make sense?


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