Wednesday, June 02, 2010

You will never see revival in the West until you are willing to use your women

When I attended a Pentecostal church, one of things that struck me most was that they took a 'Scriptural' point of view in relation to women preaching in the church, but a very non-Scriptural point of view when it came to women being missionaries overseas - on their own, without support. In other words, out of sight.

In the latest Next-Wave ezine, there's an article by Felicity Dale entitled Rethinking the Challenging Scriptures. The challenging scriptures in question concern the role(s) of women in the church. The thing that most struck me about this article are the words she quotes from Yonggi Cho, who, in 1983 (when Dale visited him) ran a church of some 350,000 members.

Yonggi Cho said: You will never see revival in the West until you are willing to use your women.

That was 1983. A good number of women in NZ have since managed - often with considerable difficulty - to become priests and ordained ministers in mainline churches. But as a colleague said to me yesterday: the average number of women in a Presbyterian Church congregation is around 70%. The average number of men in the leadership (that is, as ministers or elders) is around 80%.

Don't these figures clash just a little in your mind? Perhaps Yonggi Cho's words say more than we think.

Felicity Dale writes a blog called Simply Church which (among other things) has a focus on women in ministry and the need they have for the support and encouragement of men to achieve their goals.

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