By: Ashley Easter
April 05, 2017
“The Lord announces the word, and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng…” - Psalm 68:11
Though the battle for women’s equality and acceptance into leadership in the church is still being fought on many fronts, there is a generation of female leaders rising within the ranks of ministry.
I was able to witness a gathering of diverse leading women at FTE’s Regional Discernment Retreat in Minneapolis. These women hailed from a wide variety of faith traditions including Lutheran, Methodist, Catholic, Baptist, Pentecostal, Non-Denominational and more. Truly these women are changing the world as we know it through their faithful steps into ministry across the theological spectrum.
What struck me even more than the denominational differences was the expression of diverse female leadership styles. With the prevalence of male church leaders and the scarcity of female church leaders in Western Christendom, it can be difficult for a young woman to envision how she could embody female ministerial leadership when she has mainly observed male examples.
This array of female ministers at the FTE event embraced their own personalities, their own style of communication, their own expressions of self, and their own approach to worship. Some wore traditional clergical collars, others wore flowing skirts and dresses, and still others wore a distinctly sharp, professional style. Some were outgoing and lively with their preaching, others were introverted and spoke with deliberate phrasing. Some worshiped in peaceful, calculated prayers and others through joyous dancing and celebration.
I was encouraged to see this diverse group of female leaders proving to the young women (and men) present, that God may call anyone and it is not required for a female minister to fit into one-size fits all box.
God calls us knowing our personalities, expressions, and worship styles. We don’t have to replicate the popular male preachers to fit in nor do we have to attempt to look and sound just like the female pastors and preachers in mainstream Christianity.
When God calls us God calls us, including our unique personalities, styles, expressions, and personal forms of worship. We are together the mosaic image of God, and there is no need to attempt to copy others.
My experience with FTE led me to a fuller realization of what it can look like to be a woman and leader in ministry. It solidified to me that who I am is just right. God called me just the way I am, and I can use my distinct personality, style, and worship expressions for God’s glory, no need to change to meet other’s expectations for me.
Ashley Easter is a blogger, speaker, and abuse victim advocate. She promotes truth-seeking expeditions, advocates for gender equality, and educates the Church on abuse. She is the founder of The Courage Conference, an event that empowers survivors of abuse to continue to fight for their healing while also educating church leaders on prevention and proper response to abuse.
Blog: www.AshleyEaster.com Website: www.TheCourageConference.com Twitter: @ashleymeaster Facebook: /ashleymeaster”