Female Leadership in Churches of Christ

I recently read Scot McKnight say in The Blue Parakeet that he regrets not advocating “mutual” (=egalitarian) female church leadership earlier in his career. I’m compelled not to have the same regret. Let this mark the beginning of my public advocacy: my church tradition, the Churches of Christ (a cappella), has been complicit in Christianity’s failure to live into the biblical trajectory of reconciliation. This must—will—change one way or another. The question is whether we will play our part in repentance. This is not an issue of whether our congregations will conform to the changing times in order to hold off institutional death a little longer. The conversation is unavoidable and urgent, but not for that reason. It is instead the priority of God’s mission, and the need for the other half of the church’s gifts freely given in God’s mission, that make this more than another dwindling denomination’s next pet argument. We will find our identity in God’s mission, with all it entails for the full and mutual leadership of Spirit-gifted women, or we will die a needful death. So be it.

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