Christian Influencers: Do Women Count?
I just finished a novel—a murder mystery. (Fisher of Souls by Hanni Münzer). Solving the murders of a growing number of high-ranking church leaders traces the motive to the proposed revelation of ancient documents sealed by the church leaders that indicate Jesus had appointed leadership roles to women. This information is seen as threatening to all church structure. Hence, 300 pages of intrigue.
The stuff of novels?
The other day I was doing some research and googled “top church influencers.” Up popped a post on a blog, Brian Dodd on Leadership. It is a list of the top 30 blogs Christian leaders should have been reading in 2015. I recognized a couple of names that I’ve followed online and I had heard of a few more, but most were unknown to me.
But something was really jumping out.
Where were the names of any women? Women are the engines of most churches.
Of 30 influential blogs listed only three are written by women. The only place women are listed as influencers are in the category “Women.” There is no “Men” category.
Women exist as influencers only as they relate to women. One writes about gender abuse. A bunch write for a blog written for women leaders and preachers wives. A third is an author and speaker who has written for the female perspective (a NY Bestselling author—must be a market for it!). By women, for women. An interesting segregation.
At least the men aren’t claiming to be experts on women! Where would that get them?
The remaining blogs on the list reveal that the world of church leadership (whether Protestant or Catholic) is still a male domain.
Most of the blogs take the corporate view of church, referencing the large church model that sports such oxymoronic terms as “executive pastor.”
Where are the women leaders? Probably serving the smaller congregations—most congregations.
I can still feel the bitterness of my grandmother and mother at their roles as preachers’ wives, which bridled their considerable talents. I often thought they might have been happier if they had been born today, but the dream of equality in the church is still a dream deferred. We’ve got some work to do if we believe in the priesthood of all believers.