I love that you see it that way! If you ever have a daughter and sit down with her for this kind of conversation what do you think you’ll be talking about?
I think it’s going to take longer than one generation for the church to figure out these things. But it will be more common for women to be leaders and maybe at some point our perspective will be seen as the conservative view! I expect things will be easier for my daughter.
There have been many days in the past 10 years since I became pastor when I have been so overwhelmed, trying to be my own role model (as my friend Tara Beth Leach calls it) that I didn’t have a lot of time to wonder how my daughter was taking it all in. But now, as I watch her flourishing, stepping with confidence into her gifts, being resilient and faithful, I am overwhelmed with gratitude that somehow God has brought us both through my fumblings and fears.
On the many days I had no competence or confidence or peers, I asked the Lord to stretch my imagination to give me what I needed to live into a reality that didn’t yet exist—a church leader version of me. Many days I had little more to go on than my imagination that perhaps a person like me could do this role God had called me to do. There’s a fine line between a good imagination and insanity, and there were days when I thought I’d crossed it. And there were days when others affirmed that fear. But as I watch my girl, knowing things at 18 which have taken me years to discover, I know she is the fulfillment of a promise. She shows me that as each of us steps with courage into something yet unseen, a vision of what God is calling us to be, the young girls around us are invited to broaden their imaginations of what they can become. As women describe God in their own language, share their readings of Scripture, tell their stories of faith, we all—men and women together—will find new ways not only to imagine female leadership but to imagine the fullness of our God.