Sometimes God gives us a sense of holy discontent because he wants us to be an agent for change. Perhaps God is prompting you to be an agent of change in your church community. Discerning whether this is the case is important and you should spend some time praying about it.
Next, you could consider chatting with your church leadership about the church’s position on women in ministry. You might find that:
A. The church does not have an official position on the role of women in ministry. While the church has a culture of male-only leadership, your senior minister may be quite personally affirming of women in ministry leadership. If this is the case, together you could start looking for ways that women can use their leadership and teaching gifts in your church. If you choose this path, it will need to be slow and gentle, and it might be frustrating at times, but really positive change can come as you see women begin to step up to the call to lead. They will need your support and encouragement as they try new things.
B. Your church has a firm commitment to complementarian theology. Often churches with very strong convictions about this make their stance very clear. If this is the position of the church, you may not have much success changing anyone’s mind and maybe you shouldn’t try. If you love your church community and it is a place where you can grow and serve, then perhaps you should stay and continue to do that. Seek opportunities outside your local church context to use your leadership gifts.
If you are in a small town and this is the only place you can worship with other believers, then it may be your only choice. Reach out to other believers who share your passions and conviction for support. There are some great online groups you can be part of. Listen to online sermons and podcasts by women and egalitarian men and be reminded that you are not alone.
C. You can’t stay in that place anymore. If you have firm convictions that women should teach and lead and you are in a church that does not allow for this, then perhaps God is calling you to move on. This might be a hard decision but if you are a woman who is gifted to lead (or you are married to a gifted female leader, or have a daughter who is clearly called to ministry) then it might be time to find a place where you can use and grow the gifts that God has given you.
Questions in this series:
1. How do we read the Bible to decide what to do today?
2. What principles of interpreting Scripture should we apply to understand the passages that are used to limit women’s leadership in the church?
3. What roles did women play in the early church?
4. Did Jesus have female disciples?
5. Does the Holy Spirit give spiritual gifts to all Christians?
6. How can men pave the way for women to have greater opportunities in the church?
7. Why is it important to hear women preach and teach Scripture?
8. I am uncomfortable with the fact that women are restricted from leading and teaching men in my church. What advice can you give to help me raise this issue at my church?