I'm always looking for the latest book or study for womens ministry study groups. My expectations are usually low because there is so much fluff or theologically weak materials available. Pondering this problem caused me to reflect on the market altogether and why it even exists. While there are many bible studies that exist for men and for mixed groups, I question why there are so many more available to women...and I think its because there are so few womens ministry leaders with the capacity to teach without a study or curriculum. I'd love to be wrong. If there are more women who are capable of expounding on God's Word without the aid of a Beth Moore video or Cynthia Heald study, I'd love to know. I'm not saying those materials shouldn't be available, but it probably speaks to the composition of womens leadership in evangelical circles. What women in the local church are available and equipped to regularly teach directly from Scripture? Because, as it seems to me, that there are few women who can fulfill this role, we need to rethink some things about womens ministry.
1. If there are women gifted to teach in your church, what is preventing them from exercising that gift?
2. Encourage young women to pursue seminary education to serve women in the local church. While I think young women are interested in this, I think there are few more mature women who know to encourage them this direction.
3. Churches: encourage women's ministry leaders to pastoral ministry, not simply event planning. Women can be called "Pastor of Womens Ministry" without compromising any views of roles in the church. Promote the value of women pursuing advanced education to serve the local church.
4. The "rock star" perception of womens conference speakers has got to end. This way of viewing the more famous leaders has a way of making church womens leaders feel very small and irrelevant.
5. Few pastors are raised up out of the ranks of the pews without them pursuing at least a college degree, but usually seminary. Yet this expectation doesn't exist for women's ministry leaders. Why? It's not necessary that she have a seminary degree, but I fear we do more to discourage it than encourage it.
I probably have many points I'm trying to make with this post, but mostly I want to encourage those who are gifted teachers in womens ministry to function according to those gifts and not be dependent on the next cool fad to hit the bookstore.