What does it look like when men’s and women’s voices are valued equally?
“There is no place so awake and alive as the edge of becoming. But more than that, birthing the kind of woman who can authentically say, ‘My soul is my own,’ and then embody it in her life, her spirituality, and her community is worth the risk and hardship.”
― Sue Monk Kidd, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter
“Lottie Moon…you will be the next Lottie Moon,” my grandfather proclaimed with a big smile on his face. This was the conversation I was having with my grandparents the summer I was heading off college. During that summer I felt the “nudge” into ministry. I shared with my immediate family about my ministry nudging. At the ripe age of 18, I did not know what ministry would look like for me. My grandparents were set on me being the next Lottie Moon. For those who did not grow up in the traditional southern Baptist church, Lottie Moon was a famous woman missionary from the early 1900s serving as a missionary in China for over 40 years. Growing up in a traditional Southern Baptist church, women in ministry, particularly women in ministry leadership roles, were sparse or non-existent. Women served in church leadership roles in other outlets such as children and youth ministries, Sunday school teachers, beautification, and the fellowship committee.
At the age of 18 I felt I only had 2 options: be a global missionary or become a children’s minister. My narrow view of ministry was due to only seeing women in limited capacities–a missionary or children’s minister. Over the years I have had many conversations with other women ministers about their call into ministry and what that looked like for them. These conversations would always be about the unknowns of being a woman in ministry and lack of seeing women in ministry roles. Women in a ministerial role and context has changed in the past 50-plus years. The congregation at Crosscreek has always been at the forefront in affirming the gifts and call for both men and women. I often find myself thinking “I wish I grew up at Crosscreek” after seeing both women and men in ministry leadership roles working in mutual respect for the betterment for the kingdom. Crosscreek has always been different in all the good ways. We embrace individual gifts and unique interests as they serve not only Crosscreek but the greater community.
“We value affirmation of women in full ministry participation.” What does it look like when men and women’s voices are valued equally? This means moving past the stereotype of “that’s just how we do things around here.” It is the acknowledgement that our similarities and our differences serve a purpose. Affirmation comes in many different forms, both spoken and unspoken. Crosscreek speaks with action by acknowledging the equal value women bring in ministry participation, from Dixie serving as our associate pastor to 10-year-old Claire leading the scripture readings for Sunday service.
We value affirmation of women in full ministry participation.
- We recognize that the exclusion of women in spiritual leadership is a modern and sinful construct.
- The full leadership of the church is open to all at Crosscreek, regardless of gender. The gifts of teaching and preaching belong to those whom God calls. We will not stand in the way of the call of God.
- Women have historically been an equal part of the diaconate at Crosscreek, serving for over 30 years in this role.