Mega-Pastors Abandon Patriarchy, Promote Women Leaders

In an abrupt about-face, a group of well-known mega-pastors have announced plans to welcome and promote women in all positions of church leadership.

“There are so many passages of women leading men in the Bible,” said Pastor Les Izmoore, director of My Way Ministries. “I don’t know how I hadn’t noticed before. So I did a little experiment and asked the first woman I saw at church last Sunday what she knew about the woman at the well in John 4, the one who led her entire village to Christ.”

“It turned out she knew a lot,” he said, “and helped me understand how that conversation must have looked to the woman Jesus spoke with. Then she gave me a lesson on Samaritan cultural anthropology in contrast with 1st Century Judaism. Who knew?”

The group is also reconsidering its position on the role of wives and husbands.

“It’s a little embarrassing,” said Mickey McMickleson, former pastor of Church Of the Best Sellers. “I was reading that passage in Ephesians about people submitting, but this time out of a Bible that didn’t have those section breaks or subject headings that editors put in. It turns out that the command to submit applies to husbands submitting to wives as much as wives to husbands.”

When asked whether he’d spoke about this revelation with his wife, he said, “Yeah. She asked what took me so long.”

Change is coming not only in the mega-churches but also to seminaries. One professor, who preferred not to be named, admitted he now needed to revise his well-known list of gender roles and functions. “It should be easy. All I have to do is go down the list and remove the headings that label some roles in the church as restricted to men only.”

He showed visible signs of relief. “I am so looking forward to not having to defend that silly list of 83 roles any more.”

Prominent women theologians and pastors welcomed the news, but declined to give statements. As one scholar put it when this reporter called, “I’m in the middle of researching Chaldean architecture as an expression of ancient religious practices, so I haven’t had much time to pay attention to those men. They’ve changed their minds about women, huh? Glad they’re finally catching up with the rest of us.”

***

[April 1, 2015]

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42 Responses to Mega-Pastors Abandon Patriarchy, Promote Women Leaders

  1. Tara says:

    Thanks for sharing this good news Tim!

  2. VelvetVoice (Susan Donroe) says:

    And I thought the world was coming to an end….

  3. Rev. Carlene Appel says:

    Oooooooh Tim,
    Bad April Fool’s Joke. LOL I thought it looked a little suspicious, the names looked a little strange. But Good News!!! it’s not just a joke. There’s MegaChurches such as the famous Bill Hybels’, 22,000 member egalitarian Willow Creek Church just north of me in Barrington, IL (where they do have women teaching pastors), and the over 2,000 member Parkview Church in Glen Ellyn, IL. I go there from time to time. Leadership Editor Marshall Shelley’s wife is a staff pastor at Parkview and a fellow MDiv. Alum. of mine at Northern Seminary (formerly Northern Baptist Theological Seminary). John Ortberg’s wife was one of the Teaching Pastors at Willow Creek, before he took a position out in CA.

  4. Rev. Carlene Appel says:

    A clarification; Teaching Pastor is an actual job title at Willow Creek.

  5. Laura Droege says:

    Now the only question I have is this: what took me so long to get that this was an April Fool’s joke?! Wishful thinking can cloud reality. It took me until the April 1st hyperlink to realize! (But oh, wouldn’t this be wonderful news if it wasn’t a joke?)

  6. tiro3 says:

    if only, if only it were not a joke. So much pain could be aleviated in women’s and men’s lives if we understood how much God loves us all and seeks to live and move through each of us.

  7. Greg Hahn says:

    I had my hopes up for a minute there. LOL. Some day, Tim- it WILL be true.

    • Tim says:

      “When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be. When we all see Jesus we’ll sing and shout the victory!”

  8. Anonymous2 says:

    [Sigh.] Too good to be true. April Fools.

  9. Jeannie says:

    – I’m not a prominent woman pastor but I’VE got a statement.
    – What is it?
    – It’s a declarative sentence designed to convey knowledge, but that’s not important right now.
    Seriously, Tim, this is brilliant. I’d love to meet Les Izmore.

  10. Pastor Bob says:

    Creative!
    First thought, as i started – Avoid the Just Because Principle.
    Good rule for other topics too.

  11. EricaM says:

    I should have lumped this in with “Nature magazine discovers dragons”! 😛

  12. It’s currently April 2nd here, so you definitely got me! Glad we can still laugh about this subject 🙂

  13. caramac54 says:

    Oh man …had I read this first thing this morning, my eyes probably would have bugged out of my head in disbelief, not realizing today is April 1st. If only, if only.

  14. Mary Anne says:

    Not precisely on topic, Tim, but I wondered if you’d heard of this:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithforward/2014/03/its-called-post-traumatic-church-syndrome-and-yes-its-real/

    Sure struck a nerve with me . . .

  15. Julie Anne says:

    And certain people we know would have nightmares at such a thought 🙂

  16. Nancy Le says:

    Lol, ahhh, that was great

  17. Corbin says:

    Tim, you had me there for a second. You have a talent for understated humor.

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