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10 ways your faith community can embrace gender equality

  1. Teach on gender equality in bible studies. Take some time for your faith community to consider the biblical concept of gender equality[i].
  2. Preach on gender equality during church services. Be intentional about teaching on the inherent dignity of all people regardless of gender. Consider a series on gender equality.
  3. Provide leadership opportunities. Ensure there are women who actively participate in your senior leadership advisory group, or corps council. Consider investing in emerging female leaders in other sections of your faith community.
  4. Provide opportunities for women to preach and lead meetings. Does your faith community demonstrate gender equality from the platform? Take time to consider how often women are seen in leadership from the platform. 
  5. Teach on the feminine characteristic of God. Did you know that there are many feminine references to God? Take some time to learn about these characteristics. What might we learn about God by reflecting on different metaphors in the bible?
  6. Attempt to remove gendered language when referring to God in public worship. God is not a man (nor is God a woman), yet in much of our language God is given a masculine pronoun. “To equate God solely with the masculine is not simply an innocent act of naming, but also a gesture of political and moral import. The exclusion of the female from this realm places an ultimate value on maleness and legitimised the subordination of women to men[ii]”. 
  7. Teach and preach on females characters in the bible. There are many inspirational women in the bible. Take some time to research them and consider what your faith community can learn from their lives.
  8. Participate in special days that encourage and celebrate women. There are many international or national days that exist to inspire women, for example International Women’s Day.
  9. Challenge sexist behaviour. Sexist jokes and comments take their toll, and ultimately lead to the denigration of women in your faith community. Pull people up when they make jokes, even if they are throwaway comments, and create a culture of inclusion rather than exclusion.
  10. Honour the women in the history of your faith community. Who are the women (either living or past) in your community who have faithfully invested in the ministry of your church? Take time to share their stories and work - honour the ways in which they have participated with God’s work in your community. 

 

Do you have any additional suggestions? Let us know!

 



[i] There are many bible studies available, but we would recommend ‘Better Together – Equality in Christ’ by Kevin Giles. Available here: http://tinyurl.com/y7cajrsw 

[ii] Eason, A M 2003, Women in God’s Army, Gender and Equality in the Early Salvation Army, Wilfrid Laurier University Press, Canada. pp.7