Experiential AND Theological

Post a Comment » Written on January 22nd, 2014     
Filed under: Testimonies and Stories
Submitted by:
Valeri C. Tao

I grew up in an immigrant church in the Washington DC metro area. In 7th grade, I entered the youth group and over the next six years and beyond it became a great influence on the formation and growth of my faith. While officially, my church did not believe that women should hold the office of a pastor, we had two youth directors, one male and one female. I saw both of them preaching, teaching, mentoring, leading Bible studies, hanging out with the youth….all things that a pastor would do. While I did not realize it at the time how unique this was within the immigrant church, it was normal to be growing up. Through the lens of hindsight, I can see how having gender balanced leadership in my formative years has affected me today. However, the whole issue of gender equality in ministry is not something we talked about at all in my immigrant church.

I was introduced to the Evangelical Covenant Church through my enrollment at North Park Theological Seminary. It was strange at first to be in a place where men and women were seen as equally in ministry. I have had many roles in leadership and serving in church and non-profit ministry. I’ve never explicitly thought I could not do pastoral ministry, but I never explicitly though I could either. Through my studies, I was able to hear, understand and own for myself the biblical basis for gender equality in ministry.

Seeing gender equality modeled in my youth and the biblical foundation I gained in seminary, have allowed me to understand the issue from both an experiential and theological point of view. How can we both teach and model for the young people of the church today what biblical gender equality looks like?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Report This Post

Leave a Reply

Report This Blog