April 26, 2009 by

An Important Update


Categories: current issues, healing wounds

I have continued to track the lively conversation that has been taking place on Jonathan Brink’s blog since he raised the question about the new Origins project and their all-male core leadership team. (You can check his first post here, and his follow-up post here.)

Since those posts went up, some interesting (and I believe, quite positive) developments have occurred.

Dan Kimball, pastor of Vintage Faith Church and one of the leaders of Origins, did engage the conversation on Jonathan’s blog; and after I mentioned this conversation in my last post and affirmed Jonathan’s actions…Dan was good enough to come here and comment on that post as well. I won’t reiterate what he said, or how I responded; you can click the link and see for yourself. But one of the things I mentioned was that possibly the layout of Origins’ website should be changed to better reflect the balance of leadership that Dan claims they actually have.

At the time of this writing, I haven’t heard back from Dan, and I don’t know whether this happened as a result of our interaction here…but when I checked the Origins website tonight, their leadership page has dramatically changed. Instead of having the six men who formed the “core team” at the top of the roster…those pictures are now interspersed with the Creative Teams, a blend of men and women, and although men still comprise the majority…I have to say it looks a lot less intimidating, and a lot more balanced. And, I might add, it reflects much better the structure of Origins’ leadership as Dan described it to me.

At this point, it doesn’t matter to me whether Origins actually changed their leadership structure, or whether they simply changed the layout because they realized they were miscommunicating their intentions. (Dan seems to be saying the leadership has been gender-balanced the entire time.) But the point is…they responded. They made a change on their website to reflect a more balanced leadership team, one that is much more inclusive of and favorable to women. And for this–I commend them.

Just in case anyone has been wondering…I promise I am not changing the focus of this blog to an exclusive campaign for the equality of women in the church–although that would not be a bad thing. 🙂 There are still many other things to discuss, and we will discuss them. But this is something that I have become very passionate about, and have had some strong convictions about. We men have been passive about this far too long. I’m not quick to jump on bandwagons, and (believe it or not) I don’t relish controversy. But if I am going to put myself out there and promise to be more purposeful in affirming the woman, and then an issue like this calls for our involvement…it would be hypocritical not to get involved. I might not have a very loud voice in blogland, but what voice I have is going to be used. And so, as the ongoing conversation calls for it, I’ll continue to voice my thoughts here and elsewhere.

If I meant what I said…how could I do any less?

Musician. Composer. Recovering perfectionist. Minister-in-transition. Lover of puns. Hijacker of rock song references. Questioner of the status quo. I'm not really a rebel. Just a sincere Christ-follower with a thirst for significance that gets me into trouble. My quest has taken me over the fence of institutional Christianity. Here are some of my random thoughts along the way. Read along, join in the conversation. Just be nice.

3 Responses to An Important Update

  1. Laurel

    Speaking as a woman who has been involved for far too long in far too many churches where true sexism ran rampant, I would encourage us all to try to focus on the positive things that are happening instead of being hyper-critical and judgmental of each other regarding the room we still have for growth. Yes, the church has been much slower to respond than society in general to recognizing the equality of women, and yes, both sectors have a lot farther to come, but let’s appreciate the change we have already seen and encourage further growth through positive reinforcement. Thank you for addressing the issue as a man and affirming us as women in ministry. I’d just like to see the issue addressed more positively.

  2. Amy

    Thank you. Just thank you from the bottom of my heart for caring about us women. Words simply cannot express how affirming it feels to have some men simply taking notice that we are valuable and speak up.

    You are such a good brother.

    I am blessed to know you.

    ~Amy 🙂

  3. Jeff McQ

    Thank you for commenting, and for bringing your input to the conversation.

    I suppose it’s a matter of perspective, but although some emotions flared along the way, I never saw this conversation as being hyper-critical or judgmental…at least, I was not trying to be so. If that’s how it came across to you, I accept your opinion at face value.

    Confrontation is never comfortable, but often is a necessary ingredient for change. In those moments, it becomes necessary to focus on the negatives, simply because those are the very things that need changing. This is, in fact, Biblical. I’m thinking specifically of one time when Paul confronted Peter publicly over a legitimate issue (Galatians 2).

    I absolutely recognize the great progress that has been made in the church in this area. At the same time, I must confess that part of the reason I became passive toward affirming and defending women was precisely because I allowed the positive progress to make me feel that the problem was already solved–when, in fact, there are still many women being hurt, overlooked and silenced, even in churches who claim to affirm and release them.

    The change that has happened at the Origins website as a direct result of this conversation would not have happened had someone not been willing to raise the question about this. It has clarified their approach, and although it probably annoyed some people…in the end Origins will be much stronger for this discussion. And that’s the *real* positive about this, IMHO. 🙂

    From the bottom of *my* heart…the privilege is all mine, sister. God bless.

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