Follow Her Lead
Should women be “in the ministry”? Should women lead in the church? Often these questions are settled on the basis of just a couple passages of the Bible that seem to speak directly to the matter. Some judge those passages to limit and restrict women. Others conclude they reflect cultural views that have no relevance for the 21st century. The former answer, “No!” The latter answer, “Yes!” And neither approach is adequate.
Bishop David Kendall argues that these questions can only be answered adequately by reading the Bible as we have it, as essentially a story about a world created well and good, committed to the care of the human beings, male and female, ruined by foolish and errant human choices, and then re-directed and redeemed by God who enters the story. His reading offers a coherent and compelling YES to both questions and urges us to Follow Her Lead.
Light and Life Publishing
Rev. Mark S. Waterhouse –
Bishop David Kendall faithfully and convincingly challenges the Church to be the Body of Christ as Jesus intended, where every person can use their gifts in ministry and leadership, regardless of their gender. Kendall is thoughtful, clear, Biblical, and offers solid conclusions. His book affirms what I came to believe years ago. Having been raised in a family and church tradition that strongly opposed the ordination of women, God broke that “box” for me when He brought me to the Free Methodist Church.
What is most compelling about “Follow Her Lead” is that Kendall begins, not with the difficult Biblical passages (although he does engage these passages), but with God’s story from the beginning; namely that God created men and women in His image to share leadership in creation. Sin spoiled the unity God intended so that the world became a “man’s world,” in which women were to be “managed” in marriage and society. However, Jesus came to restore that unity among men and women. Jesus enters the world “as it was” but subversively “re-orders” the world so that men and women are once again co-leaders in the church and in the world.
This is a message that is needed today, as churches and popular teachers have doubled down on forbidding and condemning women in Church leadership who serve as pastors and teachers. Many of the comments that have been directed to women are demeaning and condescending. I pray that God will give us the courage to come along side women who have the gifts and grace to lead in the church and in the world. David Kendall has given the tools to encourage and to defend women who serve the church as pastors, teachers, superintendents, and bishops … women who bring much needed wisdom and insight to the Body of Christ.