Welcome to Book Review Monday!
Today I am Reviewing — Powerful & Free by Danny Silk – Confronting the Glass Ceiling for Women in the Church
Well, okay, it’s not actually Monday, but hey, I’m sure you will extend me grace, right? –
I thought so. I just got back from vacation then it was Father’s Day and well, I didn’t actually write; instead, I rested and relaxed with my family. Alright, enough about me and my reasons for not posting this review sooner.
Being a woman in Ministry Leadership, I have been wanting to read this book for some time; in fact, it has been sitting on my nightstand since before Christmas. I have loved all the books by Danny Silk that I have read. My all-time favorite of his is Keep Your Love On. (If you haven’t read it yet – It’s a MUST!)
<insert throat clearing noise here>
Oh right, I need to stay on track with this week’s book review – Powerful and Free by Danny Silk.
What’s it about?
First let’s start with the back cover description:
What comes to mind when you hear the phrase, “Women in Ministry”?
1. Nursery Worker
2. Children’s Leader
4. It’s complicated
If you are like most your answer would be, “It’s complicated”. Many believers are still confused about the proper place for women in the church. Powerful and Free is a call to address the structural message of inequality. It is not a theological treatise on the biblical case for female leaders (there are many excellent resources for this already). It is not a political program to implement some kind of affirmative action in our leadership teams, because that doesn’t work. Rather, it is an appeal to the hearts of men and women to recognize the existence of the glass ceiling for women and to challenge themselves to align more fully with a Kingdom vision for gender–blind leadership in the Body and equal male–female partnership in the home.
Women in Ministry and Women in Leadership in the church has long been a topic that I have been asked about a lot over the years. Most likely, because I am a woman in ministry. Not only am I in a leadership position, I am a Co-Pastor with my husband at our church. In fact, I have had my pastoral license for many years and am ordained through our denomination. The typical response I get from people when they hear I am a pastor is, – “Oh, you mean you’re a pastors wife?” Uhm – Yes and No. Actually, I am a pastor, and I am married to a pastor so, yes, I am a pastor’s wife, too. However, long before my husband responded to the call to become a pastor, I was a pastor serving in leadership and doing ministry. My husband, John, is fantastic that way. He isn’t threatened by women in leadership, and he encouraged me to pursue the call God placed on my life. In fact, John does the same thing for other women in our church as well. He champions them, supports them, and gives them the freedom to walk in the calling God has placed on their life. We have women serving on the church council, women besides myself preaching from the platform on Sunday morning, women leading ministries in the church.
While I haven’t experienced terrible prejudice about being a woman in ministry, it still exists and sadly often comes from other women. Here are some snippets of questions I often get asked.
“So what do you do?”
I’m a Pastor.
“You’re a pastor?”
Yep, that’s right.
“What? You are a women who is a leader in the church? I thought that wasn’t Scriptural? You mean, you’re a women’s pastor?”
No, I mean I am a pastor – a leader in the church.
“OK, but wait … You preach from the platform to the whole congregation? Not just to women? – – What?!? Again, I thought women were not supposed to do that sort of thing?”
“A girl can grow up to be almost anything today – the commander of a NASA space station like Eileen Collins, or Secretary of State like Condoleezza Rice, or a Fortune 500 CEO like Anne Mulcahy of Xerox – but not a minister or even a teacher in some of the lager Christian denominations.” – – Rena Perderson, Pulitzer Prize Finalist and author of The Lost Apostle
Danny starts the book off before you even get to the forward with the above quote by Rena. Sadly, her statement is so true, and it breaks my heart. Not to mention I have lived and experienced it. I have also watched how other women have been hurt, ridiculed, suffer, and even left the church because they were not given the opportunity to obediently walk in the calling God has placed on their lives, simply because they are women. Overall, my experience has been frustrating, yet compared to some of the testimonies Danny shares in this book, I haven’t had it so bad.
We tell our children they can be anything they want to be, (Or at least I did) and sadly, the place that should champion our girls freedom and empower them to be all they were created to be, the church, often is the place they are held back and not given value. Jesus was all about unity, just read the New Testament and especially the book of Acts. We ALL have value and we are all equal. One of Danny’s chapter subheadings is – Unity brings equality! So true!
“The very nature of unity is that it requires everyone involved to be free powerful, and to have equal value.” – Danny Silk
As a women pastor, I am not trying to take the place of a man, nor am I trying to usurp a man’s authority. I simply am being obedient to the call God has placed on my life. I want to partner with and walk side by side with my fellow men and women who are called to lead. We all have value, and we need to partner with each other so that we can move the Kingdom of God forward.
Danny does a great job of discussing the different sides and aspects of the glass ceiling for women in the church weaving in stories and testimonies from others. While I liked the book immensely, and I even had my husband read it, it wasn’t exactly what I thought it was going to be. This book has some very good nuggets throughout, and I pray it will prompt conversations to bring change within the church today. However, for me, some of the material seemed to move a little slow, maybe because Danny was ‘preaching to the choir’ so to speak, since I have been aware of the glass ceiling my entire ministry life.
All that being said – bottom line – I think everyone should Read it!
Book Giveaway Winner from June 8th
The Kelly Tough Book Giveaway winner is from the Book review Monday on June 8th is Holly Barrett. Congratulations to Holly, also thank you to Icon Media for giving the winner a free copy of Kelly tough. Finally thank you to all who left a comment for their chance to win. My next book Review will be Miracles from Heaven by Christi Wilson Beam… One blessed person will have the opportunity to win a free copy of this book soon!!!
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