A surreal but fun couple of hours in the bowels of a hotel with 30 German visitors on a Fresh Expressions trip from near Hanover. I was greeted with remarks on my abnormality: ‘You’re the first woman leader we have met’ and ‘You’re the first person we’ve met who doesn’t use an Apple Mac.’
While I can’t say that I would fight to the death to make sure non-Apple users have a voice in Fresh Expressions, it does concern me that women seem to be under-represented in this field. There’s an interesting thread on Jenny Baker’s blog on the Sophia Network website, which has raised a lot of questions and tapped into experiences of women in leadership.
It’s a very complicated issue, tied up with our society, church, history, and all teetering on the tightrope of stereotypes and generalisations, but it’s made me wonder who our female role models are in the Church, and how we can actively encourage our younger girls to expect to lead – it seems to me that Messy Church is ideally placed for providing these opportunities.
I don’t particularly want to fight this corner, but there have been so many allusions in my Bible readings lately to the need to be a ‘prophetic’ voice against injustice, and so many coincidences of the same subject coming in from different angles, that it makes me, even me, stop and think.