Christian women leaders call for united action to promote and value the contribution of women and girls to the Church
Sixty women leaders from 18 nations gathered in Amsterdam June 2019 to celebrate the gifting, service and leadership of women in the Church across the globe. They mourned the injustices women suffer and called on Christians to take steps to honor women’s leadership in family, church and community.
The women leaders in business, theology, charities, media and church contexts came together for the ‘Rise in Strength’ consultation at the invitation of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) Women’s Commission and the Lausanne Movement’s catalyst group on women.
During three days of prayer, worship and sharing strategic ideas on the state of the world’s women, participants called on Church leadership to celebrate the contribution of Christian women to the work of God in the world. They also called the Church to recognize that gender inequality continues to be a barrier that diminishes the effective witness of the Gospel.
Elke Werner, a leader of the Lausanne Movement for over 25 years was positive about the impact of the historic consultation, “We know this was a prophetic time. It is so important to recognise the contribution of so many women in the different nations for the kingdom of God. These women are heroes. But we also need to stand up for women and girls who cannot fulfill their God given potential because of barriers in their church culture.”
The “Call to All Christians” came out of a desire to back the Lausanne statement on women in the Cape Town Commitment written nearly a decade ago.
Amanda Jackson, Director of the WEA Women’s Commission said, “If the Church says that women are only fit for certain roles, this can be very damaging. We want to acknowledge the pain when women’s voices are silenced, single women are ignored, or when the Church tolerates abuse. But we also want to be positive about what we can achieve when we work together using our gifts.”
The event was strengthened by the data gathered on women, about leadership and the key challenges facing women and girls. A survey of 500 women leaders leading up to ‘Rise in Strength’ highlighted that sexism in the Church and cultural obstacles to women in leadership are the major hurdles to women being able to follow their calling. The women in Amsterdam affirmed their willingness to serve God despite setbacks and to mentor the upcoming generation of women.
There was a strong sense among the participants in Amsterdam that a push for change in the Church is needed, so that everyone can benefit from women’s gifting and leadership in all sorts of spheres. So they decided to be themselves a voice calling for attention and action on key issues facing women and girls, expressed through the paper “Call to All Christians“.
Additional to the paper, videos will follow to underline the decision of the “Rise in Strength” consultation to be a voice for key issues, women and girls are facing. Here is our first video:
Please read the “Call to All Christians“, watch the video and join us using it in your networks and boards or with your students and churches.
To contact the “Rise in Strength” team concerning any issue, please use this address: email@example.com