Gender and Leadership at MVC

Over the past eleven years, gender and leadership has been a matter of conversation among the Elder Board of Monte Vista Chapel. In 2008, after extended conversation, prayer, and reflection, it was noted that opportunities for women to exercise their leadership gifts had greatly increased since MVC was founded. It was also understood, as outlined in the bylaws, women could lead and serve in all roles at MVC except Elder, Deacon, or Senior Pastor.

Three years ago, the Elders took up the conversation again, this time to deepen their understanding of the scriptural basis for gender and leadership. Countless hours of research, study and prayer have gone into this process. Their study found that certain passages seem to encourage women to lead in all areas and others seem to restrict such leadership, and that committed followers of Christ disagree on how these passages are to be interpreted and applied.  Currently, most of the Elders hold that, when taken in their specific context and in the context of scripture as a whole, the great majority of biblical evidence opens all areas of leadership to both men and women who are gifted and called to serve.

As the Elders continue to study, pray and discern if, how, and when our by-laws are to be amended, we invite you to enter this process of study, prayer and discernment as well. We make this invitation knowing some of you have been in this conversation for decades and have studied the scriptures well; others are familiar with a specific perspective but have not truly explored other perspectives, and others have not given it much thought at all.

In order to aid in your study and discernment, we have assembled a number of resources from various perspectives.  We encourage you to engage your study with humility and prayer, seeking to understand the different perspectives rather than only defending your own. Finally, please remember that these perspectives are held by real flesh and blood people you know, who deeply love Jesus, who worship and serve alongside you, and who make up this local body called Monte Vista Chapel. As such, it is our prayer that we will continue in this conversation with truth and grace, continually affirming that what we have in common as children of God is far more powerful than our differences.

If you have any questions or feel a conversation would be helpful, please contact one of the elders or pastoral staff. Any of them will be happy to discuss this with you.

Click here to watch the Town Hall meeting from March 24 where Ken presented this information.

Over the past eleven years, the issue of gender and leadership has been a matter of discussion among the elders of Monte Vista Chapel. In 2008, it was noted that opportunities for women to exercise their leadership gifts had greatly increased since MVC was founded. It was also understood that women could lead and serve in all roles at MVC except Elder, Deacon, or Senior Pastor, as outlined in the bylaws.

 

Three years ago, the elders took up the issue again, this time to deepen their understanding of the scriptural basis for gender and leadership. Countless hours of research, study, and prayer have gone into this process. Their study found that certain passages seem to encourage women to lead in all areas and others seem to restrict such leadership. However, when taken in their specific context and in the context of scripture as a whole, the great majority of biblical evidence opens all areas of leadership to both men and women who are gifted and called to serve.

 

As such, the elders recommend that MVC’s bylaws be amended to allow both men and women to serve in all areas of leadership to which they are called and gifted to serve. While the elder board is unanimous in their decision to recommend this change, opinions among our elders are still diverse. We believe this is healthy, as it models unity without uniformity and demonstrates that diversity in opinions is both welcome and important for a healthy church.

 

Because MVC is an elder-led and member-governed church, a 2/3 majority vote among our membership is needed to amend the bylaws. As such, the elders have asked the staff to make arrangements for a congregational vote on August 18, 2019. While MVC values the input of all who call this their home, only the votes of registered members can be counted.  If you are currently not a member and would like to become one in time to make your vote count, we invite you to attend MVC’s Discovery Class, which is a two-hour teaching and discussion time taught by one of our Pastors. Discovery outlines the past, present, and future ministry of MVC in a casual and conversational way. If you are uncertain whether or not you are a member (please don’t assume), simply contact the church office or look at the membership list found in the Church Library.

 

In order to prepare the congregation to make informed decisions, Pastor Ken will provide teaching and a deeper look at the biblical issues regarding gender and leadership in a series of sermons on May 5th, 12thand June 2. We have also compiled the following resources for your own research and study.

 

If you have any questions or feel a conversation would be helpful, please contact one of the elders or pastoral staff. Any of them will be happy to discuss this with you.

2008

The Elders examined MVC’s current perspective on gender and leadership and noted that opportunities for women to utilize their gifts had greatly increased since the church was founded.  The roles of Elder, Deacon, and Senior Pastor remained restricted to men.

2016-2019

Elders study Scripture and seek a deeper understanding of gender and leadership

February 2019

Elders recommend bylaws be amended to allow both men and women to serve in all areas of leadership at MVC

February – July 2019

Congregation given time for corporate and personal prayer and study concerning gender and leadership. Opportunities for attenders to become members so their voices can be heard and votes counted.

August 18, 2019

Congregational meeting and vote.