It was my week to blog at bible.org. So I posted on how to wreck your women’s ministry:
- Engage in gender stereotyping. Teach women that they are emotional and men are unemotional. Never mind that the ideal man wept (John 11:35, Luke 19:41) and cried loudly with tears (Heb. 5:7); that Paul warned the Ephesian elders night and day with tears (Acts 20:31); that the same elders wept loudly when Paul said goodbye (20:37); and that Paul remembered Timothy’s tears (2 Tim 1:4). Crying is for females. Also teach your women that God wired them only to receive love, not respect. That way those who fall outside this “norm” will know there is something wrong with them. And while you’re at it, segregate by age. Younger women don’t like to hang with older women, and vice versa
- Assume women cannot handle rigorous Bible study. Women get lower test scores in math than men, don’t they? (Never mind that the difference is minimal and that women are often socialized to avoid the sciences.) If women can’t handle math, surely they also cannot handle Bible study that requires them to use their brains. So dumb it down and make it fluffy. Maybe some women can handle listening to NPR and PBS science shows, but such women are the exception. Insights from the languages and words like “theological” are for guys.
- Stick to a rigid curriculum. Never mind that studies say adults learn best in community with give-and-take interaction. Because women need easy-peasy Bible study (see point two), you need to always bring in an outsider—a talking head who delivers content via video. Surely no one in your own congregation has the potential to teach. Also, never look at issues such as human trafficking and what women can do about it, because that might get you labeled as a liberal who embraces a social gospel. And there is no label worse than “liberal.”
- Offer events only in the daytime. So what if 58.6 percent of women are labor-force participants. If you offer studies that accommodate working females, your women might think that employment matters, and we all know that a woman’s place is in the home. You need to focus all your efforts on stay-at-home moms, because being single is a sign that someone is not fully delighting in God (women who delight in God get the desires of their hearts, and we all know that God’s first-best is for every woman to be married with children). Never address how the Bible might apply in a work context and certainly never teach women how to lead anything. Having dominion is for radical feminists.
- Never, ever use humor. Your meetings are for serious souls exploring serious topics. So no showing clips from Youtube videos. In fact, avoid social media at all costs—it’s from the devil. Watch this, and you’ll see what I mean.