For most of my adult life, one of the most potentially contentious conversations in church life has been the question of men and women in church leadership. Women have been allowed to preach in the Methodist Church and some other denominations for a long time, they have also served as ministers/pastors in those contexts. However, it was only in the 1990s that the Church of England allowed women to be ordained into the clergy and very recently indeed that the bar was lifted on women bishops.
Generally speaking the view within independent evangelicalism has remained that eldership and public teaching roles should be restricted to men, though some churches have started to include female elders. A lot more churches would include female deacons but there are still some who see this role as male only. Continue reading