In the first half of 2004, the Woodmont Hills Church of Christ (Family of God) in Nashville, TN, pursued a congregational-wide study entitled “Women Serving God.”
There were some preliminaries in the Fall of 2003, but the main focus was the Spring of 2004. This involved many different venues–sermons, Bible classes (Sunday and Wednesday), small groups, focus groups, leadership meetings, etc. Some of the resources utilized are now available online.
The homilies by Rubel Shelly, John York and Wes Crawford are available. There were four in January 2004 entited (1) The Creation Story; (2) Women in Israel; (3) Jesus’ Life and Teaching; and (4) The Early Church.
I have just uploaded the Wednesday Evening Bible Class series in the Spring of 2004 to my Bible Class page as well. It is entitled “Women Serving God: Eight-Lesson Dialogue.” There were multiple participants, each given credit in the teaching outlines, but the class was conducted by Mark Manassee (at the time a chaplin at Vanderbilt Hospital and presently the preaching minister at the Culver Palms Church of Christ in Los Angeles) and myself. We are primarily responsible for the outlines which represent both the complementary and egalitarian positions. The outlines are suggestive and general; they are not detailed presentations of positions. We hope you can learn from them but remember they are trajectories rather than formal position statements. In addition, they were written four years ago and opinions may have developed or changed since then.
Mark and I worked well together as well as with guests (mostly women in the Woodmont Hills family) who shared the lectern with us in the classroom. We attempted to represent both sides of the question in fairness and love. Our dialogue was healthy, engaging and productive of good will. There was no hostility or animosity though we disagreed on certain points. I felt it was a model of Christian dialogue about some difficult questions. Mark and I are still friends! Imagine that! Especially after discussing such a “hot” and often divisive topic. Love does cover a multitude of disagreements.
I will see you next week after a restful weekend with my wife.