Monday, September 13, 2010

Women's Ministry in the Local Church: Introduction

written by Carrie

This is our first week to discuss the book Women's Ministry in the Local Church, by J. Ligon Duncan and Susan Hunt. Published by Crossway Books, we'll be walking through a discussion of our reading of this title from now through the month of November, taking the book apart chapter by chapter.

The following women will be taking turns leading the weekly discussions:

Carrie from Reading to Know and Offering Hospitality (that would be me!)

Ronnica from Ignorant Historian

Melissa from Breath of Life and Southern Baptist Girl

Stephanie from Stephanie's Mommy Brain and Offering Hospitality

We are all in different states, churches and life circumstances but we all agree on one thing - women have a role to play in the church and we want to be Biblically discerning when it comes to figuring out what that role is and the right way to fulfill it. I personally approached each of these other blogging women listed above because I've followed their blogs for some time, and have come to know, trust and respect their opinions. I'm delighted to walk through this book with them and see what everyone has to say about it.

Furthermore, we are very glad to have you along for the ride and hope you will vocalize your thoughts to us as we take this journey together.

It's my job today to introduce this book to you and I do want to make a few things about it very clear as we get started.

Number 1: Susan Hunt wrote this book alongside J. Ligon Duncan, who is a pastor in the PCA (the denomination Hunt is a part of.) That to say, there is a male figure also leading the message of this book which is something I appreciate on a topic such as this.

Number 2: I want to take special note of the opening paragraph in this book which states the following:

"The subject of this book is not women; it is the Church of the Lord Jesus. Though the focus of the book is one specific area of the church's ministry, a biblical understanding of the church acknowledges that no part stands alone. A women's ministry is one component of the total life and work of a local church." (Chapter 1, The Story, page 17)
Number three: In Chapter 1 the authors spell out the fact that they are building the book on two bodies of work: The Danvers Statement of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and The Biblical Foundation of Womanhood Materials.

I have linked to The Danvers Statement for your convenient and would greatly encourage you to spend this week just familiarizing yourself with this resources as the authors have clearly given a nod in its direction. Duncan and Hunt include the Ten Affirmations of The Danvers Statements and this website link leads you to the rationale and the Ten Affirmations. It will take you all of 15 minutes to read and is well worth your time to develop a better understanding of this book and the message it intends to deliver.

For now, this is where I'm going to leave you. Short and sweet. Just read through The Danvers Statement and we'll move on from there.

We hope you are excited to join us. We recognize this is a testy subject for some, so please pray that we would handle it both sensitively, wisely and well. It is not our goal to be divisive, but to discover what roles women can play within the church. As I believe that one way women can serve the body of Christ is through hospitality, I'll definitely be curious to hear what topics Duncan and Hunt choose to hit upon! We welcome your thoughts, opinions and comments so please do not be afraid to share!

5 comments:

  1. Though I am not reading this book, I definitely think that as part of my local church, it is vital for me to find ways to minister to others. Just recently I started a new venture...one where I can combine my passion for books and serving others...in the church library! I am in charge of ordering and processing the children's books...and though it is not a fast and easy job, it is wonderful to serve my Father and my brothers and sisters (and the children!) in this way.

    I can't wait to see what you all say about this book. Thanks for the solid introduction, Carrie.

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  2. I'm humbled and grateful to be a part of this "project"! Can't wait to dig into this meaty subject together!

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  3. I do have this book -- I should get it out and read along with you all

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  4. Just a question. I understood Susan Hunt to be living in Marietta, GA, while Ligon Duncan pastors in Jackson, MS. Might they have been writing together as a result of their positions within the PCA denominational leadership instead of a direct pastoral relationship?

    Thanks.

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  5. etgrete - You are correct and I misread the introduction. I went back and read the intro again and was still confused so I e-mailed my contact at Crossway for clarification and they sorted it out for me. I have changed the wording of this post to correctly identify Hunt and Duncan's partnership in this book.

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