Let me say from the outset that I'm a fan of women's ministry. I'm a woman and I like being ministered to. I am taught the faith, prayed for and served by many, and I am grateful to God for this.
I think our current notion of 'women's ministry' exacerbates the problem that Jenny and others have outlined of labelling neutral life options as christian or non-christian. I also think that well-meaning women's ministries sometimes cause us to lose track of what the gospel actually is, and bog us down with other things leading to self righteousness or despair.
I'm going to write a series of posts outlining what I see as the problem. I'd love all sorts of people to chime in. Feel free to give your opinion. Disagree strongly if you like. I'm thinking all this through at the moment because we're moving into a new church in a new city next year and we get to do some re-inventing.
Let's start with a question.
Is it possible for a woman to be ministered to entirely in mixed settings and to thrive in her faith?
She could go to church on Sunday, go to a combined men and women's bible study group, never meet formally with an older christian woman to chat through christian living issues, not go near women's conferences and never read christian books or blogs written specifically for women.
What do you think? What's your gut reaction?
I think all of us agree that this situation is possible, perhaps in a situation where there isn't really an alternative, but do you think it's okay? If there was a 'women's ministry' program in your church - maybe a bible study group, a breakfast, a day conference - would you think she ought to join in or would you be good with her just doing the mixed group ministry thing?
I'm keen to hear what you think!