Denominations have different procedures for making church decisions. In some churches, members vote in a democratic process. If only men are empowered to voice their opinions, not only does it remove every woman from a participatory role in the decision making process, it also ensures that the agenda, debate, and decisions make in meetings are void of any female perspective. Some would say this is just an oversight, but then again, when every church position is filled by men only, it’s not hard to see why women would also be left out when it was decided how decisions would get made.
The decisions made at these meetings have to do with finances (do we buy new chairs?), church ascetics (what color do we paint the sanctuary?), church appointments (who will be in charge of what?), etc. Buy excluding women from the democratic process, they are not only kept from church offices, but are completely removed from any decision making input or capability. In this system, men as young as 17 are afforded full membership voting capacity, while wise, mature women are not.
I have been a part of and voted in democratic meetings. And rarely (if ever) did it strike me as odd that half of our congregation was being completely excluded from this fellowship in which we articulated and furthered the vision of the body. It’s so easy to just go along, and like me, to never notice (much less open the conversation) who is being excluded and who is being made important.
How have I participated in activities which excluded large portions of the church family?
When I realize what’s going on, do I have a responsibility to speak up?
If no one else is willing to acknowledge what’s going on, what does it mean to be faithful?