Next Steps for Ministry Leaders Following the GC2 Summit

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Six next steps for ministry leaders who desire to humbly engage with questions surrounding sexual violence.

In Between Two Worlds, John Stott charges preachers to address controversial topics: “Christian people are crying out for guidance…Shall we abandon them to swim in these deep waters alone? This is the way of the coward.”

If the recent GC2 Summit Responding to Sexual Harassment, Abuse, and Violence said anything, it was this: Church, we will no longer walk in the way of the coward. We will not abandon our people to navigate these waters alone.

Still, the church’s question in this season of lament is the same one the prophet Jeremiah asked of God in his: How?

How, God, can we right these wrongs? How can we do better?

As a woman in church leadership and a survivor of sexual assault, I’d like to suggest six next steps for ministry leaders who desire to humbly engage with these questions. These are by no means comprehensive—others will have crucial expertise and wisdom to offer.

Nonetheless, may these steps encourage us all as we seek to answer our hows.

1 – Learn from women—purposefully.

After hearing complaints about their male-dominated structures and strategies, the elders at Redeemer Fellowship in Kansas City spent time meeting with groups of female church members, asking questions like: What has been hurtful? Where have we overlooked you? What do you long for?

Sarah Davidson, one of the women involved, described the experience as safe and powerful: “The elders didn’t counsel or coddle. They humbly listened, affirmed, and apologized.”

As a result, the church strategically hired more female staff, launched a women’s ministry, changed female titles from “directors” to “ministers,” and invited women to lead on stage.

To Leaders: with a posture …

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