DMINLGP

DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Some Things Give Me Tired Head…

Written by: on April 5, 2019

Where I live there is a sports radio station that I enjoy listening to, one of the sayings which has made its way into my vernacular is the word “tired head”. The definition of this word is a discussion that you have been through multiple times and would rather just move on from, but instead you get pulled back into it time and time again. My guess is because I am a minister in the Southern Baptist Convention most would assume they know where I fall in this discussion, and because of that would probably bet a good deal of money that this conversation would give me tired head. Well, you would be right that I am tired of this conversation, but not for the reason you might assume.

Let me give you a little background of my life. My parents were divorced when I was very young, I lived with my mom and she was the defining influence in my life. I moved in with my dad when I started high school because my mom had some serious medical issues that precluded her from being able to take care of my brother and I. (she is fine btw) In moving in with my dad, once again his wife was a very strong force in my life and she guided me well. When I married my wife, it was her mother who prayed fervently for my salvation. My wife is the smarted and hardest working person I have ever known. I have a extremely healthy view of the importance of women in my life.

You see my wife compliments me, she completes me, and hopefully I do the same for her. We are equals in every sense of the word. Neither of us make a big decision without consulting each other. You can hear let me check with Susan come out of my mouth several times a week. So when we were assigned this weeks work, Two Views On Women In Ministry, there was no doubt in my mind where I felt I would fall in this argument. But, reading through our essays for this week gave me extreme “tired head”. I have had to spend more  time going and checking biblical references for this book than I have had to in a long time.

Part of the reason I get worn out with this topic is, from my point of view there should not be any arguments about wether or not women should be in ministerial positions of leadership. If you look to scripture for your guidance, as all believers should, it is replete with women in leadership positions. You have Deborah in the OT, she was a judge the precursors to the Kings of Israel. There are numerous queens in the OT, the Queen of Sheba, the Queen of Ethiopia, Esther, all of whom were revered for their leadership. In the NT, the women who traveled with Jesus as part of his group of disciples, you have Priscilla a deacon in her church, named before her husband might I add. These are but a few of the many.

For times sake I want to focus on two essays for my discussion. The two I picked out were by Linda Belleville and Crag Blomberg. Bellville argues for an egalitarian position of women in leadership in the church, while Blomberg takes the complementarian position. Bellville, in making her argument lays out an impressive array both scriptural references and using word studies of both greek and hebrew to make her point. At some point in her essay though, it becomes a monotonous read because of the overwhelming work put into it. Her essay probably would have been better suited for a text book rather than a popular book. This by no means is me saying it was not well done, but I can see many getting lost and just quit reading because of the style. While Bellville could be accused of possibly misusing some of the text to fit a narrative, I actually only found one, that caught my eye. She makes an argument for Miriam being on the same authoritative plane as both Moses and Aaron when she writes “She was held in such high regard as a leader that Israel would not travel until she was back at the helm” [1] Numbers 12 is not an instance of leadership but of punishment, the tribes did not set out because they hungered for Miriam’s leadership, rather they waited on her punishment to be finished before they moved on, this is not a great piece of scripture to lay ahold of for the argument. Other than that Belleville does a good job arguing for women in leadership. 

Interestingly, within Blomberg’s argument, he backs most of what Belleville has argued with the exception of the position of head pastor. He lays ahold of this position being singled out for men only by working through both 1st Corintians 14 and 1st Timothy 2. His arguments are for a natural reading from both while Belleville does some acrobatics with the Greek. Whether or not one agrees with his approach, his argument is easy to follow and in light of the difficulty to follow Belleville’s argument may find more support.

I asked several women in my church this week, as an offhanded comment, what they thought of women in leadership in the church. They said, we do lead, you just don’t see us because most of the work of the church is done by females anyway. I sat back and pondered this while working through meetings with the VBS coordinator (female), missions outreach meeting (all females), church beautification and clean up group (all females) and the worship team, (half and half) and realized women are the backbone of my church. Why should they not be represented as deacons as well. I have committed to working with my group of deacons to push forward a change in our by laws to allow women to be nominated and then we go from there.

I know this is not the most well researched post I have done, but you will please excuse me, this has been a crazy week.

[1] Gundry, Stanley N., and James R. Beck. Two Views On Women In Ministry. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005. 51.

About the Author

mm

Jason Turbeville

A pastor, husband and father who loves to be around others. These are the things that describe me. I was a youth minister for 15 years but God changed the calling on my life. I love to travel and see where God takes me in my life.

15 responses to “Some Things Give Me Tired Head…”

  1. mm Mike says:

    Ok “tired head” I copy. Thanks for sharing and staying fairly safe on your response and position. It’s almost difficult to even take a position because as soon as you do then you are labeled and the spiritual warfare and the stress between flesh and blood wins again.

    Stand firm,

    Mike (traveling)

    • mm Jason Turbeville says:

      Mike,
      To be honest as long as someone is preaching the word of God and staying true to his calling I am good with who ever is doing it. I don’t know if I tried to stay safe or just am worn out by the fighting.

      Jason

  2. mm Jay Forseth says:

    Hi Jason!

    I concur with Mike above. Let not God’s enemy divide us…

  3. Dave Watermulder says:

    Wow Jason! Thank you for this self-revealing and reflective post. There was no need to apologize at the end, I thought it was really good to read, and to follow your own thinking and journey with this topic. I hear you saying that you plan to take some real steps ahead, to work within your context and with your leaders to see what changes to the by-laws might be possible. Amen to that and bless you as you step into this work ahead.

    • mm Jason Turbeville says:

      Dave,
      Thanks for the encouragement, the apology at the end was really for myself, I did not do a whole lot of extra work on this as I should have but oh well such is life!

      Jason

  4. Sounds like you want to move the needle…I’m thankful for your initiative. Praying that there is not a great battle, but an eagerness to move forward.

    • mm Jason Turbeville says:

      Jenn,
      To be honest it has been through this program that my eyes have been more opened to the changes and I am grateful for that.

      Jason

  5. Great post, Jason!

    Blomberg suggests, “The average Christian’s knowledge today of what was or wasn’t permitted, and why, in each of the major stages and arenas of the history of Christianity is often abysmal” (Blomberg, 126). It’s interesting to see that many of our perceptions are steeped in traditions, rather than theology. You mention, “I asked several women in my church this week, as an offhanded comment, what they thought of women in leadership in the church. They said, we do lead, you just don’t see us because most of the work of the church is done by females anyway.”

    Many females lead in behind-the-scenes in churches; however, do you find that this speaks of their desire for those roles or their relegation to those roles? For instance, most churches, regardless of their stance on women in ministry, enable females to operate in the ministry to children, administration, and/or hospitality; however, the majority of teaching positions are still reserved for their male counterparts. If all roles were open, would women utilize their talents behind-the-scenes as much as now?

    I’ll be praying for you as you proceed down this exciting journey!

    • mm Jason Turbeville says:

      Colleen,
      To be honest we only have three male teachers (myself, our youth director and one other) out of 8 teachers at our church. I have four adult classes and three are taught be women and all the classes are coed. The only boundaries seem to be deacon and pastor. I am curious as to what other churches percentages would be compared. I know we are a small church but I would be curious.

      Jason

  6. Jason,

    So good to read of your experience! Thanks for sharing it, and thank God for those great women in your life who were instrumental in your own development.

    I am excited you are trying to move the needle by changing by-laws in your church constitution. I doubt it will be easy and will pray that civility and grace prevail.

    • mm Jason Turbeville says:

      Mark,
      It seems funny to me that so many use 1st Timothy to put up barriers but Paul talks about how instrumental women were in bringing Timothy up in the Lord. It was the same with me, women have been so instrumental in my walk with God. Thanks for the prayers!

      Jason

  7. mm Dan Kreiss says:

    Jason,

    Your experience, like my own, of being raised by your Godly mother has shaped you as it has me. I would not be who I am without the relationships I have had with strong, Godly women in all facets of leadership.

    I pray for your work in your own church and the challenges that may come as you encourage them to accept women as elders/deacons. As you mentioned a week or so ago this may be a subject that requires a whole lot of background discussions to shape and move the church toward a more egalitarian leadership structure. It is important though and will signal strongly that women are fully accepted and are integral to the ministry of your church in the community. I am particularly encouraged about what this will mean for young women who maybe for the first time will see a door for them to serve using their God given gifts, a door that may have been closed to them previously.

    Thanks for your leadership.

  8. Shawn Hart says:

    Jason, I appreciate your honesty and position in your post; even if I cannot fully agree with all of it. I would like to address the one offensive comment I believe your post contained though; one that is made way too frequently without consideration for its content.

    You wrote, “If you look to scripture for your guidance, as all believers should, it is replete with women in leadership positions.” The very concept that someone that disagrees with your views must not be using Scripture as their guide is insulting. I have not just invested years of study on this topic, but also tried to view Scripture as honestly as I possibly can. We just do not see that scripture the same. One reality of Scripture that confronts this topic more than any other…at least in my opinion…is why did Christ only appoint 12 men as apostles? If there was ever a man with an opportunity to make a point contrary to the history that had already been established, then it was Christ starting the early church. He tackled many issues with extreme prejudice, but the role of women was never one of them. Sometimes the very evidence of what is NOT there is as difficult to coincide as the things that are.

    It is a tough topic to navigate fueled by very personal emotions on both sides. We must be careful with the way we approach the discussion if we ever hope to make progress toward righteousness.

  9. Greg says:

    Jason. There is no fun in writing when life is crazy and you sick. Thanks for bringing on your journey and helping us understand the tension of leading and working in an ever shifting world. I appreciated your openness into looking and critiquing the writers of this book as well as catching when overreached to make their point.

  10. mm Kyle Chalko says:

    Hey Jason,

    Great post. I think you bringing women deacons would help the minsitry your church gives out to it’s saints and your community. Keep fighting the good fight!

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