At the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship General Assembly, Baptist Women in Ministry will officially release its annual State of Women in Baptist Life Report. I have only scanned the report, but the message is clear: moderate Baptists talk a better game regarding women in ministry than we practice.
In recent days, I have personally observed one young woman, a recent seminary graduate, turn to a not-for-profit agency rather that work in a Baptist church. Another seasoned woman minister left Baptist life to serve in a church staff position in another denomination. I hear the pain of women seeking to justify their calls to ministry and struggling to overcome old stereotypes.
The report may say that things are better, but we still haven't caught the vision that God calls both women and men to serve the church by exercising their God-given gifts. The limitation on this calling are man-made not God-imposed. Certainly, we have a hard time imagining women in certain roles, such as the pastorate, because we haven't seen women in that role. We don't see women in that role because they aren't often given that opportunity. Who will break the cycle?