How we can better support women in the church

How we can better support women in the church

This week, Sarah Bessey sparked a twitter conversation that rapidly took flight among Christian men and women. Women continue to share painful and even surreal experiences under the #ThingsOnlyChristianWomenHear hashtag– some of which I’ve reflected on here.

Yet the conversation has quickly taken a hopeful note, as both men and women share #ThingsEveryChristianWomanShouldHear.

So listen in. I hope you’ll absorb and share some of these fabulous dreams for what a rich, supportive Christian community could look like, for both women and men:


We can start with including men and women regardless of how gender-traditional they are:

Valuing each other for the immense insights we have as women and men:

Family Life

This means fully supporting parents who nurture while working and learning:

Honoring men who give sacrificially at home and support their wives’ callings:

Supporters and Leaders

In the church, it means honoring what everyone contributes, whether serving (as Jesus washed feet and taught children), or leading (as he spoke in the TED talks of his day):

It means expecting both men and women to draw insights for their lives, from role models of both genders:

And for growing numbers of churches, it means affirming women as leaders:
The Pastor


Respecting intelligence and inviting men and women to share their strengths and experience, regardless of how it’s packaged:



Reminding us that women aren’t the cause of human evil, and neither are men:

Yet knowing that sin is real, and it matters. It means believing that how the powerful treat those around them matters profoundly in recommending them for continued leadership:

Maintaining Safety

It means affirming that abuse is never part of what should be:

And supporting women and men in creating safe distance from their abusive partners:

Cultivating an attitude of listening and discerning, rather than interrogating one gender and defending the other:


It also means huge changes in how we talk about sexuality, starting with modesty for women and men:

Encouraging partners to connect and refrain with love and respect–treating those around them similarly:

Honoring both men and women as the gift, not their sexual in/experience:


It means encouraging both men and women to initiate relationship and value others for who they are:

Eventually, for many men and women, partnering in life together:

Acting and Reflecting

Finally, this means not just talking about a better world, but taking specific actions to make it happen:

And it means affirming both women and men in all their strength and vulnerability, as both reflect the image of God:


  1. Liz

    I can not believe this still happens today. But I can and it makes me sad – but it’s a good conversation to have because women don’t need to live in that space. I know conservative Christians who would chose to live by some of these things – and that’s fine if it’s a fully educated, fully aware choice – not my place to judge. But no woman should be held down or back just because she is a woman!!

  2. Allison

    I love a lot of these. I especially love that some of them were posted by guys! This one had me chuckling: “You’re a pastor? Cool, tell me about what you do while I completely refrain from taking Paul out of context. “

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