This post originally appeared on Left Hand Church.
On March 8, the world celebrated International Women’s Day.
For that day, Church Clarity, a new organization that scores churches based on their structure and policies on issues like LGBTQ inclusion, announced they would be adding a rating to their church listings based on women in leadership.
Upon seeing their announcement, I realized that Left Hand is a bit of an oddity in the non-denominational world. At a vast number of churches, there would be senior pastor and in 99.9% of the churches, he’d be male.
At Left Hand, Jen, Paula and I share equal responsibility and leadership. We call it trinitarian-inspired leadership, a term and structure borrowed from our sister church, Highlands Church.
One of us is not more in charge than the other two. We each bring something unique to our roles, and separately, we’d likely fail at starting a church. But together, the three of us have a more complete skillset for the heavy and difficult job of starting a church.
As Pastor of Executive Ministries, I oversee our communications, outreach, facilities, finance and fundraising. Sometimes I ask the input of Jen and Paula. Sometimes I make decisions without them. But I’m always accountable to them for anything that happens. At any time, they can stop me and ask that we discuss an issue as a team. The same goes for decisions Paula makes as Pastor of Preaching and Worship and Jen makes as Pastor of Reconciling Ministries. I trust them to make the important decisions that we need to make as a church.
On our Leadership Council, our governing body, we’re baking gender equity into our structure and DNA.
There’s far more work to do to bring gender equity to Left Hand Church, to “The Church” in general, and to our country. These are the things we’ve done so far, and we believe they matter greatly.