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November 14 , 2010

Breaking Through the Stained Glass Ceiling: Women Pastoring Large Churches


Can women successfully pastor churches of 1,000 or more? How can they possibly take care of their large, diverse flocks - and themselves? How can they balance their work/ministry with their home and family life? How do they motivate their team members and manage the occasional conflict that arises amid staffs and congregations of such size and diversity? And above all, in the midst of their call to keep their membership in love with Christ, how can they keep their own spiritual relationships fresh and vital? In Breaking Through the Stained Glass Ceiling, seasoned and anointed women pastors answer these questions and many others. In addition to a foreword by world-renowned feminist theologian Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, chapters include: "Leadership Styles"; "Work and Family"; "The Art of Conflict Management"; and much more. Woman of God, if Spirit-led ministry is what you desire, then this book is for you. In 2006, in an international meeting of United Methodist clergywomen, questions were raised about how women were breaking gender stereotypes to serve in large-membership churches. Two years later, the Lead Women Pastors Project (LWPP) - a vision of a General Board of Higher Education and Ministry staffer, the Rev. Dr. HiRho Park - was launched, with 64 clergywomen. The LWPP seeks to affirm, empower, and nurture women who pastor United Methodist churches with 1,000 or more members. The leadership team includes the Rev. Dr. Susan Willhauck, seminary professor and consultant; the Rev. Trudy Robinson; and the Rev. Patricia Farris. As a result of the LWPP, as of 2012 the UMC had 137 clergywomen, compared to 1,223 male clergy, serving as senior pastors in large churches.
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