Introduction

The Free Methodist Church in Canada (FMCiC) position on women in leadership (a fully egalitarian posture), whilst not new, is a counter-cultural position within western evangelical Christianity. Many congregants in our community churches come from different backgrounds and, in the age of the internet, are accustomed to learning and growing in their faith from sources outside our egalitarian teaching, in particular online teaching and social media.

When working counter-culturally in any arena, it is vital that one’s position be constantly and consistently given voice in as many ways as possible. This task force believes that if we, as a denomination, do not engage in proactive and intentional efforts to support and promote this doctrine, we are likely to continue to see a widening gap between our stated belief and the reality in our denomination.

Going into this project, the task force assumed nothing regarding barriers to women in leadership. This was important so that we could honestly hear the perspectives and stories of women leaders in our surveys and interviews. Even when barriers were articulated, it was often with the clarification that, on balance, their experiences have been positive.

In examining our findings and considering recommendations, we thought it helpful to have a high-level understanding of what is needed to ensure the success of this endeavour. We offer the following principles as key to the preservation and full expression of our Free Methodist doctrine.

  1. Proclaiming our Free Methodist ethos as it pertains to Women in Leadership.

  2. Modelling our Free Methodist character and beliefs allowing for better pathways and opportunities for Women in Leadership.

  3. Sustaining our unique Free Methodist culture as it relates to Women in Leadership to truly live out our doctrine.

Mandate

The Canadian Study Commission on Doctrine wholeheartedly affirms the denomination’s position on women in ministry. The Commission further recommends that leaders across the denomination explore the barriers that continue to hinder women and find ways of removing those barriers to release women for more effective leadership and ministry through the Free Methodist Church.

Team Members

Marc McAlister, Courtice, ON

Ian Issac, Weyburn, SK

Tamera Goller, Bluffton, AB

Amy Bratton, Saskatoon, SK

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