This week, Kate Shellnutt of Christianity Today published a piece that examines the shape of women’s ministry in the white evangelical church. The article comes in the wake of the controversy surrounding popular speaker and author Jen Hatmaker’s public support of gay marriage. In response to her new position, LifeWay will no longer sell Hatmaker’s books and products.
While I don’t agree with Hatmaker’s position, I also don’t think folks are necessarily seeing the big picture. Hatmaker is not one individual who suddenly and unexpectedly went rogue. She represents the larger shape of evangelical women’s ministry that is very often detached from the established Church. Erin Straza and I tackled this question in a recent Persuasion podcast in which we argue that much of women’s spiritual formation has been outsourced to the marketplace. We shouldn’t be surprised when it’s shaped by influences other than the Church.
Kate’s article at CT taps several leaders in ministry and tries to set the larger frame for what’s happening, particularly among white evangelical women. For example, while most pastors have probably never heard of Hatmaker, she has a FB following larger than John Piper, Tim Keller, or Gary Chapman. Kate reached out to me for her article and I asked her if I could publish more of our email exchange here:Continue Reading