Before I went into seminary, I worked as a regular volunteer in children’s ministry. My church at the time was small, so I taught Sunday school lessons to a “one-room schoolhouse” of tiny primaries and spunky middle-schoolers. However, after completing my program in theological studies, I avoided kids and preferred to teach adults. I wanted to give my time and service to those who could “best” understand the Scriptures, and children’s ministry didn’t seem like the place.
For women like me, teaching the Bible to children sometimes seems like the unrewarding babysitting corner of church life—a place to engage youngsters with stories, crafts, and treats while the adults tend to more important spiritual matters. Beyond a clean background check and a willing spirit, volunteering in youth work doesn’t seem to require much, and women who feel tied to this area (and little else) may wonder if their spiritual gifts are being fully used.
Case in point: During a recent #ThingsOnlyChristianWomenHear Twitter conversation, many stressed their concerns over the treatment of women in Christian circles. Among the tweets were stories of restrictive gender roles—women confined to traditionally nurturing positions regardless of their gifts and abilities. “You speak five languages and have a doctoral degree? Children’s ministry is your calling!” wrote one woman in sarcasm.
Continue at Christianity Today.