What are Your Ideas for a New Organization? Sherrie Shares -- By: Sherrie Aeschliman
What are Your Ideas for a New Organization?
Evangelical women are at a crossroads and will go down one of three paths: 1) recreate a democratically run study group, 2) create a study group run by a Board, or 3) create an organization run by a Board dedicated to servicing the needs of the movement. Let’s look briefly at all three:
A democratically run study group is the most non-threatening form to encourage research and acceptance of ideas. It works great for beginning a movement. The drawback is that the vision is subject to the views of the membership and can easily lose its evangelical moorings. At best this form is a risky venture when dealing with such controversial subjects as female liberation.
The second possibility—creating a study group run by a Board—protects the vision but is perhaps narrow in scope and somewhat reactionary. Although it allows a sound pursuit of academic excellence in peace, we have to face the reality that there is a very good chance others less Biblically sound will meet the needs of those in the movement already liberated by present literature.
The third possibility—an organization run by a Board dedicated to servicing the needs of the movement—has all the advantages of the second possibility and more! The difference between the two is the broadness of vision and scope of involvement. This form requires a Board with strong leadership. Biblical integrity, sensitivity to issues related to women of color, abuse and poverty. Inherent must be the courage to address systems which underlie the bondage women experience. Such a Board should have the creative energy to implement means actually to make a difference in women’s lives beyond the idea stage. It need not be a lop heavy or cumbersome Board to be able aggressively and actively to address the critical concerns.
We need to assess the movement and ask God what our response to it should be. Ten years ago there simply were mere rumblings of a movement in evangelical circles. Thanks to the determined service of many sincere followers of Jesus Christ, today the movement is rapidly gaining momentum such that even Christianity Today should witness to its legitimacy (Issue no. 14, vol. 30. Oct. 3, 1986). The time for research is not yet passed—there is still need to encourage, fund and disseminate creative thought on both scholarly and popular levels. Yet, simultaneously the evangelical world is showing signs that it’s convinced and is ready to move on to the next step—integrating theory with practice, spreading the vision, and aiding those powerless to release themselves. We don’t need to tip-toe around any more. In fact, timidity at this critical stage could result in ‘exorcising one demon from the house only to be filled with many more’ if the only peopl...
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