The CL staff wanted to learn more about how women serve our congregations. So, we reviewed USMB church English-language websites and found that 91 women serve in pastoral and ministry staff positions; this number does not include women who serve in secretarial or business roles.
In addition to inviting individuals to submit an essay about their call to ministry, we asked these 91 women to answer eight questions about their work. Here’s what we learned from the 24 women who responded.
Employment status: A significant majority of the respondents are paid staff but the number of women who work full- and part-time is evenly split.
Areas of Responsibilities: Participants were asked to indicate in which area(s) they serve and were given the option of marking more than one response. Forty-one percent indicated they work in outreach, one third indicated responsibilities in children’s ministries, youth ministry, adult ministries and music and worship.
- Sunday/weekend worship service participation: Women’s participation in the Sunday/weekend worship service varies. Forty-eight percent regularly lead in some part of the weekly/weekend worship service while 32 percent seldom lead some part of the service and 20 percent are never involved in leading. The ways in which women participate also varies.
- Experience: Given that national statistics indicate the tenure of most pastors is less than five years, its commendable that the majority of women who serve USMB congregations have tenures beyond five years. Education: When asked to indicate what education/experience respondents have related to their role, the most common answer is experience. Administration: All of the staff members who responded to the CL survey are regularly involved in administrative tasks.
Connie Faber joined the magazine staff in 1994 and assumed the duties of editor in 2004. She has won awards from the Evangelical Press Association for her writing and editing. Faber is the co-author of Family Matters: Discovering the Mennonite Brethren. She and her husband, David, have two daughters, one son, one daughter-in-law, one son-in-law and one grandson. They are members of Ebenfeld MB Church in Hillsboro, Kansas.