In Which I Get a Little Testy over the Gender Gap

  Context: There is a stained glass ceiling in ministry. Granted it has holes in it, but the number of women who serve as heads of staff of large congregations is...small.

Context, Part the Second: This is a rant. A vent. Treat it accordingly.

Yesterday morning I posted a note on FB about having to juggle work stuff and writing stuff with James in tow---his day care provider needed the day off. Within the hour I got three responses from other pastors who were having similar issues that very day: teacher inservice + working on the sermon, well baby visit + writing a presentation, etc.

These folks are all super talented, and I found myself asking "Wow, imagine how far we'd go if we weren't all doing 2-3 jobs at once!"

Imagine, indeed.

I don't have to tell you the gender of all four of these pastors, do I.


Honestly, I don't know what I'm testy about. And it's probably foolish to allow one's anger to roam, free-range; it's liable to wander into the wrong person's yard and start pooping on stuff.

I should probably apologize right now and get it over with.

Because hey, it's possible that there is some large cadre of clergymen out there wondering how to get the funeral meditation done in between carpool and the lacrosse practice.

But I doubt it.

It's also possible that all of us minister-moms like our current career trajectory just fine. I certainly hope so. I like where I am, and I'm not just saying that to calm down any member of Tiny who might read this. Solo pastor ministry is fun. Varied. And yes, flexible: James and I had a great day together. I really do love being the default caregiver during the week. If life imitates the Simpsons, and we need to evacuate earth and my kids only get to choose one parent, well...sorry Robert.

But there's no way that every woman who juggles kids and a call wants it that way. They are limited geographically. Or related, they've made a financial calculation that their spouse will be the primary breadwinner.

And that's all fine. Except that in 2012 we have a gender gap in ministry at the highest levels. That's a justice issue. An economic issue. A question of power. And our male colleagues may be sensitive new age guys, but they are only too happy to take the big positions and the big salaries while we juggle the pediatrician and PowerPoint.

Somebody talk me down here.