In an article titled, "WANTED! More Female Pastors — Essential for the Harvest," the Secretary of the North American Division, G. Alexander Bryant, writes the following:
The North American Division (NAD) has voted to focus on six areas of emphasis over the next quinquinnium, which we refer to as “Building Blocks.” These building blocks are foundational for the continual growth of the North American Division. The six focus areas are designed to connect many areas of ministry, which exists as a part of the NAD mission. These six areas are: (1) Adventist Learning Community, (2) Transformational Evangelism, (3) Media, (4) Emerging Immigrant Population, (5) Retention of Young Adults, and (6) Women in Ministry.
The focus of this article is on the “Women in Ministry” Building Block. This Building Block is not designed to deal with the ordination of women, which is being addressed in another venue through a study group/committee. The “Women in Ministry” building block is a human resource emphasis, which focuses on the recruitment of more women in pastoral leadership, and it will move forward independent of the findings and conclusion of the ordination issue. Presently, there is a lack of women in pastoral work within the North American Division, and we need them to help finish the work of God in this territory.
Joel 2:28, states that in the last days “God’s Spirit will be poured out on ALL flesh—your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.” My prayer and hope is that this article raises the significance of “women in ministry” and awakens a sense of urgency that propels our leaders to partner together in the advancement and inclusion of more women, to help gather the harvest and finish the Lord’s work.
Why is there a need to increase the female pastoral work force?
Of the approximately 4000 pastors employed in our division, only 107 are women. In order to finish God’s work we need the women who are called of God to work alongside the men who are also equally called by God.
The North American Division, its Unions, and Conferences must become more intentional (as local circumstances permit) in the development of pathways to ministry for female pastors. Thus, it is also imperative to develop intentional methods of mentoring women who can become conference Executive Secretaries and Treasurers.
What is the strategy? What kind of collaborative “Human Resources” approach is needed to initiate, develop, and implement this new “Women in Ministry” Building Block?
The strategy is to design, build, and implement a process mechanism, which identifies, targets, and provides a partnership to support females, who feel called by the Lord, from college level through the seminary, leading to full-employment into the local conferences. The goal and result of this strategy is to increase the number of employed female pastors by 100% over the next five years or by 2016.
Read the rest of the NAD Ministerial article here.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/5114