Earlier this week, Canadian author and speaker Sarah Bessey inadvertently started a Twitter phenomenon when she began a conversation with the hashtag, #ThingsOnlyChristianWomenHear. The responses were horrifying, saddening, frustrating and sick-making. The discussion became a lament for the brokenness of the church and the impact this has on the lives of women. If you’ve not been following the discussion, Christians for Biblical Equality has collected a representative sample of 55 tweets in this post, the Australian Bible Society’s Eternity news site has a good analysis here, and Morling College’s Michael Frost has an thoughtful post here.
I posted a few comments myself, but as I read through the tweets, I felt something was missing. Hearing women’s voices, accepting the discomfort of our pain and having the opportunity to speak out are important. But lament is not a place where we can dwell for long. Creating change and hope is just as important, so that future generations of women are free to love God and serve the church without rejection and feeling diminished. So a new hashtag, #ThingsChristianWomenShouldHear, came into being. Men and women joined the discussion, to repent, give hope and speak words of healing. I have been so encouraged to see how it has been embraced and how much collective wisdom was brought to this issue.
If you’ve tweeted in response to #ThingsChristianWomenShouldHear, thank you for being part of the conversation! If you’d like to participate, feel free to tag me with my handle, @GodsDesignPerth, and I’d love to have you follow me as well.
Below are some of my favourite tweets. I pray that you will be challenged to be part of making change happen. If not you, then who?
(I apologise for some of the weird spacing in this article. For some reason, some tweets are copying with this extra space above and below. If anyone is clever enough to know how to get rid of it, please let me know!)
Encouragement to Create Change
On Recognition, Inspiration & Encouragement
Apology & Repentance
On Harassment and Abuse
What We Need to Hear from Male Leaders – Changing Church Culture
What We Need to Hear from Male Leaders – Encouraging Women’s Gifts
Commendations & Reactions
Church – please sit, listen and learn from #ThingsOnlyChristianWomenHear. Pay attention to #ThingsChristianWomenShouldHear, and take up the challenge to change the conversation for yourself, your daughters, the women around you, your church and for all Christian women everywhere.
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