So I saw this on Facebook



Last week, while I was scrolling through Facebook, an article about Joan Rivers came to my attention. Now I know not everyone knows who Joan Rivers is, especially those younger 20 somethings out there. I've already been asked by younger youth pastors "who is Joan Rivers?" But with her recent death, there are a lot of stories about her life being posted and tweeted everywhere. One article in particular caught my eye [thanks Adam!] and I couldn't help but notice how much her story resonated with my story.

1) Cup O' Noodle Alone
As I shared in my book, A Woman in Youth Ministry,  a couple of years ago while I worked at a different church than I do now, I would sit in my windowless office and hear all the guy pastors leaving for a “boys only” pastoral lunch meeting. Guy only invites to pastoral lunch meetings were a pretty regular thing. Guy pastors ate lunch with guy pastors. We were co-labors in Christ, but a strong gender divide existed "So, even though I was with them, I wasn't with them." Often, unless it was my birthday or something,  I ate lunch alone with my Cup O' Noodle  because I wasn't "one of the guys."

Source: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/joan-rivers-why-johnny-carson-398088
2) Only Singers got the Stage 
In the chapter, "Can I Get A REAL job in youth ministry?" I share this story: 
I remember a tall, blond, beautiful, and skilled female musician came to my Southern Baptist Church to perform. She’d appear as a musical guest a few times a year. Everyone loved her. And in between songs she’d talk...or share...or in my mind, “preach.” I’d sit there feeling a little bit ticked because (1) I have zero musical skills, and (2) I knew that if I ever wanted to “share” or “teach” or “preach” in my church, I’d have to take vocal lessons, be invited as a guest musician, and then slip bits of my sermon in between the songs. It was depressing. I can’t sing. I’m not tall, blond, or musical. So there was no hope. I felt like my gifts had serious limitations. 

Source: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/joan-rivers-why-johnny-carson-398088
3) And then there was Bossy Brittany [see chapter 2 in my book] 
And then there was Brittany. She could command a room, lead with confidence and handle anything that came her way. I loved having her on my team. A guy Brittany and I worked with once told me he thought Brittany was bossy, but I knew she was simply leading and leading well. This article about Joan Rivers reminded me of Brittany and any woman who has been called abrasive, bossy, or even bitchy. Sometimes when women speak up in ministry and are not afraid to point out when something is wrong, we get harshly labeled and criticized. But a man would more than likely be applauded for making a tough call, providing leadership, cutting to the chase, etc. Not so much for women.   

Source: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/joan-rivers-why-johnny-carson-398088

What gender challenges do you face in youth ministry? 


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