I vividly remember the anxiety I felt receiving an invitation to work with a male pastor on a project. The project was going to extend over multiple months and would involve one-on-one meetings to advance the work we were called to do. The anxiety surprised me because I was genuinely excited about the work and, as a student at the time, I was honored to be asked to contribute. As I reflected on my feelings, I came to realize that after taking time off to raise my children and working as a women’s ministry director in a church, it had been years since I partnered with a male colleague on a project. I was out of practice and unsure of what the ‘rules’ were for men and women working together in ministry.
Are there rules for men and women working together? Who sets the rules? What do healthy boundaries look like for both men and women? How does one start a conversation about the intangible relationship dynamics of a mixed-gender ministry partnership? Can both men and women flourish by bringing their whole selves to the work God’s called them to?
Dr. Rob Dixon set out to explore these and other questions as he began his work on his recent book Together in Ministry that deals with how to create healthy partnerships for men and women to flourish in ministry. Anchored in scripture, theology and church history, Rob’s foundational premise is that women and men are designed to work together in fulfilling God's mission on earth. Both genders are equally vested with the image of God and they are jointly called to steward the world God created. Yet God's original intent for equal partnership has been so distorted that churches and organizations continually struggle to foster healthy mixed-gender ministry collaboration.
Rob’s book concludes that it is both possible and essential to God’s mission for the church to return to the Genesis ideal of co-laborers in today's contexts. With intentionality, courage, and wisdom, the church can lead the way in creating mixed-gender partnerships where both men and women flourish.
Based on qualitative field research among ministry practitioners, Together in Ministry offers a prophetic roadmap for individuals and communities as they seek to develop flourishing ministry partnerships for women and men. I hope you’ll join us on January 13 at 11:00 am Eastern for a conversation with Rob as he presents a vision and model for flourishing partnerships in the church.
Register Now! for this virtual discussion hosted by Vibrant Congregations.