Vineyard Churches UK & Ireland

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Transcript:

I think one of the problems when it comes to equality in a practical way, is that we have systems and structures that have existed so it’s almost like oxygen where we’ve just been breathing this, this is normal to us so we don’t even notice it. So I think the first thing is to notice, and I think we’re getting to that place. I think in England particularly, there’s even people saying this is literally the proportion of men who are white on the platform at churches, and so it’s gotten some exposure which is good because this is the first step in acknowledging it, of saying hey this isn’t representing the church, there’s a problem with the balance of power so I think one is a recognition that that’s the case. And that’s not to assign blame, because I think one of the problems too, is that we then get into this “look at those white men”, it’s not their fault that they’re white and male and have been groomed for leadership, it’s just to recognise that that’s what’s happening.

So, I’m a real firm believer in correcting an imbalance, so like you would a brace for a leg that is twisted a little bit – you take your kid to the doctor, they put a brace on it.  He doesn’t have to wear the brace for the rest of his life, just long enough to correct an imbalance, so I would suggest some sort of brace. Whether that’s, you know, that you actually have some specific aims, so if you want every conference to actually use to proportion of the church you would have 60% women should be on the stage and 40% men I think. I don’t know what the specifics are in America but I know there’s more women in church than there are men, so you want to reflect the diversity of the church on your platform. And I think the same with racial diversity too – we need to just be intentional with it.

So, it’s going to be painful, and it’s going to be hard, and it’s going to be awkward at the beginning, just like a brace on a child to correct an imbalance, but it has to actually be done or we’ll never correct the imbalance because the natural way we’ll go is pointing in.

So, I would say get some braces, so set them as a church. I say to every conference organiser, they’ll say to me “I can’t find them”, I’m like: “that’s your job, they exist, go find them” and so that becomes. If you have it as a target, this is what we have to do, then you actually have to go make it happen, it won’t be a natural thing, it’ll be a specific and purposeful thing, and I think we have to get there. Then once it becomes natural we can get rid of the brace, it’ll be fine, it’ll be normal I say.

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