Apparently as soon as this was shown, Bill Hybels (pictured at left) denounced it, noting that women were not included/accepted as church planters. He was evidently upset that the video made it clear that MEN were to have this role. When I watched the video, I found myself saying, "how many more times CAN this guy say the word MEN?
I mean, I like men. In fact, I love them. I'm married to a great one, my hero. I don't ever want to do without men, that's for sure! But I still don't see the need to say the word "men" in every other sentence of a message. In fact, it's kind of stupid. Do I get up in our pulpit and preach and say the word "women" every two seconds as if to point out that we are superior or somehow God's chosen ones to the exclusion of others? No, and neither do any of my pastor friends. Driscoll may claim that it wasn't his intent, but how much easier it would have been for him just to refer in his video to "the pastor" or "the planter" and not "THE MAN". He chose to...for a reason. And in doing so, he lost the opportunity to help a lot of people with what knowledge he does possess on church planting. The whole "man thing" sort of overshadowed everything else. And because of that, even though thousands of copies of the video were made for the conference attendees to take home, the conference organizers chose not to give it out. Driscoll insinuated this was a waste however the real person that wasted an opportunity was him, by the way he worded his presentation.
Clearly, Driscoll was making a VERY CLEAR point in the way he made this video that women are not welcome in this role. This is gender prejudice at it's finest. Actually it's just flat out prejudice, plain and simple. Can you imagine if I or anyone else got up and said the word, "white" "black" or "hispanic" every two seconds in a sermon, as if these were "God's leaders" to the exclusion of the others? It would be despicable. One thing that saddens me is, a lot of pastors realize this about Driscoll and others like him, but they "listen to them for their good points" and sort of take the meat, chuck the bone. In my opinion, this is no different than listening to a KKK speech for it's "good points."
Here's the thing...men like Driscoll talk about how "relevant" they are. If they really want to be relevant, they need to come into this century and accept women at the highest levels of leadership. Today's professional woman does not want to attend a church where there is this type of patriarchal heirarchy. I know, I know, as some other bloggers have said, "Driscoll is complementarian...you have to expect that." In one sense, you are right. However, first of all, he was speaking to thousands of people at this conference, many among them who are not complementarian. Obviously he cared more about getting across his complementarian views than he did about helping church planters. Otherwise, he would have been more sensitive in the way he presented his message. Do we really want to help people, or do we just have our axe to grind? Never once have I gotten up and preached the "women in ministry" issue in the pulpit. My mentor told me, "never do that. Keep the cross central. There are too many powerful things to preach on -- the cross, the blood, the rapture...don't cloud your message by preaching on these secondary issues." Why couldn't Driscoll just leave it alone for the sake of the greater good?
There have been times, I've been invited to preach in churches that are not Pentecostal. Out of respect to them, I don't come in and give a message in tongues, or preach about this. I respect the pastor or leader of the event enough to do that. Do I personally compromise my Pentecostal view by doing that? No. I'm still very Pentecostal, however I choose not to bring that to the pulpit when I am in another church or conference where another message would be more effective. There are many other things we can speak on other than tongues or women in ministry. Obviously Driscoll couldn't leave it out of the conversation for more than 8 minutes, which was the length of his video. Second, let's not elevate him to some status of being so 'relevant' to his culture when he's obviously so woefully behind the times on this issue." I know he honestly believes he is following God's Word and that's what makes it even sadder.
In the churches we have pastored, we have had women CEO's, doctors, bank presidents and more among our membership. Every one of them have told my husband or me without exception that one reason they chose our church was because they saw the inclusion of women at highest levels of leadership. I would like to rap on Driscoll's little head and say, "Uh, hello...anybody home? This is REAL relevance...INCLUSION.
Everyone lauds him as perhaps the greatest church planter today but really although he has a big church he's really still a relative whippersnapper compared to many giants who have paved the way before him. Thankfully we had the Granddaddy of all church planters, Daddy Hybels to get up on stage and save the day on this matter.
To see the video in question, click here.