Faith seeking understanding

Female models of faith 'often left invisible'

There needs to be a more conscious effort in the church to make female models of faith visible, argues Anthea McCall.

By Anthea McCall

September 7 2018"You can’t be what you can’t see.”

For better or for worse, most people are not pioneers. That doesn’t mean that they have no potential. But it does mean that they need role models. They need people they look up to, whom they want to imitate. They need to see other people, often people like them, succeeding at the type of thing they want to do. They need it for inspiration, leadership, paths to follow, and to help them believe that they can do it too.

When it comes to growing in faith, using gifts, and imagining opportunities for ministry and leadership in the church, men have abundant examples of other men to look up to. And examples given in sermons, Sunday school lessons, youth group and Bible study are frequently male. Women often lack female role models. And this can be a problem for girls and young women, for as Marie Wilson from the White House Project said, “You can’t be what you can’t see.”

It truly makes a difference to women to hear of and see other women of faith, who have shown radical faithfulness to God. It’s not that women aren’t there in the Bible, or in church history, or in our churches. In fact, there are a lot, if only we would look. But they are often left invisible...

The Reverend Anthea McCall is a lecturer in Greek and New Testament and the Dean of Students at Ridley College.

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