23 November 2022
An international women’s collective aimed at growing women church planters and improving their chances for long term success has started an Australian arm.
Multi-denominational collective The Company said it sought to tackle the barriers that women church planters tended to face including resourcing and systemic hurdles, as well as sexism, theological and spiritual challenges.
Australian representative and Micro Churches Australia founding director the Reverend Bree Mills said the initiative’s approach provided them with resources and pathways, such as training, and that it used the many strengths that women demonstrated in the space.
Launched in October, training includes providing participants with mentorships, giving them the opportunity to interact with each other and share ideas, and equipping them with first-hand experience through placements at church plants.
Ms Mills said the movement hoped to enable women to stay in planting for 10 or 15 years if they wished, and to lead thriving church plants in environments where they would not feel pressured to conform to a different way of planting that would burn them out.
But some of the challenges for the initiative included working out how to keep church planting a financially sustainable choice for women, so they could work at it fulltime if they wanted, Ms Mills said.
She said that even though there weren’t many examples of women in the church planting space, she was encouraged by the numbers that were there, and the desire of those who wanted to become involved in planting in the Australian context.
“It also lets women hear and know that they’re not alone if church planting is what God is pushing them towards, and that there is an array of women who are working in and passionate about this space,” Ms Mills said.
She said the initiative was set up because of a perceived gap in the spiritual leadership and planting space that they wanted to fill and be faithful towards, rather than to be in competition with existing movements.
“There are some organisations who do this well, and some women do well in those places. But for others that doesn’t work, and they need a space that is more aligned with their values and gifts,” Ms Mills said.
For details visit www.thecompany.host/