AnonymousDeleted UserDecember 10, 2020 at 7:56 am
I began doing “mission” work when I was 14 years old. I traveled around the continental US, Central America, Africa, Australia and Spain doing the typical “if you died tonight, do you know where your soul would spend eternity?” type of evangelism. While I loved the opportunity to travel and experience other cultures, I was never comfortable with what we were actually doing there. (This was typical of my experience in Christianity, in general.) Particularly during my time in Uganda, I was aware of the patriarchy and white supremacy within what we were calling “the good news.” Woodley’s article put so many words to the foundations of harmful evangelism: “I am making the argument that the theology of conquest has been a major influence in our missional thinking; a thinking that too easily aligns itself with hierarchy and results in hegemony.“ I’ve spent the last eleven years in what we’ve called a leadership experiment within my congregation. We have put into our system a Trinitarian-inspired leadership model, with three people sharing the title of co-pastor, accountable to our Leadership Council. It is our best attempt at de-centralizing power from one individual (usually male, usually white) to a leadership which better represents, and creates space for, women, LGBTQ-identifying people, and people of color. Woodley’s entire article was inspiring to me because it made me think we are on the right track – but with so much more to learn.