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Abstract

In the spring of 2022, elders and ministers from three West Texas Churches of Christ convened for a discussion of how their congregations expanded the roles of women in public worship. Tradition within the Churches of Christ dictate that men fill all visible roles during worship services. Since these practices are based in commonly accepted interpretations of the scripture, women’s active participation in worship represents a momentous change in both practice and belief. The ninety-minute discussion covered the initial decision-making process, the implementation of new roles, problems encountered, and advice for others wanting to make a similar change. The transcript has been edited for clarity, but otherwise is an exact account of the discussion as the church leaders reflected on their experiences.

Author Bio

Shannon Clarkson Rains (DMin, Abilene Christian University) is the Associate Professor of Children’s Ministry at Lubbock Christian University. Before her appointment, she served in children and family ministry for fifteen years. Her research topics include childrenʹs spiritual formation, worship with children, and womenʹs leadership in churches.

Jennifer Dabbs received her BA in Sociology from Centenary College of Louisiana in 1986. She received her MA in sociology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1988 and her PhD in sociology from the University of North Texas in 1994. For the past twenty years, she has taught sociology courses in the Department of Social Work and Criminal Justice at Lubbock Christian University.

Kaley Ihfe received her BS in Human Communication in 1998 from Abilene Christian University. She received her MEd in School Counseling in 2002 and her MA in Christian Ministry in 2019, both from Abilene Christian University. She teaches Bible classes and has authored several curriculums for adult Bible classes; she speaks at retreats and is the Director of Lavish Hope Retreats. She currently works at the Volunteer Center of Lubbock as theLeadership Development Manager.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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