More women needed in leadership roles in church
OCHO RIOS, St Ann:
A female deacon within the ranks of the Baptist Church in St Ann is suggesting that more women in leadership roles in the Church could help, not just the Church, but the society as a whole.
According to Trudy James-Hardware, who attends the Parry Town Baptist Church in St Ann, women in higher leadership roles in the church would positively impact the youth and the country.
"I see women now in top positions in other areas and are doing extremely well; I see women in the Church in top positions and they are doing extremely well because as our maternal instincts kick in, then we tend to govern in a more loving, tender and understanding way," James-Hardware says.
Asked if she would advocate for more women in leadership roles in the Church she responded:
"Definitely. Back in the day women were seen as minor in terms of leadership, but we find that women are educating themselves and they are better at showing what they can do. So stepping into higher positions, they seem to be doing even better than the men these days, to be truthful. You have some men who will try keep them at a certain level but because of how some women operate, they tend to matriculate to higher levels not because they are pushy or anything, but because of how they handle themselves, in a more calm, loving yet stern way."
James-Hardware also suggested some ways in which church members could avoid the development of situations that may cause controversy.
"Having a buddy system could probably work," she suggested. "So, let's say for example, something had happened or you need to speak with somebody from a particular family, or somebody might approach you and say they need to talk with you, it would be best to have somebody in another office close by. Or the office might not be enclosed, private, but not too enclosed where you're tempted to do things because at the end of the day, we're all human beings and our minds will stray from time to time.
So whenever we're in environments where we're not too secluded, that helps."
"What could probably help also, is, if you know you have a weakness you could encourage the young lady to speak to one of the older ladies in the Church, or if it is a young boy, you could probably speak to somebody who is more capable of handling the situation. Not because you're the pastor or the head it means that they (persons who need help) have to definitely talk to you, sometimes there are persons within the organisation or the group that are able to handle the situation as well."
James-Hardware says she is using her position as deacon to help people who she comes in contact with on a daily basis, such as her co-workers.
"From a Christian perspective, I hope that the way I live my life on a daily basis is example enough for persons to follow. I lend myself to the point where if somebody is in need and I see where I can help or I can seek assistance for that person, then I do so.
"In the position that I am in right now I basically think that I was placed there to maintain a certain level of balance because I believe that in all spheres of life balance is good.
"So having non-Christians along with Christians within the office, being that I am here at the office, it's a good thing. I don't think I was just placed here like that, I think it was strategically planned by God himself for me to be here among everybody else."