Study: Raise Your Voice! God's design for gender equity
New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa Territory: An excellent new Bible study resource has been produced by the Women’s Ministries department of the New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa Territory. The Bible study collection, 'Raise Your Voice', explores God's design for gender equity through a seven-part series, featuring the written contributions of eight Salvationists across the territory.*
'As Salvationists, we’re proud to include women in Salvation Army leadership, but many of us don’t actually know why,' shares Commissioner Julie Campbell, Territorial President of Women's Ministries. 'Our foundation is in Christ, and so we felt it was important to have a robust, biblical foundation for our belief in gender equity. Right from creation, we find God calling us to mutual, equitable relationships. And in Christ, we find women lifted up and given freedom as disciples and teachers. I’m really proud that we’ve created a Bible study that will leave women feeling empowered and equipped – but it’s also something for men to be part of, and to be inspired as allies in gender equity.’
The website reads: 'Raise Your Voice provides a robust biblical foundation for our belief that women are equal partners with men in both value and status. In a culture where women were shut out of public life, The Salvation Army blazed a trail in 1892 when it affirmed that “women must be treated as equal with men in all the intellectual and social relationships in life.”
‘Over the years this radical vision has not always been realised. That's why we want all of The Salvation Army to come together and recapture our original Bible-based belief in gender equity. This is a Bible study about women, but it not just for women. It is for everyone. We need men as well as women to be allies for gender freedom - when we lift up others, we are all lifted up.’
The goal for the New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa Territory is to engage each of their corps with the 7-part series, and they suggest five ways to utilise this resource:
- Create a group. Each read a chapter per week and get together to go through the questions provided.
- Run a group. If your people aren't readers, get a leader who can read a chapter per week and then guide the discussions using the questions provided.
- Sermon. Use it to inform a sermon series, or an interactive series at your Sunday service.
- Create a book club for others who like reading.
- Read it yourself - you'll find it fascinating!