The Asia-Pacific Regional Leadership Team gathered in Bali, Indonesia, for its annual meeting, on 16-23 October 2022. Collaboratively, the Field Strategy Coordinators and Ministry Coordinators shared in reflection, strategic conversations, and vision as they continue seeking ways to lead our Region with God’s wisdom and grace under the direction of Dr. Mark Louw. One of the conversations centered on the Regional Women Clergy ministry. As this work has grown and evolved across the region, some realities have surfaced that led the group to consider a name change for this ministry that more accurately reflects its purpose and scope. It was unanimously agreed that the Women Clergy ministry will now be known as Nazarene Women in Leadership. The following are some of the thoughts shared by various Regional Leadership Team members as they discussed this important initiative led by our Regional Women Clergy Coordinator, Rev. Lynne Bollinger:
- This new ministry name expresses more clearly our Wesleyan theology of women, “… to be elected and appointed to places of leadership within the Church of the Nazarene … ” (Church of the Nazarene Manual 2017-2021, Nazarene Publishing House, Part VI. Section I. Paragraph 501).
- This name change cultivates our collective Regional imagination through inviting men and women in the Asia-Pacific Church of the Nazarene to envision women leading beyond their traditionally held areas of ministry (Women’s Ministries, Hospitality Ministries, Meal Ministries, Children’s Ministries, etc.)
- Nazarene Women in Leadership is more inclusive for Asia-Pacific Nazarene women who provide leadership in areas other than ordained ministry. (Ex: Seminary and Bible School Educators, Pastor’s Spouses, etc.)
Dr. Mark Louw believes that what is more important than the name change to Nazarene Women in Leadership, is the change we hope to see come to fruition in the leadership structures at every level of the Church of the Nazarene. These changes have the capacity to renew our Christian witness which affirms God’s Biblical design to use both men and women together in ministry as a testimony to the kingdom of God which has come to earth, as it is in heaven.
The mission of the Nazarene Women in Leadership ministry of the Asia-Pacific Region isto make Christlike disciples in the nations through Spirit-filled women and men in ministry together as the representation of God’s whole image in the Church.