The Role of Women Leaders in the Twenty-First Century Immigrant Churches

Young Bok Ha

Text in Korean with an abstract in English. Material is subject to copyright.

Abstract 초록

In this study, I examine the roles of women in the ministry in order to maximize their contribution for the growth of the church as well as the missionary purpose of the church. I introduce not only special cases of women’s ministry in the church but also women only ministries to propose their influences in the ministry specifically so that their involvement in the 21st Century immigration ministry may be maximum.

The world that our immigration churches face is characterized by globalization, information highway, the problem of leisure caused by economic growth, rapid disintegration of ethical values, environmental issues, new religions, and the advent of women leadership. We will experience much more involvement of women in the society because the society demands more women in various roles. Therefore, the concept of the leadership of women should be changed in terms of its pastoral roles.

First, I argue that man and woman are created equally in the image of God according to creation theology, and they are entrusted with the work of God as companions. But the fall of humanity caused the patriarchal discrimination in religion and culture which has perpetuated the long-standing conflict. But this conflict has already been resolved in the new creation of Jesus Christ. Therefore, it is important to realize that man and woman are equal in all aspects, especially in the ministry of God. Second, women laity should change their self-image fundamentally. Women should participate in the decision-making process actively. Third, the growth of the immigration church depends on the cooperation between the co-workers. In the community of God, everyone, without distinction between man and woman, should work together according to their gifts. And that is crucial for the growth of the immigration church. Fourth, there should be a change of concepts of women’s roles in the ministry from the Biblical and historical perspective.

Women’s roles from church history as well as understanding of women’s leadership in the Bible should be researched afresh in order for us to apply the principles found therein. Fifth, the Bible study should be expanded from the text of the Bible exclusively to include the history and culture of Korea in order to have meaningful dialogue with the politics, economy, and culture. Lastly, we should find and raise new leaders, especially among 1.5 and 2nd generation women leaders.

Theological Mentors: Peter Im, Ph. D.

Jeong Kii Min, Ph. D.

Seyoon Kim, Ph. D.