There are many women who attend church in Africa. Churches are characterised as being mostly female, however few women are in positions of leadership or public ministry. Culture, tradition, and history, including patriarchal ideologies, may have influenced this. Pastors, teachers, and evangelists are mainly male and undertake ministry tasks such as preaching. We recently received a report from Zimbabwean evangelist, Burl Banzi, that indicated some changes in this area. More specifically, at the Chinamasa Church of Christ.
Traditionally, “the church would rely on male preachers, elders and deacons when it comes to preaching,” Pastor Banzi said. However, since the outbreak of COVID-19, Chinamasa Church of Christ women are beginning to take on active and empowering roles in the church.
Women now preach.
This came about through some of the Bible study lessons they were having during the lockdowns. Pastor Banzi says churches have adjusted to the pandemic lockdown because it gives them more time to study the Bible. “We see the grace of God now that we do have some individuals from the women's wing who can now preach or share the word of God in the church,” Pastor Banzi said.
Galatians 3 says there is neither Greek, nor Jew, slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for we are all one in Christ Jesus. Realising that women can preach is like the “no Greek, no Jew concept”, Pastor Banzi said.
The changes are not limited to women. Banzi says, “Even the youth in the church can lead Bible study lessons.” There has been a real mindset shift.
GMP continues to build the capacity of local people in ministry by supporting key leaders and developing leadership skills through International Church Partnerships (ICP). Supporting Zimbabwean evangelists means supporting local church leadership development.