My grandmother was a “layspeaker” in the United Methodist Church. That meant that when the pastor was away, she gave the sermon. She was also an incredible example to me of an authentic follower of Christ. She was a leader both men and women respected.
An uncle of mine who served as a pastor in a different church told her more than once, beginning in the 1970’s, that she should stop preaching sermons because women were not called by God to preach.
She told me that she struggled with this for years. Sometimes, she would feel guilty for preaching. Other times, she knew that God was working through her. Finally, she came to the place where she accepted the call and didn’t question it anymore, but it was a tough journey.
Supporting women in ministry does not make a person a flaming liberal or radical feminist. My grandmother is now deceased, but I have a wife, a mother, several aunts, a sister, female friends, and maybe a future daughter. I want them to have the same opportunities I have in life.
I also know that the Bible is full of stories of women preaching and leading.
Check out http://www.cbeinternational.org/, Christians for Biblical Equality. I’m proud that the seminary I attend, Ashland Theological Seminary, was the first seminary to join CBE.