A Message from the Elders on the Gender Roles Study and Discernment Process

In early 2018, the North Atlanta Elders began a process of study and discernment related to the topic of Gender Roles. The primary questions we asked were:

  1. What do we understand scripture to teach on the topic of women’s roles in the body of Christ?

  2. Can we arrive at differing conclusions on this topic and still be united around the gospel and the mission of God?

  3. Who are we – the body of Christ at North Atlanta, and how do we, the North Atlanta Shepherds, allow the Holy Spirit to guide our study on this topic and inform our leadership of this church in the mission and ministry of God in the 21 st century?

Last summer we invited a team of 11 women from our church to join together to study all the scriptures related to this topic. These women were all highly engaged in the mission and ministry at North Atlanta and represented a wide range of ages, races, ethnicities and perspectives. After three months of study this group of women recommended to the elders a process of discernment for the church that included creating diverse groups who would meet for about 12 weeks to complete a similar study on this topic. In March, approximately 200 adults signed up and began meeting in about 15 of these study groups. By the end of June most of these groups will have completed these studies. And, we have heard from many group members who, though they may not have come to a single position on this topic, have told us just how much they have appreciated the process and shared that they have grown to love their group. Additionally, on June 14-15, we invited Dr. Ken Cukrowski, Dean of the Department of Biblical Studies at Abilene Christian University, to present a weekend seminar on “Women’s Roles in the Church.” Approximately 90 adults participated in this intensive 7-hour seminar. You can access this resource by following this link: https://nacofc.org/genderseminar.

We also asked Don McLaughlin to teach an 8-week summer class on this topic in June and July. As a continuation of the discernment process, we are offering several opportunities where you can share your thoughts with us. As you have prayed, studied and discussed Gender in the Life of the Church over the last few months, what has the Holy Spirit been teaching you? We want to hear your thoughts and perspectives and give you an opportunity to share with us your own personal journey. To accomplish this we will have several “listening sessions.”

  • Sunday, July 21 – 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. – Room 115

  • Saturday, July 27 – 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. – Room 115

  • Wednesday, July 31 – 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. – Room 106

  • Additional sessions may be scheduled as needed during the Sunday Bible Class time.

  • If you are unable to attend these sessions you may share your thoughts by e-mail. Just go to the Shepherds page on our website and choose any elder and send your thoughts to us through that elder’s email address.

Thank you for your continued prayers for us and for our church as we seek to follow God’s will in this discernment process!