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Q What should I do? I love my local church but I have a problem with some of its practices. As a woman, I am struggling with the assumed gender roles that I find sexist. I can leave for another church to save myself grief, but I worry about the young girls growing up in this church.

A Even as I commend you on loving the church enough to seek change, let me emphasize that the end goal is always to help each other grow into spiritual maturity in Christ. Therefore, prayer is a must.

If your issue is with women in office, the CRC regards both options as biblical. Otherwise, sexist behaviors have no place among Christians. Even without office-bearing, there should be affirmations of women’s spiritual gifts and service in the church. With those in mind, I suggest you talk to others you trust. Are there others who feel the same way? If not, it might mean this community isn’t ready for change.

However, if there are others who feel the same, then I suggest you and like-minded folks mentor the young girls and boys in the church. Provide them with good resources, good role models, and good conversations on what it means to be women and men in Christ.

 Eventually, as a group, approach the church leadership discreetly and gently to voice your concerns and hopefully have a fruitful conversation. Remember that they probably mean no harm, even in disagreement. Propose specific, incremental changes rather than radical changes. A possible proposal could be a season of mutual learning and dialogue on the subject. What results from such a meeting should give you signs of possible next steps.

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