Question about Singles/Families for missionaries:
"What are women allowed to do on the mission field?"
In some ministries, women cannot plant churches or pastor churches or become part of leadership. In others they can do virtually anything.
In WEC the answer is you can do almost anything. In a few cases we have not let a woman go into a situation that seemed especially dangerous. Difficult is not an issue, but danger can be. We have women doing almost every kind of ministry in WEC, and we have some women in leadership positions.
Most women in WEC don't want to be leaders. Most men don't either. A good leader has to give up much of his or her personal ministry in order to lead, and most of our people love to serve on the frontlines.
Tucker notes that by the early decades of the twentieth century, "women outnumbered men on the mission field by a ratio of more than two to one."
Just as in other walks of life, there are many instances where women have received neither the freedom to do what they would like to do nor the due recognition of what they have accomplished. However, there are exceptions, and Tucker's book will inspire you with what women have accomplished in the context of cross-cultural missions.
There are two important variables that you need to take into account. Mission agencies have their own "personalities" and offer a differing range of opportunities for women. The context of service would also be an important factor. For example, in Muslim cultures, local customs (which vary) will greatly influence the freedom of women's public activities and the way they dress.
Editor's Note: Readers might also be interested in the book Frontline Women: Negotiating Crosscultural Issues in Ministry, by Marguerite G. Kraft.
If God is calling you to the field and you are single, don't wait for a husband. Come "just as you are" and God will give you all the opportunities you can handle.
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