Saddleback Church lead pastor Andy Wood has released a promised video explaining why the church believes women can hold pastoral roles.
The video comes after the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) decided that the denomination's largest church was no longer "in friendly cooperation with the Convention."
As Christian Headlines previously reported, Wood's wife, Stacie, serves as a teaching pastor at the church and regularly preaches during church services.
"This conversation in particular is going to be geared towards helping the people of Saddleback understand this decision that our church, our elders, have made to empower women to teach and preach in our local church," Wood said, as reported by ChurchLeaders.com.
"We hold our interpretation through the lens of our humanity," Wood added. "We are humans that are flawed. We're doing our very best to understand the Bible."
In March 2021, the church ordained three women pastors. The SBC Credentials Committee recommended a committee be formed to study the usage of the title "pastor" in regard to female staffers and ultimately decided to take no action against Saddleback for ordaining the women.
But recently, another complaint was posed to the committee about the preaching of Stacie.
"In particular, when Stacie, my wife, teaches and uses her spiritual gift, there is a sense in which she's being empowered from me as the lead pastor, from the elders of the church, to exercise her spiritual gift," Wood said.
"The global church is looking for good Bible-believing examples of empowering women for ministry," Wood said. "So Saddleback, we want to lead the way in that conversation. If we can be a part of mobilizing and empowering a whole generation of women, we would love nothing more than to lean into that conversation and empower women for ministry."
The SBC's statement of faith says that women should not serve as pastors, but it cannot direct churches within the SBC. Instead, the SBC can deem churches "not in friendly cooperation with the Convention," which is the decree that has been given to Saddleback Church.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Sean824
Video courtesy: ©Saddleback Church
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.