Ed Stetzer's rules (Avoid Any Hint) or hospitable trust and space making? I'm really honored and excited about introducing you to Ty Grigg. Sheila and I are members of the church Ty co-pastors. Two of my closest female friends go to the same church and Ty knows both of them. He knows our deep friendships. In fact, he officiated the wedding of one my closest friends, Susanne Osborne Calhoun in a ceremony that I participated in, too. I've come to know and deeply respect Ty as he has practiced trust and hospitality toward me and my closest female friendships.
Ty is a co-pastor at Life on the Vine Christian Community in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago. He also has a certificate in spiritual direction from the C. John Weborg Center for Spiritual Direction. He has been married to Laura for almost seven years and he gets to be a stay-at-home father to their 20 month old boy a couple days a week. He blogs at www.tendingflame.wordpress.com and contributes at missioalliance.org/blog. He drinks a lot of coffee (chemex pour overs being the preferred method) and his goal this summer is to plant a garden.
I’m grateful for the invitation by Dan to write on such an important subject. I am writing as one who has friends who are women, co-ministry partners who are women, pastoral colleagues who are women, and members of my church (who are women!). Cross-gender friendships and relationships are not a “Will I or won’t I?” question but more “How will I relate with women?” I start with looking at it through a pastoral
relationship but realizing that much of the same applies to friendship as well. In pastoral care and spiritual direction (both giving and receiving it), communicating trust rather than fear, making hospitable space, and expecting to see God in the diverse spectrum of masculinity and femininity are ways of answering this question, “How will I be a pastor and friend to women?”