Ooops… 700 Club Reporter Is Wrong Gender for Church Service

Kathy Chiero has an extensive background in journalism, radio and television communications. She worked for almost 20 years for the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) in Virginia Beach, Virginia. While at The 700 Club Kathy served as a Senior Producer, News Anchor and Reporter, and occasional co-host of The 700 Club television show.

She left full-time television in 1996 to begin a career in real estate. She also started her own radio show called The Sitting Room. She will be interviewing me next month and in preparation began reading The Resignation of Eve. After reading the first half she sent me her story of resignation. Kathy will be a featured guest on The Cloud Event next Monday night

“Jim, Thank you for writing this book. Thank you for being willing to broach a subject that most churches won’t…at least with any clear definition.

I am half way through “The Resignation of Eve” and I think it’s wonderful. While silently cheering that someone (Jim Henderson) is finally pulling the ugly veil off of this spiritually-sanctioned-silliness of sex discrimination I am remembering my own experience:

I was born and raised in the church ( I was baby Jesus in the nativity at 9-months – no sex bias at this point) and grew up with a passionate love for Christ and a gift for communication. As I grew older I found that the gift was celebrated and rewarded professionally (Christian media) but stifled and marginalized inside the church. Except at women’s conferences where they showcased my big-fish-in-a-very-small-pond celebrity. Interestingly, no one every questioned by spiritual credentials when I was on television – I look back at Kathy Chiero age 25 an wonder what I had to say. Then I grew up, had something to say but was no longer on television and, as a woman, I discovered this strange world of neanderthal male church leadership for whom gender spoke louder than calling, spiritual giftings, or common sense.

I could give you many, many examples – but here’s one for the ages…

My husband Jim has severe health issues: two heart attacks, three strokes, limited mobility. So, since 1997 I have been the sole income in our home. I am a Realtor and from 1997-2005 became one of the top Realtors in Central Ohio. (Gift of communication) Even during this difficult housing market my business and generally thrived. Jim and I are generous givers per Biblical mandate and it is because of this we know God has blessed and favored our business. Around 2008 I wrote my Pastor an email telling him of the blessings in our business – all of which I attributed to following the mandate to tithe. He excitedly emailed me back and asked if Jim and I would share our story from the pulpit on an upcoming Sunday. I told him that I would be glad to but Jim 1) is not a public speaker and has no desire to do so and 2) his health issues limited his attendance at church. I didn’t know if he would feel up to coming that or any particular Sunday. Hmmm. Problem. That meant I had to be the one doing the talking. In front of the church. Which included men. Their solution: they asked me to write my story down so the Pastor could tell it and I would simply stand with him and nod in agreement. Apparently, they found no irony in the fact that I MADE all the money, and I physically paid the bills (gave the money,) I just couldn’t be the one to talk about it.

Jim, I could go on and on. Maybe I’m a bit sensitive to this (YOU THINK!?!?) because I love women. I have a heart to pull women into honesty and all that God called them to be. God did call me to communicate. He gave me a voice, a gift to teach, and a heart for people. I have won numerous awards for my real estate training and could make a living accepting invitations to teach real estate – because the world doesn’t care what my gender – they welcome my gift.

Stephen Mansfield, Author and Fox commentator said “The most talented Christians in America are at Starbucks on Sunday morning – because they are women and their gift is welcomed without bias.”

So – I did what a any woman frustrated with the church would do – I created my own platform, The Sitting Room. And God is blessing it tremendously because HE created me to do this and created me a woman.

Thanks for your book, and letting me vent. I look forward to venting on the air with you.

Kathy Chiero


Ooops… 700 Club Reporter Is Wrong Gender for Church Service — 7 Comments

  1. Kathy-
    Thank you for sharing your story. I think part of the point of RoE is to say “watch out church, you are losing your hardest workers and not honoring the gifts and calling of significant percentage of you parishoners. They will find a way, or they will wear out/ burn out trying.”

    The attitudes (of men and of other women) toward women who would be communicators or leaders do not seem to be a problem to women who do not feel called to lead or speak or what have you. I think some of the disconnect is due to our training in a long history of tradition and doctrine that isn’t necessarily based on scripture.
    For example: in my opinion, the same type of legalism that says “blessed are those who tithe” (a mandate that is not in the new testament – but that’s a different discussion) is responsible for blindly following a few prescriptive remarks of Paul meant to deal with a very specific situation and not to be applied as general principles for body life.

    I do so wish that we could all give up this idea that we need to do certain things to gain God’s favor. Nothing you or I could ever do can make him care for us, or love us, or accept us more than he already does. My sense of self and of my own value does not need to come from man’s (or woman’s) approval, only from God’s (and in Christ I have that!) Church leaders seem to be especially likely to try to live up to some stringent doctrinal standards (can I say dogma?) in an attempt to do what they think God’ requires. He requires nothing more than Christ is in us and us in Christ! This frees me to love men and women who see things differently – and to be free from bondage to their particular doctrinal tradition. This is grace which I, in my flesh, cannot generate – only the indwelling Holy Spirit can produce such grace.

    I ramble, I know… but I was very excited that you chose to share your story. When I get excited, I ramble. Keep doing what the Father is doing and speaking what the Father is speaking!

    P.S. Don’t get me wrong, I applaud you for tithing… I’ve tithed since I got my first 0.10 allowance – but now I’m free from the bondage of tithing as a performance or duty to earn something I already have… and we are able to give generously and as the Spirit leads without concern for the percentage – usually far above the tithe.

  2. Listening to you on the Cloud Show… I’m definitely going to have to check out your program. I’m with you – I’m not a feminist either, but get branded that way just because I’m interested in doing what God has placed before me to do. I have no desire to cut the legs out from under men… It’s funny because my husband is my biggest fan! Thanks for your humor and your honesty.

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  5. I appreciate your courage to share and encourage others. I stayed away from church for years because I didn’t feel welcome… eventually God (through the spirit of my grandmother) led me to a community that accepts, appreciates and uses my tithe and my gifts – and even helps me cultivate them. I give thanks for the community where I am honored for all aspects of who I am as a unique expression of God.

  6. I am married to a retired Southern Baptist preacher who believes that women should all the rights that a man has in church. The male-dominated Southern Baptist Convention voted (evidently behind closed doors) to terminate all female chaplains. This means that they will lose their jobs, their source of income and possibly their retirement income. Female chaplains are necessary in a lot of situations where it would be inappropriate for a male pastor or chaplain, i.e., the prison system. When we were at Heathrow Airport in London several years ago, we met a husband and wife who were chaplains who worked at the airport and they were Baptists. Evidently England does not have the same problems with women in ministry.

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