Do you know who the gatekeepers are?
- In your organization?
- In your family?
- In your school?
- In your religion?
These are people (and sometimes processes) that are designed to provide a barrier or to protect something.
“Gatekeeping” is NOT always a bad thing, If you want to get to my children, mama and papa bear might fight to protect that. If you want to talk to me at work, and you don’t currently work for us, you are going to have to see a receptionist or my voice mail. There are times when it’s logical and purposeful to get stuff done.
There are times and cases where the gatekeepers are doing it for less benevolent purposes. In my experience with the Church, they are constantly using these people/processes/devices to keep a barrier that has no Biblical backing.
- Some bar women because Lord knows men always get it right.
- Some bar homosexuals because Lord knows that infidelity, child molestation, or other sexual sin isn’t an issue with straight pastors.
- Some bar people based on socioeconomic things (ie. seminary/finances/capacity for Greek)
- Some bar for a lot less controversial things
Some of these barriers were created to protect people but they don’t really work. Bad orthodoxy and orthopraxy come from straight men trained in seminary. (Truth: Authority doesn’t come who you are)
These gatekeeping devices are designed to keep “wolves” out, but they don’t. And sadly, many times they end up keeping out the types of shepherds that the Church is thirsty for.
If you look at a congregation, a denomination, or a religion and see where they are struggling, you’ll find who they aren’t allowing to have a voice*.