One of our Five Freedoms as Free Methodists, is the “Freedom of women and men to be treated respectfully and use their gifts equally in the church, in the home and in the world.” This profound reversal of the results of sin’s consequence in Genesis 3, is Salvation in action. Throughout the world women have not been and still are often not treated respectfully and rather than empowering women to use their gifts given to them by God men have defined their place by their gender. The Free Methodist church respectfully empowers all persons to be the person Jesus redeemed them to be!
However, there has been a struggle in recent years with a theology that affirms the respect for women but sees God as having limited their place because they are women. This theology is called complementarian and is based on a hierarchical theology that retains the rule of men over women, but does so in a loving manner. The result of this is many gifted women have not been able to take their place of leadership that utilizes their God-given gifts and calling.
To bring complete saving grace into the lives of women, the Free Methodist Church empowers women to serve in every place for which they are gifted. This is called egalitarian. Though this is still a struggle within the broader Christian world it is no longer so for our churches and denomination.