In my denomination there is an organization for women. In the past, this has been where women could find their leadership roles since they were not allowed to be ordained into office. In many places it is where the pastor's wife actually ran the show. I don't think the church or her mission would be as far as it is today if were not for these women.
Change comes hard for many of them and sadly I have frequently found that the people who are the hardest on the idea of a woman in an ordained role in the church, are them. However, once you win them over - they are yours forever.
I am the Head of Staff in a larger congregation. I am the first installed female Head of Staff (they have had interims). Slowly, folks are breathing and understanding that it is 'ok'. The mistakes I make are because I am still a little green and quite frankly, I have a big mouth and want to FIX everything. The heart is in the right place, I can preach pretty well and I run a decent meeting - so I have been given a lot of grace and won over many of the doubters.
In many ways I have broken through a portion of the stained glass ceiling, but a few panes remain.
I found out suddenly that in a couple of weeks I am no longer preaching, but rather our DCE (a woman) is preaching. I have no problem with this, just thought it was surprising. It turns out the women of this organization always run the worship service on the third Sunday of November. I asked the woman in charge about it and she said, "Well when our organization does the service the women are in charge so we never have the Head of Staff preach."
And then I said, "Well that makes sense, a women's organization service should have women involved."
Her: "Yes. That's why we asked (the DCE)."
I waited again..... and then decided to let it go.
I find myself chuckling and shaking my head because in this case, it is not even about thinking outside the box it is about looking around and seeing who is in the box with you.
Oh and fear not lest you are worried that I will now have nothing to do.
She did ask me to do the children's sermon since one of our male associates had been previously scheduled.