Earlier this week I decided that I was going to take a little bit of time to go and see a movie. Ghostbusters. Now I had been waiting for Ghostbusters to come to our little town theater since before it came out. This may make it sound like I am a die hard fan and couldn't wait for the next long awaited installment of one of my favorite movies. That really couldn't be much farther from the truth. The truth is that when I was a kid I never really got into Ghostbusters, at least not as much as my best friend and neighbor Shane. In fact if it hadn't been for Shane I probably wouldn't have even seen Ghostbusters 1 or 2 all the way from start to finish, let alone the many times that I watched them. Shane loved Ghostbusters so much that he had a toy replica of the fire station, that was often a big part of the games that we played. In a lot of ways the rules didn't matter when Shane and I would play, it was not uncommon for April O'Neil and the Ninja turtles to make an appearance, the X-men stopped by often and I remember on multiple occasions Spider-Man, Superman and Batman also were part of the play at the Fire Station. However some rules had to be observed, for example I was a girl so I played the parts of all the girls, and Shane was a boy so he played the parts of all the boys. This doesn't mean that Shane did all the rescuing and I did all the damsal-ing, just that Shane would never pretend to be Jean Grey, and I would never have pretended to be Leonardo. Anyway I digress I went to Ghostbusters because I didn't like that I kept hearing and reading about people who felt that a woman could never be a Ghostbuster, so I wanted to go to simply be in support of the thought that girls could be anything they wanted, including Ghostbusters.
Now you might be thinking what does Ghostbusters have to do with future church leaders. As I was watching the end of the movie I was wowed by how cool it was to see women who were smart scientists who were not only saving themselves but also saving the entire world. I couldn't help but think that if there had been smart heroic women in the original Ghostbusters I might have liked it more. As I was thinking about how cool it would be to be a little girl watching this movie for the first time, imagining wanting to dress up as Holtzmann for Halloween, I couldn't help but remember one special youth group meeting we had last November.
There were a lot of things going on so the youth group and I had to meet in my office, before we were even settled, all 5 kids (all young girls that week) bounced into the closet and each picked out a stole from my collection. As they all sat lined up on the couch, they proudly announced that they could be a Pastor just like Pastor Liz. I am certain no one ever told these girls that ministers should be men, but I am also pretty sure that for the first time they could see themselves in the role of minister. Do I really think any of these will grow up to be minister? No not really. Although they do have some great gifts for ministry. Would I have grown up to be a nuclear scientist, if Ghostbusters had been made with woman ghostbusters in the 80s? Also not very likely. But I can't help but see the importance of opening wide the doors so to speak and letting people of any gender, or age for that matter serve in our communities, in leadership roles and positions that suit their passions and talents. Who knows who might be watching and trying to see where they will fit when they grow up.