The bogeyman of authoritarianism...
This quote is from the Reformed World article I've posted here on Baylyblog which gives the history of the ordination of woman officers within Reformed denominations around the world.
The article's author is absolutely certain woman officers in the church is a good thing, but she realizes many still consider it a weakness that women don't have the natural weight of authority a man has. Her solution?
A Reformed congregation for whom the priesthood of all believers is an article of faith should not consider it a disqualification that a woman pastor is not and has no desire to be the traditional authoritarian stereotype, but rather as an opportunity held out to it.
To which an older Presbyterian pastor with many years of pastoral ministry behind him responded to me privately... (he gave me permission to post this):
I bought into this completely--not as applying especially to women, but as a "democrat," I guess. Not until very late in my service as a pastor did the question of whether and what authority a pastor has trouble me. I now--living within a pastorless situation--have begun--only begun--to realize that not recognizing the existence & function of pastoral authority both corrupted and crippled my ministry.
So sad. So wise. Learn from this, husband whom God has given responsibility for your wife, father and mother whom God has given responsibility for your sons and daughters. Take this to heart, pastors and elders and deacons whom God has given responsibility for your sheep.