Here is a thought-problem.
I've received a mail-shot from a respected international Christian organisation with a very well-known name asking me to identify for them the names of "local Christian business and professional men".
Now, one thing I do not have any indecision about - I would never provide any organisation the names of people without asking permission of the people first. That's a no-brainer (just in case anyone is reading this blog and worried that I might do!).
But let's take a look at this issue of Christian "business men". Why "business people" and why "business men" rather than "business men and women"?
As far as I can tell, there is no reason that this should be men and not women. Although I know that some of my Christian sisters and brothers wouldn't agree, I don't actually have a problem with single-sex groups that are set up to provide fellowship for either men or women; I think that sometimes we're more comfortable with our own gender.
But no. It appears that this organisation simply wants to be able to - in the words of their letter - 'extend...interdenominational ministry' in our local area. But apparently only men can help them do this. Hmm.
The other issue for me is the qualifier "business". The area in which I live is 18% at the bottom of the scale in terms of social deprivation. Many of the town's long-term disadvantaged live here. So I guess that they aren't interested in extending interdenominational ministry in our neighbourhood, but boy does the neighbourhood need it.
The thing is that I'm vitally interested in interdenominational ministry for these very reasons. However, everything about this mailing - including the faith-requirements for the names of the people I would send to them - screams male-headship to me. On the other hand, I feel that I need to be able to get along with Christians who hold these beliefs.
There are two people I know who fit this group's criteria of being male and having their own businesses. One of them would, I'm fairly certain, disagree with the group's faith-cum-doctrinal requirements. Do I tell these men that this organisation is looking for the names of people like them, or do I just bin the mailing?
I have to say I'm disappointed. I would have hoped that otherwise venerable Christian groups that did good work like this would try to walk a line that is a bit more centrist. Even if they had given me some reason as to why people had to be involved in business and the professions I would have felt more comfortable, but the letter even gives a list of eligible professions and businesses without any apparent embarrassment.
What would Jesus do? I guess he'd be qualified on one count (gender) but not on the other (business man).
 If you've received a similar mailing, you know that this is a particular sort of minstry, but one which I'd otherwise be happy to support.