A church near my home advertises a study group that meets on Tuesday and Thursday mornings called “Strong Women.” The sign has really piqued my interest. Although I’ve never been inside the church, I’d love to drop in for a visit (incognito) to check out the “Strong Women” group. If I do, I’ll report back to you on what I discover!
One of the most debated church issues is “women’s roles.” At the risk of invading seemingly “shark-infested waters,” I’m going to wade in today to discuss women’s role in the church. And let me say from the outset, I am NOT opposed to strong women—in fact my family and friends consider me a very strong woman.
As we investigate what Scripture has to say on this issue, please remember that role differences do not indicate inequality in intellectual abilities or spiritual gifting. Also, roles within the context of the home or church are not based on, nor should they be determined by, preferences.
“If the foot says, ‘Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,’ it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, ‘Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body.’ it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired” (1 Cor. 12:15–18).
You may feel like women have been left with the unattractive and relatively unimportant role of feet or perhaps you might compare your ministry opportunities to that of the small toe. This struggle with insignificance has been an issue since the first century. The sad irony is that coveting a more appealing role in ministry robs contentment, joy, and fruitfulness as the believer serves within a local church body.
As I engage in conversations about what ministry roles a woman can fill in the church, I am saddened by the seeming lack of gratefulness for the opportunities we DO have as women. I wonder how much energy could be transferred from these “role disputes” in order to actually accomplish ministry.
Hang on to that thought because I plan to follow up on it in tomorrow’s post. But let me challenge you to first research these questions.
- What are the scriptural qualifications for a pastor?
- Which Scriptures clearly delineate ministry opportunities for women?
- Who are some biblical examples of female leaders within the church or government?
Originally posted 06.24.09 at www.truewoman.com.