The Role of Women in Ministry

God has established proper roles for men and women within the home and the church. He has appointed the man as the spiritual leader within the home (Eph. 5:22-33; 1 Pet. 3:1, 5; Col. 3:18; 1 Cor. 11:2-3; Tit. 2:4-5). Therefore, within the family unit the husband is the spiritual leader and the wife willingly submits to his God-given spiritual authority (Eph. 5:22-24; Col. 3:18). This structure is in accord with the created order (Gen. 2:4-25). God created the man first and subsequently created the woman as a helper for the man (Gen. 2:18, 21-25). The man named the women which demonstrated authority (Gen. 3:20; cf. 2:19-20; 1:28).

God has also appointed men as those who are in spiritual authority in the church (1 Cor. 11:2-3; 14:34-35; 1 Tim. 2:11-15). Elders are those who are established by God as the spiritual leaders of local churches (Heb. 13:7, 17; 1 Thess. 5:12-13; 1 Tim. 3:5; 5:17; Tit. 1:5-9; 1 Pet. 5:1-5). Scripture describes elders as men (1 Tim. 3:1-7; Acts 20:17, 25-31). Therefore, within the church the leadership is to be conducted by biblically qualified men. As a result, women willingly submit to the spiritual authority of their husbands and the spiritual authority of their elders.

Elders are the primary teachers of the church (Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Tim. 3:2; 4:6-16; 5:17; Tit. 1:9). The N.T. Teaches that women are not to teach men biblical doctrine or to have spiritual authority over men (1 Tim. 2:11-15; 1 Cor. 11:5). Women should not a teacher of men (teach men), nor should they be elders (in authority over men). This is in accordance with the created order established by God. The husband is the spiritual authority over his wife in the home and the male elders are the spiritual authority over the women in the church.

In our time there are Sunday School teachers and Bible study leaders. Yet, the same biblical principles apply even in these situations. In conformity with the above mentioned principles: women should not teach biblical doctrine to a group of men or a group which includes men; women should not hold the office of elder; women should not be publicly debating doctrine with the recognized male teachers (1 Cor. 14:31-40; 1 Tim. 2:11).

On the other hand, women are permitted and encouraged to teach other women (Tit. 2:3-5). Women are also permitted to teach children, especially their own (2 Tim. 1:5; 1 Tim. 2:15). They are also permitted and encouraged to serve the saints (Rom. 16:1-2; 1 Tim. 5:10, 16). Women are called to evangelize the lost (Phil. 4:2-3; Rom. 16:3). They may assist their husbands in explaining doctrine to individuals in a private home setting (Acts 18:24-28).

Christian women are encouraged to focus their efforts on: raising their children in the faith (1 Tim. 2:15; 2 Tim. 1:5); managing their households (1 Tim. 5:14; Tit. 2:4); loving and submitting to their husbands (Tit. 2:4-5; Eph. 5:22-33); and serving others (Rom. 16:1-2; 1 Tim. 5:10, 16). Believing women and men are equal in their standing in Christ (Gal. 3:27-28; 1 Pet. 3:7) but they are distinct in their roles in Christ (1 Tim. 2:11-15; 1 Cor. 11:1-5; 14:31-40).

2) God has created man in His image as male and female (Gen. 1:26-27). He values men and women equally. Male and female Christians have an equal standing and privilege in Christ (Gal. 3:27-28; 1 Pet. 3:7). Women are described by God as the glory of man (1 Cor. 11:7). Yet, though male and female believers are equal in God’s sight, He has given them distinct roles in the home and church . God has established the male husband as the spiritual leader of the home and the female wife is to willingly submit to her husband’s spiritual authority (Eph. 5:22-33; 1 Pet. 3:1, 5; Col. 3:18; 1 Cor. 11:2-3; Tit. 2:4-5). God has also established men as the spiritual leaders in the church (1 Cor. 11:2-3; 14:34-35; 1 Tim. 2:11-15). Elders are to be biblically qualified men (1 Tim. 3:1-7; Acts 20:17, 25-31). Therefore, within the church women are to submit to the leadership of biblically qualified male leadership (Heb. 13:7, 17; 1 Thess. 5:12-13; 1 Tim. 3:5; 5:17; Tit. 1:5-9; 1 Pet. 5:1-5). In regard to teaching, a group of men or a group which includes men must be taught by a man (1 Cor. 11:2-3; 14:34-35; 1 Tim. 2:11-15). Also, in conformity with God’s established gender roles women are not to be publicly debating biblical doctrine with the recognized male teachers (1 Cor. 14:31-40; 1 Tim. 2:11). The biblical model of male leadership in the home and among God’s people was established at creation (Gen. 2:4-25; Gen. 3:20; cf. 2:19-20; 1:28).

We value women as precious in God’s sight and indispensable in the home and church. The role of women is so vital. Women are to: teach children, especially their own (2 Tim. 1:5; 1 Tim. 2:15); love and submit to the spiritual leadership of their husbands (Tit. 2:4-5; Eph. 5:22-33); manage their households (1 Tim. 5:14; Tit. 2:4); teach other women (Tit. 2:3-5); evangelize (Phil. 4:2-3; Rom. 16:3); and care for the saints (Rom. 16:1-2; 1 Tim. 5:10, 16). These ministries are so crucial and comprise the primary role of the Christian woman in the home and the church.

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