Let’s talk about the five-hundred-pound elephant in the room: should women be leading in the church? This is one of those debates you’ll have people boldly wrestle with; those who want to pin women to a certain role, and those who celebrate having them at the table. For those who desire to keep the glass ceiling intact, I understand where you are coming from. There are some verses in the Bible that at first glance, seem to restrict a women’s role in the church. And there was a time, before I studied the Scriptures (and when I took what some people said at face value), that I assumed the same. However, if you dig a little deeper, there’s more to the story.
- Miriam was a prophet and led a nation in worship (Exodus 15:20).
- Deborah was chosen by God to lead as a prophet, judge, and even led the men into battle (Judges 4-5). She wasn’t just a woman passing out advice, but a strong, wise, and obedient follower of God…and, notably, both a prophet and a judge.
- Esther saved a nation through her bravery—a leader, indeed—and Huldah was a prophet in the time of King Josiah (2 Chronicles 34).
- Jumping to the ministry of Jesus and the early Church, women were powerful tools in God’s hands. There are women church leaders throughout the New Testament.
- Phoebe was mentioned by Paul in Romans 16:1 to be a servant or “deaconess” who taught in the Cenchreae church.
- Junia was considered outstanding by Paul and was among the circle of the apostles (Romans 16:7).
- Chloe (1 Corinthians 1:11), Nympha (Colossians 4:15), and Apphia (Philemon 1:2) all led house churches.
- Priscilla was a church planter (Romans 16:5) and someone highly regarded by Paul.
- Tabitha led a benevolence ministry (Acts 9:36) and Philip’s four daughters were all identified as prophets (Acts 21:8,9)… (READ MORE)
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