Pastors Knute Larson, Jeff Bogue, and Jim Brown talk about how women can be used in leadership in the church.
What Can a Woman do in the Church?
In the church, that is. Just wonder what it is like to preach or be on the board? The Board.
For the woman who is a leader and wants to, must she switch to a mainline denomination or a Willowcreek branch that has no theological ceiling?
And for each local church also—how do we receive valuable input and leadership from women without rewriting convictions on elder leadership or preaching privilege?
Many times we do not do enough within our understanding of Scripture. At least we think so, and want you to think more about this.
Traditions and habits do not a theology make.
What’s a woman to do in the church?
For the good of the church,
Knute, for Jeff and Jim
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Why do some women feel they only get the kitchen and the nursery?
- At the root of some of this stereotypical thinking is a confusion between the biblical concept of leadership and the biblical concept of eldership—they are not necessarily interchangeable.
- For instance, when it comes to roles in the church, you can be a leader within the church without being an elder; and this is where we have, to our detriment, minimized the role of women.
- If you are in the conservative evangelical circle, or even if you’re not, you may believe like I do:
- Biblical eldership is reserved for godly men.
- As much as possible, the church is to reflect a godly family, and in a godly family a godly husband ideally leads that family with love.
- Godly women allow godly men to lead the family in a spiritual context. That doesn’t mean the wife takes a subordinate role, but she’s allowing her husband to steer, direct, and grow the family.
- This is also reflective of the church. If the church has godly men, those godly men should lead the church.
- It does not mean the godly women now have no place in leadership. It means that when it comes to spiritual authority, godly women defer the ultimate decision–making authority to godly men.
- If we keep that eldership concept at its highest level, all kinds of avenues of leadership open up for women in the church. Clarifying that is important when it comes to understanding the roles of women within the church.
- For starters, the way a woman is valued in a church starts from the top down—with a proper biblical view. Improper teaching lends itself to undervaluing the role of women in the local church.
- Godly men should lead their wives and families in a tender way. Their wives will flourish with this kind of leadership and love.
- Because sometimes that is the case, given the understanding of Scripture that many church pastors and leaders have.
- Because even when there is more than kitchen and nursery ministry, there is often no leadership involved. Some think men are to lead everything in the church because their conviction is that only men can be elders and that all leadership is elder work, not just the all-church oversight.
- Because of tradition and habit.
- Because not many men volunteer for those two areas.
What kind of leadership and input should we seek from a woman?
- We should seek every kind of leadership and input they are willing and able to give.
- In my philosophy, the best idea wins. I don’t really care from what gender that comes.
- If a woman is a leader in finance, education, social services, or any aspect of the culture, her counsel is going to be really wise and good in those same aspects within the church. If she’ll give the church her time, energy, and insight, I would be a foolish leader not to take advantage of that.
- For starters, let’s recognize them and value their input as much as men.
- When planning ministry activities and events that serve women, make sure you have women around your table to help make decisions. They understand much better what a woman needs.
- We often ask this question, “Have we considered this from a woman’s perspective?”
- We personally reserve the role of elder in our church to men only, but do not lord that position over our women.
- We have women teaching women and women leading women in our discipleship ministries.
- We work hard at having the umbrella of a man on stage if a woman is leading in worship or praying.
- The primary reason women sometimes assume the role of leadership is because there aren’t men qualified to lead.
- We have a system in place to train men in biblical leadership and work hard to allow them to lead.
- Spiritual authority and leadership, when done well and led by the Spirit, have men as elders leading the church by elevating and lifting up the roles of a woman.
- Consult and gain as much insight as possible from women in all areas of church life.
- The constant kind.
- Many kinds. Even if you believe men should serve in highest oversight, surely there is no ceiling on leaders for evangelism, assimilation, finances, and many other specific church ministries.
- Wise input on teams that assess and improve various ministry areas. A woman’s wisdom and particular outlook are very helpful.
- Even men who are convicted to have male-only ordination and oversight leading, can consider many other ways of input and leadership.
- A good practice is to have a woman or women sit in on all decision-making meetings. They bring strong needed perspective.
How does a man know what women are thinking?
- He needs to ask them, then actually listen to what they say.
- He actually takes the time and patience to listen well and value what they are saying.
- When a man learns to place their interests above his own and learns to serve others he becomes more keenly aware of what women are thinking.
- Take time to ask them!!
- Ask them.
- Marry one.
- Ask them to lead and serve and share whenever possible.
Pastorpedia is produced monthly by three experienced pastors: Jeff Bogue, of Grace Church, in several locations in the Bath-Norton-Medina areas of Ohio; Jim Brown, of Grace Community Church in Goshen, Indiana, a church known for its strong growth, family and men’s ministries, and community response teams; and Knute Larson, a coach of pastors, who previously led The Chapel in Akron for 26 years. Pastorpedia is brought to you by CE National. Visit cenational.org/pastorpedia for more issues and to read the bios of our contributors.