Posts Tagged ‘eldership’

Women in Church Leadership

Friday, January 21st, 2011 by Diane Chandler

Last week, I had a three-way phone conversation with friends of mine, a married couple, who live in another state.  Last year, the husband became the senior pastor of their local church, where he had previously served as a board elder.  My friends described a recent issue being discussed among the current board elders, which is comprised of all men.  It has been suggested that a multi-gifted person in the church, who has been in fruitful ministry over many years, be invited to serve on the elder board.  This person is a woman.  The reaction ranges from full agreement to adamant refusal.

In this conversation, both of my friends (the pastor and his wife) are very supportive of this woman joining the elder board.  Not only has she faithfully served in the church but also has ministered at other churches and in the community with obvious giftedness and anointing, which has earned her great respect. However, one elder, in particular, is having a problem with the thought of a woman having authority over a man.  Of course, you can imagine the Scriptures that he has identified to preclude any such eventuality, among them 1 Timothy 2:12 and 1 Corinthians 14:34-35.

This issue of women serving in church leadership remains a contemporary “hot button” and raises the question of how spiritually gifted women might fulfill their God-given calling within the local church and beyond. These scriptures mentioned above remain the arsenal for the prohibition of women fully expressing their giftedness in serving the body of Christ. Further, traditional views/practices and cultural assumptions related to the preclusion of women serving in leadership roles in the church reinforce these textual interpretations.

These issues are real and contentious, often leaving Christian women who are gifted and anointed to defend their callings, often facing misunderstanding and rejection.

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