4 Biblical Reasons Women Can Be Leaders in the Church

Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence (1 Timothy 2:11 KJV).

When Paul wrote these words to Timothy, he was instructing the young pastor with regulations to keep worship in an orderly fashion. The people of Ephesus that Timothy pastored had formerly worshipped false gods. The women of that day were mostly idle busybodies who went from house to house gossiping and drinking.

These old habits came with them into Christian worship. They had to be instructed in their new way of life. Apparently, some of the women were trying to take over the worship services. Paul had to take matters in hand and provide guidelines for peaceful assembly.

This was a cultural matter because of the previous lifestyles of most of the congregation. We can apply the principles of these scriptures, without adopting the cultural attitudes of that day.

For example, we observe the command to dress modestly without adhering to New Testament modes of dress (1 Timothy 2:9) because we know that modesty tells us not to clothe ourselves in a provocative manner. We don’t use this verse to define modest as wearing a biblical robe. In the same way, we can apply Paul’s instructions about women’s behavior in Ephesus by considering the reason he had to address the problem and not use it as a weapon against females obeying the anointing God puts on them.

The King James Version of the instructions to Timothy uses the word usurp which according to Strong’s Concordance #831 means to act as an autocrat, self-appointed, or acting without submission.

As long as a woman feeling led to contribute to a church meeting respects the authority of the pastorate, she can scripturally teach. Also, a married woman would need to agree with her husband about her teaching role to prevent strife and discord in the home.

When these two conditions are met, the Bible gives us four reasons women can be leaders in the church.

  1. We are all made in the image of God.
    Adam and Eve were created equal. God didn’t distinguish that one was better than the other. He created them both as mankind.

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them (Genesis 1:27 NIV).

Adam was created from the dust of the earth, and Eve was fashioned from Adam’s side (Genesis 2:21-22).

Since she came out of Adam’s body, they both had the same DNA. The reason women’s value in society changed was because of deception. It wasn’t God’s doing, or God’s plan for the opposite sex to become subservient to males.

  1. We are all co-heirs with Christ.
    God has given to all of us His Spirit without a determination as to male or female. We are one in Christ.

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise (Galatians 3:28).

The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if we indeed share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory (Romans 8:16-17 NIV).

When Apollos arrived in Ephesus, Pricilla and Aquila invited him to their home and taught him more about Jesus than he already knew. Acts 18:26 tells us that both Priscilla and Aquila instructed him. Priscilla’s role in discipling Apollos is clearly mentioned in this scripture.

  1. We are the same body with different functions.
    God sees us all as His children with different purposes.

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it (1 Corinthians 12:27).

We each have a part to fulfill. When we attempt to take another person’s role or we are dissatisfied with our own, the group of believers suffers (1 Corinthians 12:25-26).

Many women, including Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna, followed Jesus and supported Him out of their own means. They couldn’t do this if they didn’t have good management qualities (Luke 8:3). How could Joanna manage the household of Chuza if she wasn’t an excellent steward? Even though these stories occurred before the birth of the New Testament church, the principles that would guide the believers were already in place through Christ’s teaching.

Philip the evangelist had four daughters who prophesied (Acts 21:9). They fulfilled their function by allowing the Holy Spirit to work through them and this blessed those who heard their words.

  1. We all have the mind of Christ and His identity.
    For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).

In 1 Corinthians 14, Paul gives instructions for disciplined worship. In verse 39 he admonishes the people as brothers and sisters signifying that both can prophesy and speak in tongues in a service if the process is not disruptive.

When Paul began his letter to the Ephesians, he addressed them as God’s holy people (Ephesians 1:1). He didn’t distinguish between men and women. Throughout this letter, he referred to those who believe in Christ as chosen, adopted, and sealed. This is the same group of people that Paul’s instructions about women were directed to. The Apostle saw them as equal in the body of Christ.

Women’s Leadership Throughout the Bible
Jesus restored the value that Satan stole from women in the garden. The Messiah didn’t hesitate to minister to the woman at the well despite the stringent rules of the day (John 4:7-9). After hearing the Savior’s message, she persuaded her community to listen to Jesus. Mary of Bethany took the initiative and gave preference to Jesus that no man gave Him by anointing her Lord with costly perfume before His crucifixion (John 12:2-3). The Son of Man’s mother took on the task of solving a problem at the wedding in Cana (John 2:1-11). The resurrected Christ entrusted the first commission of the gospel to Mary Magdalene (John 20:17-18).

We have many examples of women’s motivational influence in the Old Testament such as Deborah, Esther, Abigail, and the Proverbs 31 woman. If these women who were under a covenant of law could stand for God and contribute when the need arose, how much more can we under the New Covenant in Christ’s kingdom?

Paul commended Phoebe (Romans 16:1-2) and gave instructions to the Christians in Rome to assist her in any way because of her service to the believers. In this same chapter, he also singled out Priscilla (v.3), Mary (v.6), Tryphena and Tryphosa (v.12), and Julia and the sister of Nereus (v.15) as women who had labored and served with him. It’s obvious from Paul’s endorsement that these women were valuable to his ministry and to the congregations where they worshipped.

Misrepresenting scripture to prevent females from presiding over a meeting or teaching in the congregation violates the command to rightly divide the Word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). We are not to lean to our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6) or rule by religious tradition.

When we work together as members of Christ, we can fulfill His commission to make disciples and encourage one another.

40 thoughts on “4 Biblical Reasons Women Can Be Leaders in the Church

  1. Bible students are guilty of reading our culture and customs as thought inspired, while actions in scripture if different, must be made to harmonize with our understanding to be correct.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I appreciate your faith and commitment to the Lord!!! Well done❤ Also, or at the same time I must disagree with some interpretations or reinterpretation. I see man is over woman in roles and women are more susceptible to being deceived. They should be under authority as the Word says in various places. So, a woman of God serving in faith, and gentleness with respect is highly honored in my book! You are a Godly woman. Though I must agree with John MacArthur, and others who handle the Word and must agree that the reason the woman is under man is because God has created “Christ and the Church” man and woman. Word of God as originally written

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Although God created man and woman, Sent Christ and established the church, and inspired the original copies of the Old and New Testament, man seems to fulfill Adam and Eve’s course by ignoring it, abusing it, being inconsistent in the handling of it, and being too dumb in applying it. Thank God for His grace!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. There may be a fifth reason. Wrote this sabbath message right after the election 2020. It is prophetic for these last days.

    Sabbath Message 11-7-20 >> Was listening to Real America’s Voice and after a Religious segment, a lady named Janet Parshall was interviewed and she remarked how the Republican Party had picked up 8 seats by women. She also went on to say that women in congress are more embolden and courageous than their male counterparts in that the Democratic women were more forthwith in their pro-abortion stance than the men, and likewise that Republican women were more embolden and courageous in their stance on pro-life than their male counterparts. Lady folks, I give her a huge AMEN! So, todays message is for all you courageous women. Upon hearing her, I automatically recalled some scripture in prophecy directly related to women and the latter days. So, here goes some truth! Jeremiah tell us in 31:22 that the Lord has “…created a new thing in the earth. A woman shall compass a man.” Woe! Watch out men folk. The Hebrew term used in this passage for “woman” is from Strong’s (5347) – neqebal Fm 5344 – female (from the sexual form): – female, woman. (5344) – naqab – P.R. to puncture, lit. (to perform with more or less violence) or fig. (to specify, designate, libel): – appoint, blaspheme, bore, curse, express, with holes, name, pierce, strike through. Doesn’t this definition sound like an embolden, outspoken and courageously expressive woman? Watch out men folk! Now comes the term “compass”. (5437) – cabab – P.R. To receive, surround, or border; used in various applications, lit. and fig. (as follows): – bring, cast, fetch, lead… There is more to the expressive aspect of the definition of the Hebrew term, but I choose to stop at “LEAD”. Thought that sufficient enough. Don’t want to get to rough with the men folk! Please, I’m a man too. Now let’s go to Isaiah 3:12 “…children are their oppressors, and women rule over them.” Well, the children in the streets today should be rather obvious. It is the Legislative body of Congress that makes the laws, and now we have 8 more Republican Congresswomen, outspoken and courageous women, that will back up the President, hopefully Donald J. Trump. Can you just imagine a President like a King David, who the ladies loved, with a Congress full of courageous embolden women? To conclude todays message; there is a great shaking going on in this nation right this minute, has been since Tuesday night, and will be for the foreseeable future. (Ezek. 38:19 by the promise of Gen. 48:8-20 specifically noting verse 16 “…let my name be named upon them…” and verse 19 “…he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great…”. Who is trying to make America great again? Ladies, have a restful Sabbath! Men, might want to practice a little “social distancing” today. Have a good one folks! Lots of love and God bless!

    Also see >> https://theezekiel33watchman.report/2021/08/28/a-sabbath-message-8-28-21/

    LOLGB+

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I have been studying this topic recently and agree wholeheartedly with what you have shared. My husband and I have been attending a very patriarchal church for the past few years and are finding it more and more frustrating! Unfortunately, we live in a small rural area where there aren’t other evangelical options close by.

    Elaine @ Following Augustine

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I agree that women are allowed by scripture to hold leadership roles in the church and in fact, they do. It is the type of leadership that women seek that is contrary to scripture.

    You write: The women of that day were mostly idle busybodies who went from house to house gossiping and drinking. Are we really any different today?

    Point #1: Aren’t you confusing equality with equity? Yes we are equal but (by your own words not the same). God gave Eve to Adam as a helpmate ( a companion, a partner). Because of the fall, a curse was placed on women, To the woman he said, “…Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16b). 1 Peter 3:7 tells us that women are “the weaker vessel”.

    Point #2: there is no indication or reason to believe that Pricilla took the lead in this encounter.

    Point #3: You disputed the very argument you are trying to make.
    We are the same body with different functions.
    God sees us all as His children with different purposes.
    Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it (1 Corinthians 12:27).
    We each have a part to fulfill. When we attempt to take another person’s role or we are dissatisfied with our own, the group of believers suffers (1 Corinthians 12:25-26).

    Point #4: Paul continues in 1 Corinthians 3 to say “for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? (1 Corinthians 3:3)

    While it’s common for us to dispute scripture on “cultural grounds” we must remember that although cultural norms may change, people’s hearts (The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9) and certainly God and His word do not (The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
    The plans of His heart from generation to generation Psalm 33:11)

    When we attempt to manipulate God’s word to say what we WANT we are in dangerous territory.

    Do women have a place in the Body of Christ, even a teaching role? Absolutely! God has blessed we women with a very special and unique ministry. It saddens me that women want to reject that blessing choosing to pursue a role for which we are not ordained or even equipped.

    See Proverbs 31
    And then there is this:
    “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” (Titus 2:3-5)

    Thank you dear one for allowing me to share my thoughts. May God richly bless you.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. e that women are allowed by scripture to hold leadership roles in the church and in fact, they do. It is the type of leadership that women seek that is contrary to scripture.

    You write: The women of that day were mostly idle busybodies who went from house to house gossiping and drinking. Are we really any different today?

    Point #1: Aren’t you confusing equality with equity? Yes we are equal but (by your own words not the same). God gave Eve to Adam as a helpmate ( a companion, a partner). Because of the fall, a curse was placed on women, To the woman he said, “…Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16b). 1 Peter 3:7 tells us that women are “the weaker vessel”.

    Point #2: there is no indication or reason to believe that Pricilla took the lead in this encounter.

    Point #3: You disputed the very argument you are trying to make.
    We are the same body with different functions.
    God sees us all as His children with different purposes.
    Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it (1 Corinthians 12:27).
    We each have a part to fulfill. When we attempt to take another person’s role or we are dissatisfied with our own, the group of believers suffers (1 Corinthians 12:25-26).

    Point #4: Paul continues in 1 Corinthians 3 to say “for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? (1 Corinthians 3:3)

    While it’s common for us to dispute scripture on “cultural grounds” we must remember that although cultural norms may change, people’s hearts (The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9) and certainly God and His word do not (The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
    The plans of His heart from generation to generation Psalm 33:11)

    When we attempt to manipulate God’s word to say what we WANT we are in dangerous territory.

    Do women have a place in the Body of Christ, even a teaching role? Absolutely! God has blessed we women with a very special and unique ministry. It saddens me that women want to reject that blessing choosing to pursue a role for which we are not ordained or even equipped.

    See Proverbs 31
    And then there is this:
    “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” (Titus 2:3-5)

    Thank you dear one for allowing me to share my thoughts. May God richly bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yes CTN, women can be church leaders. Thanks for liking my posts in ‘Word of Jesus.’ Thank-you for all the examples of females working w/St Paul and Apollos and Jesus & the Old Testament citations of important women.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Before Constantine and the bishops at the Council of Nicaea I believe women were very active in the Christian church. Once the Bible was changed and they decided which books would be used for the current version various books written by women were sidelined which included the books of Mary Magdalene who was of such importance in the life of Jesus and the other disciples. This seems to have been the point at which women were to be relieved of their active status in the church and appears to have been a deliberate act to leave the running of the church to men.
    Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

  10. There is no biblical reason why women cannot serve in the church. However, the Altar is different. That was the issue John had with the women. We must publish that piece of work. Only after a certain age can she serve on the Altar. Plus women cannot commit the dear. Women cannot be Bishop. Everything else women through the gift of God can do. Dismiss demons, discerning evil forces. Mary is the sounding bell for all women. Live like her, think like she, and life will be happier and more fulfilling. bloggingfundementals.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi, thank you for the follow. I loved reading your thoughts on the subject of Women in Leadership roles within the church. If God calls a person to come from the shadows to the forefront to speak on His behalf, who on earth, heaven, and hell can stop what God has commanded? Women are no longer in bondage because whom the Son sets free is free indeed. Who can judge God? Who can teach Him his word? Women possess the Holy Spirit. He is the teacher. If a woman is chosen by God to deliver a message via the Holy Spirit, why would anyone object? Should she not obey God?

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you for following my blog. Your interpretation of the Word of God and the conclusion that you have arrived at on the issue of women occupying leadership positions in the Church is wrong.

    The TRUTH is that the Bible CLEARLY FORBIDS this on not just one but THREE occasions. We may not like it but God’s ways are not our ways. It has nothing to do with equality. We are equal in the body of Christ as men and women but God still clearly has a creation order in terms of how he wants us to function. Similarly, Jesus the Son is equal to God the Father but he had a different function and so came to earth to die for our sins and today is an advocate for those who have relationship with God through him.

    If we say that Jesus is Lord, this means to abandon our own thoughts, ideas, feelings and desires and to submit to the authority of his Word. Jesus himself said in Luke 6:46, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”

    The issue is not one of culture or tradition as you suggested. It is one of OBEDIENCE. Will we obey or seek to undermine what God has clearly and unambiguously commanded in his Word? Will we submit to Jesus’ Lordship by aligning ourselves with his Word, whatever it says or will we choose to fight against it?

    If we genuinely seek his truth and to obey it, he will guide us and keep us from error.

    I invite you to read Note 230 under the ‘SINGLE DAUGHTERS’ section of my ‘REGAL DAUGHTERS OF GOD – HEPHZIBAH DIARIES’ Website entitled: WOMEN TEACHING IN THE CHURCH- WHAT DOES GOD COMMAND.

    I have prayed that the Lord will guide you into the path of TRUTH on this very important issue.

    Please find the link to the article here: https://regaldaughtersofgod.com/single-daughters/230-women-teaching-in-the-church-what-does-god-command/

    Liked by 2 people

  12. If we don’t like one of the Bible’s teachings, it’s not the best idea in the world to dismiss it as a cultural difference between then and now. The LBGTQ take this road and try to justify their sin. The Bible says what it says, and let’s not change it. God and His Word do not change, although man makes every attempt to try to do so, for example through catholic-corrupted false manuscripts on which all the modern versions, like the NIV, are based. Romans through Revelation is the part of the Bible that is for us today, so let’s just obey it and not try to twist it to justify OUR thoughts and actions.

    Read and heed the KJV.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This is a great start to a deep well of discussion! I’ll be the speaker at a 3 day women’s retreat in the Spring in Prince Edward Island, Canada, covering this topic… specifically looking at a few Hebrew words that largely affect the narrative of this conversation… including the word ezer (helper) from Genesis 2. It is most interesting that God made women to be “helpers” when this word, almost exclusively, was used to describe God. To be a helper was not to be subservient (we would never describe God this way); to be a helper meant coming to the rescue. For more on this check out: https://hebrewwordlessons.com/2018/05/13/helper-defining-the-ezer-woman/ Shalom!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Excellent, Post! Thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit to use you in your ministry. Women are the heart and backbone of many ministries. They support their spouses through their dedication, prayers and hard work. I think women need to be given more credit in these modern times than they are now getting. We are capable and make great leaders!

    Like

  15. Woman are and should be involved in the ministries of the church. They are called by God not humans for a specific purpose. Many people want to change the meaning of the Word of God in this area due to our cultural change but there is danger in this as stated in Scripture. Many woman are able to teach and understand the Bible and that is the way it should be but when it come to being in a place of authority God has set down that standard and it must be kept. It is not our place to change the rules because of cultural differences even though woman were a big part of the church even in the early church age, God did not allow them to be in the place of authority for the purpose that He set out. I Did a 6 part study on following the true Gospel and in the 3rd part of my study I hit on this subject from a complete Biblical view. I encourage all to read this study and check out the other studies that go along in this series that exposes the false Gospel and magnifies the truth of the Gospel.

    Who Is Qualified To Preach/Teach The Gospel?


    FOLLOWING THE TRUE GOSPEL=FOLLOWING THE TRUE JESUS.

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