godgirlthings asked a question:
Hello pastor! I had a question and was thinking of someone who would help me, you came to my mind because of how much God uses you to inspire me. So, I’m a bit confused. My dad and I were talking about how women are not allowed to lead in certain churches and if it’s right for a woman to be the leader of a church, could you let me know what the Bible says about this? Thank you so much, God bless you!!
Hey dear friend, I know this is a very divisive issue with many viewpoints, and I know we won’t all see eye-to-eye on it. I did write a super-long post that partially answers your question here:
(Please forgive the sassy, off-color title. I wrote this when I was a little bit more snarky, back in the day.)
I’m very much open to women being leaders in the church – mainly because the early church was so pro-women that it would be impossible to say it’s not. I mean the church herself is called the “bride,” and I just don’t think theologians can keep word-playing themselves out of that one. The verses we’ve used to “shut down” women in church are surrounded by a much larger context that requires some digging. And if anything, the Bible is incredibly tough on men, with a much more brash upright tone with them.
If men are about to use the Bible as a patriarchal tool, they better cut out all the parts from Genesis to maps. And if men are so desperate to be leaders: I hope we know what we’re getting into. That’s not some kind of easy position to play around with.
The Book of Nehemiah shows men, women, children, and different social classes rebuilding the city of Jerusalem. Women were essentially the “first Christians,” having discovered the empty tomb and the risen Jesus. Phoebe is a deacon. Lydia was a rich young fashionista who gave safe refuge for missionaries. The couple Priscilla and Aquila are always mentioned with the wife’s name first, and order was quite important in the Greek Scriptures (notice that Judas is constantly named last in every list of the disciples, along with what he did). I could go on.
I understand that many conservative-leaning churches will interpret the Bible to have zero female leaders, and I don’t claim a superior interpretation over them. It’s not “my right thinking” versus “their outdated ways.” It’s a doctrinal difference that doesn’t decide our ultimate eternity with God. It’s not an issue we have to fight over. In the huge scheme of things, I’m probably more concerned with helping the poor or stopping human trafficking or counseling a suicidal friend. But I will always encourage and promote female leadership in church.