It has come to my attention that there are some denominations who do not believe women should be in leadership roles in the church. This varies from being a pastor to teaching anyone who may be of the male gender. So, though you may disagree with me, I am going to share scripture where a woman was used by the Lord.
John 4: The woman at the well.
Here we see Jesus rest at a well to get a drink of water. So we think. But, he had a plan. He wanted to redeem a woman. First thing we notice..He,being a man, was talking to a woman. This was frowned upon. Woman were considered the lesser of the two. Almost like a piece of property. Second, we see He is teaching her things. I know we read that men should teach men and women teach women. Yet, here Jesus is teaching her about “living water”. Thirdly, we see that Not only was she a woman but she was also a gentile. Gentiles and Jews did not associate with one anther. In fact, they were considered enemies.
He is breaking all kinds of rule and taboos. Scandalous indeed. But, that is what Jesus did. Showing us all that God speaks to us all. That God loves us all. That He will use whoever is willing.
What does this woman do after she speaks with Jesus? She runs off and tells everyone about all the things He told her. The people listened to this gentile woman and they what?
Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” John 4:39
She became an evangelist!
Here is a question I’d like to ask, If you have the cure to cancer are you going to keep it to yourself? Are you going to keep the secret until someone asks you about it? Or are you going to tell as many as possible because you want all to have the cure!? This woman had the cure to all her “ailments,” all her worries, all her suffering! So she couldn’t keep it to herself. She was freed and wanted others to feel this freedom too! That is what God does in us when we reveals himself to us. We can’t keep it in. Whether we are a male or female! So if God saves a man and he saves a woman, He can use a man and he can use a woman to spread his message of Hope. Remember we plant the seeds… He grows it.
“SURE, God can use women, that doesn’t mean ordained ministry.” I had someone say that to me. Curious, Was the disciples ordained? Was Moses? Was John the Baptist? Was Miriam? Was Phoebe? Was Deborah? I think you see my point. These were people that God spoke to and called them to be a voice or a leader to His people. He equipped them and qualified them. Joel prophesied:
“And it shall come to pass afterward,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions.
29 Even on the male and female servants
in those days I will pour out my Spirit.” Joel 2:28-29
Later in Acts 2:17-18, Peter explains what is happening when these men and women spoke in different languages. Prophesy was being fulfilled with what had transpired in the upper room. Remember there was 120 gathered. Men and….women! Because that is who God was going to use. He did not distinguish genders or age or rank.
So then it brings us to another question: Can women teach men?
Many of us who are married may say, “no!” or “yes”. Depending on if her husband loves and respects her and treats her as his helper and partner. Though men can be stubborn(so can women) as well as prideful. And no matter if you are a woman or a man they will never “learn” from anyone. Think about all the schools in our world. Many of the teachers are …women!
But, scripturaly we see that 1 Timothy 2:11-12, Paul is telling those in Ephesus what he “preferred” women do not teach because they were the ones that were deceived.Maybe he was addressing an issue in Ephesus? Or was he speaking from God on this matter?
“I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant[a] of the church at Cenchreae, 2 that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well.
3 Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well” Romans 16:1-3
Was Pheobe a leader? Perhaps. But notice how Paul asks those there to “help her in whatever she may need from you“. She was in charge of or had leadership there in the church at Cenchreae. Notice we also calls his fellow workers in Christ were Prisca and Aquila. Women!
“I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. 3 Yes, I ask you also, true companion,[b] help these women, who have labored[c] side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.” Philippians 4:2-3
Here again, “help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together“. So Paul is saying here that these women did the work that Paul did. Wait what!? sure he was in charge over them. But they did the same things? Interesting huh?!
Then there are these women:
- Isaiah’s Wife
- The Daughters of Phillip
There were other women in scripture who prophesied:
- Rachel (Gen. 30:24),
- Hannah (1 Sam. 2:1-10),
- Abigail (1 Samuel 25:29-31),
- Elisabeth (Luke 1:41-45),
- and Mary, the mother of Jesus (Luke 1:46-55). (Special thanks to a woman of faith who contributed this. C. Hodge Tucker)
If a woman is trained in the ways of the Lord, if she is led by the Holy Spirit, if she is held accountable for her actions/teachings…she could be used as a leader or preacher. Just like a man can.
God can do anything! He can use anyone! Anyone that is willing.