Can a woman be a Pastor or a preacher?

(Benedict) #1

Hi everyone this is one of the main issues that I have found in my walk in Faith …

That can a woman be a Pastor of a church and can she preach the word of God ?

and If we encounter such people or should I say Church what can we do to correct or clarify the issue? …

(Jimmy Sellers) #2

I known that this is an important topic for you and the church as a whole. One of our community members put together this very good resource. I thought that you might review as I am sure you will have a number of replies to question.

(Benedict) #3

Thank you so much @Jimmy_Sellers such information and praying for more understanding…

I Found this and it said that God has designed us to help each other and have Given us roles to support each other male and female…
Im sure feminist well react most for this …
I have so much questions related to this and Im praying for it as well .

(Eunike Misiekaba) #4

Personally I cannot help, but to feel a bit sad, when it is claimed that women can’t preach.I honestly believe that women can.
It comes back to interpretation when two components face each other: “principle” vs. “precept”

Borrowing the words of Bob Deffinbaugh


The first has to do with the interpretation and application of the Bible, both of the Old Testament and the New. The second has to do with the vital link between Christian ethics and biblical principles, as well as that between Christian legalism and biblical precept (without biblical principle).

Distinguishing between precept and principle will greatly assist us in avoiding that evil toward which conservative evangelicals are pre-disposed: legalism. Legalism is that tendency to strictly observe the rules, but to forget the reasons, to keep the letter of the Law, but not the spirit of it. Legalism is often related to literalism. While we should take the message of the Bible literally, the principle of a particular commandment may extend beyond the literal words

I’m not convinced that what Paul presents in Timothy is a “principle”… When I am faced with this fiery debate, I always point back to a similar issue, when the Pharisees accused Jesus of breaking the sabbath. The answer of Christ points back to purpose and the sovereignty of God.

Instead of debating of a woman should be preaching or be a pastor, we should be debating, if God has called and appointed such a one to preach or to pastor.

Just from my personal belief and knowledge of who God is, His ways frequently seems controversial because He never regards or disregarded someone on outward appearance. Whatever the prescribed precept , it was never above and beyond purpose. It is meant to serve Him and He is righteous and Just. A precept can never breach His divine essence.

In principle, it seems unrighteous that our God would deposit gifts to people (man or women) just to limit the same people to use it. He gives to build His build/equip His people. How much of it is lost, when we disregard some of His body, because of sex. Those are the kind of things, that would let me go sit outside under a palm tree. And if the voice in me is Truth, people will just draw to it in the wilderness, while the status quo is continuing in the temple.

There is enough evidence in the Bible, where God and even Paul do/ did not live by the principle: “woman can’t preach” However, also in these matters we interpret evidence in light of our ultimate standard :slight_smile:
In fact, we should be following the evidence wherever it leads…

When all is finished, we will all stand before God’s throne, giving personal accountability of our lives. I hope that before that time we have understood that we are all spirits, who from the beginning have received one purpose…

(Benedict) #5

Thank you so much for your insight @Eunike it really opens something interesting … And I know you feel bad about that has been said …

Yes I think woman can teach in a way that is Obedient to the word of God cause the word of God is Absolute that needs more detailed explanation in order for us to understand more …

I Like your example from the Pharisees doing the intention agains Jesus in the sabbath yet He really did point out for the Sovereignty of God.

im really thanking God for lots of explanation here and I pray for more in depth answers from God

it is really a challenge for most of the people to both male and female to see what God has plans for us I really want to study more about your insights. Im sure the ultimate answer will come from God :raised_hands::pray:

THANK YOU ,:grin:

(Anna Jacob) #6

The Bible is full of principles, just look at the Sermon on the Mount! These principles can be taught by both males & females, just in different ways. Men from the pulpit, women from the nurture of motherhood. That is why Paul adds, 1 Timothy 2:15
“But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.”
I’m wondering about the deceitfulness of our hearts, convincing us to cherry-pick out of The Bible? If it clearly states certain ways that worship is to be conducted in church, why do we now question it? There are two ways to change the world, preaching & being/doing. Men teach predominantly by speech, women teach predominantly through nurture: 1 Timothy 2:9-10
“I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.”
Women teaching women is acceptable, Titus 2:3-5
“Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”
NB: There is a difference between teaching & sharing information. Teaching is about absolute Truth, women are swayed much easier by emotion, that’s why Eve was the one tempted, not Adam.

(Abby Narvaez) #7

This thinking really makes me feel very sad and abused as a woman who deeply loves Jesus! I will not try to offer a defense as to why I disagree with this view. People will feel the way they want and will justify it accordingly, myself included. I would very much like to hear what the RZIM official position on this topic is.

(C Rhodes) #8

I have female friends and family who have ordination from established authorities, but many times they feel slighted by what feels like a double standard. I always point out that if the approval for ministry comes from GOD, if affirmation comes from GOD, then you often avoid the manipulation of your message. Its on GOD to broadcast to all that need to hear.

My paternal grandmother was the leader/pastor of her congregation. Nothing happened in that edifice that did so without my grandmother’s approval. Yet, my grandmother never spoke from the pulpit. She never sought affirmation or ordination for her gift of ministry.

I learned from her example that when GOD has something He wants you to do, He will provide the avenue. Sometimes I think the real problem lies in a desire to be acknowledged. I don’t believe GOD has any sexist tendency, but I also do not believe that lack of ordination or titles is significant enough to block the progress of GOD.

My maternal Aunt was a powerful minister of the Word. Despite being required to take her text from the floor of the sanctuary instead of the pulpit area. I have not heard many males who could ‘out preach’ my Aunt. One of my favorite memories was a message my Aunt preached. “Oh Man of GOD, There’s Death in the Pot!” By the end of that message every pulpit seated dignitary. Every associate minister stood on their feet in amazement. She preached like fire burned in her bones.

I opt for humbleness in a patriarch society, but I pity the person or organization that gets in GOD’s way. I am a living witness, when man says no, GOD usually kicks the door off the hinges.

(Kathleen) #9

Hello, all! As a woman, I’ve been following this and other similar threads with interest. I personally don’t have a solid theological stance on either side of the egalitarian/complementarian issue, and I highly respect people and arguments on both sides of the debate, but I wanted to take the moment to get some thoughts on paper…

In response to the initial question, I tend to think: ‘well, of course a woman can preach’. It’s not necessarily a question of ability; we are all able to preach with our words and our lives. (Though, of course, women physically can’t preach from a certain pulpit if they aren’t invited into it.)

I think the main question that most people ask is framed as one of negative requirement: MUST a woman NOT be allowed to preach/pastor a church? That is, does God require (as opposed to ‘recommend’) only men (simply by virtue of their biological sex) to be leaders in a local church and expressly forbid women (simply by virtue of their biological sex) to serve in that capacity? Are women who are serving as pastors of churches (and, subsequently, the leaders of those churches) essentially living in open rebellion against God by doing so?

Like most things in life, I believe these questions warrant a big ole ‘It depends.’…

To the first question (Does God require only men, thereby forbidding women?): It depends on how you interpret and apply Paul and certain Old Testament laws and practices. In my own reading, I am not convinced that God orders one sex to always be leaders and one to always be submitters. If women are limited and marginalised in a community simply because they are women, then I believe that any growth in that community will be stunted. That community will not reach its full potential of flourishing, and people in that community will lose out on the life that comes when male and female live side-by-side in mutually supportive relationship. (Note also that the reverse can also be true…as in, I also believe that women marginalise men to their detriment.)

It follows then that I do not believe that it is an act of rebellion against God for a woman to serve as a pastor of a local church. However, I also want to say that I do not believe that having a woman pastor is always the best thing. Sadly, like you all have noticed, this is an extremely divisive issue in the church, and if the female pastor is not supported by the leadership and congregation, I believe it would be disastrous for all for her to remain there.

For myself, as a woman who doesn’t really want to preach or lead a congregation, I just want to be a part of a church community that affirms both men and women in their spiritual giftings and gives them space to them to develop and practise them. We have so much to learn from one another!

To end, I wanted to link everyone to Mike Day’s reply to my question about women in ministry. Especially you, @Abby and @Eunike. He is one of the most thoughtful people I know of on this subject, and I think you all will be encouraged to read it! Ask Mike Day (October 22-26, 2018)

Both his reply and mine by no means an official RZIM position, but I do know RZIM as a ministry are keen to train and employ female apologists/evangelists as well as put women in prominent leadership positions according to the gifts they have.

(Abby Narvaez) #10

Thank you, as a woman who has been marginalized in the church and has seen countless examples of abuse of women by members of the church based on the interpretation of 1Timothy. Abby

(David Cieszynski) #13

Very God topic and thoughtful responses, here are my thoughts: -

  1. God created Eve as an equal.
  2. First evangelist was the woman at the well.
  3. In Paul’s letter to the Galatians he tells us that we are all equal.
  4. If God has told a woman to go into ministry who are we to say no your a woman?
  5. Jesus had women in his ministry.

Just some points to think and discuss.

I’ve not intended to offend anyone.

(Andrew Bulin) #14

I would love to find the source video for this, but for the life of me I cannot…

I watched a video of some pastors and evangelists discussing this topic. After hearing one of his colleagues speak against women serving as pastor, a Korean missionary to Japan spoke of a prefecture in Japan (I believe it was Nagano) that the largest church in the area was lead by a female pastor. He then asked his colleague, more or less, if he thought it would be okay to then tell this female pastor that it was not right for her to be doing what she was doing and to stop it. (Please note that around 1% or less are Christian in Japan.)

Of course, I’m taking this missionary at his word, which I believed to be reputable. Nevertheless, this really impacted me and allowed me to consider where God is working in the lives of His people for the sake of His kingdom.

(Sorry for such a brief response.)

(Helen Tan) #15

I’m reading this with interest as a woman and would like to approach this conversation with a little speculation as to what could have been. It was God’s intention at the beginning to provide Adam with an able helpmate and I am thinking that it would be unwise to judge one of them over the other since they were designed to be complementary to each other. As such, disqualifying half of the population of the world seems to be excessively dismissive. As Andrew Bulin recounted, the Japanese female pastor is seen to be doing a good job in a largely patriarchal society. To dismiss her because she’s female appears to be unwise (and a pure waste of a useful resource). God can equip and use anyone with a heart surrendered to Him. He even used a donkey in the life of Balaam in the OT! I’m thinking that one should not pre-empt whomever God wants to use. I believe that whomever He appoints, He will equip. Let us therefore be supportive of one another in the body of Christ.

(Mr Daniel J Ch'ng) #16

Thank you for sharing this :slight_smile:

1 Like
(C Rhodes) #17

Thank you for the wonderful words of fellowship! Makes me toasty on this dreary and cold day in Colorado! :sneezing_face::+1:

(Eunike Misiekaba) #18

Thank you very much Kathleen!.. Very helpful!!! Blessings

(Anna Jacob) #19

Great points. God never contradicts Himself. The question may need to be framed in light of that. Just because I can, does it mean I should?

1 Like
(Pierre Duranleau) #20

When Christians broach this subject it seems that two approaches are used
1 - The Bible is at the center of the debate
2 - One’s personal opinion is front and center to the debate.

Personally I prefer the former; for the Bible should have the first and last word on any subject, including this hot topic.

1 Like
(Steven M Levine) #21

I actually think we can find a resource for this. And, I would direct you to Ravi Zacharias himself for that resource. This Q&A session with Ravi and Abdu for me, answers the question of women in the Priesthood.

First of all, in the early parts of 20th century, nursing duties were considered “man’s work”. The opening of the nursing to women has changed and revolutionized nursing. Not to say that men do not make good nurses. They do. But the caring a compassion that women can bring to the nursing profession is so important.

And, then to be Pastors, Evangelists, Priests, or whatever other title you want to list, women can bring an incredible caring and compassionate ministry to people, that men may not be able to bring. Can you imagine a man counseling and preaching to woman a who has been rescued from sex slavery? A woman can be such a wonderful resource to the hurting of this world.

To Pierre’s comment, I think Ravi answers it best. I think the bible does look for women to be in ministry.

1 Like
(Pierre Duranleau) #24

Where does it say, in the Bible, that a woman can teach or take authority over a man?

1 Like