Women in leadership is such a big topic and one that is culturally “hot” right now. Having an overall perspective of the biblical view of women in ministry is so important. Taken in isolation, some verses might seem to give an alternative perspective, but in light of the overall standing can be viewed as necessary at the time for the advancement of the gospel.
Engage with God’s Word
Consider Romans 16:1-16.
- Why is it important to know and understand God’s perspective on the role of women in ministry?
- How have you formed this view, who has been formative for you in landing where you are?
- What is your understanding of the current statistics regarding pay scales for women, domestic violence towards women and ‘glass ceilings’ in opportunities for women both within the church and in employment more broadly?
- God’s perspective on equality in rule and reign can be seen in these verses as part of God’s creative order (Genesis 1:26-28). What interrupted this order and why?
- Genesis 2:18 and Psalm 33:20 both use the Hebrew term ‘ezer’ meaning helper/helpmeet. Once it is used of Eve and once of God. Discuss.
- We see evidence in the New Testament of women in roles of finance (Luke 8:3), pastor (Colossians 4:15), prophet (Acts 21:8-9), evangelist (Philippians 4:3), deacon (Romans 16), teacher (Acts 18:26), apostle (Romans 16:7) and business (Acts 16:14). Discuss.
Paul was prepared to engage with any and all cultural nuances/differences in order that the gospel be shared at all costs. He saw this as a preeminent outcome and affirmed that it was worth crossing any and all boundaries to “become all things to all people so that by all possible means [he] might save some.” (1 Corinthians 9:22-23). Are there cultural bonds that hold you back from sharing Jesus that God might want to loose you from?