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Women in leadership


Many shifts have taken place in regard to the role of women in leadership. Here are a few examples.

  1. A woman preached a sermon to a large audience of men and woman at “Jubilee” in Nashville, Tennessee.

  2. On July 31, 1988 a church in Huston, TX announced their intention to appoint women to active roles in worship, including reading scripture, leading in prayer, and adding a woman minister to the full time staff.

  3. In January, 1990 a church in Birmingham, AL the elders announced their decision to include women in roles of leadership. Since then female deacons have been appointed. Women have lead prayers and read Scriptures in the Sunday morning worship services.

  4. In 1992, Pepperdine University decided to include more women in public worship assemblies. A woman was asked to lead the opening prayer on August 31st.


There are many others who are now following their examples.

What does the Bible teach on this matter?


1 Corinthians 14:31-35

  1. Rules for use of gift of prophecy in the church assemblies. (34, 35)

  2. 33 – God is not the author of confusion

  3. 34 – Your women (whose women?) – Wives of the prophets
    Silent = not a sound, total silence
    In the church (assembly)
    Want to know more = ask their husbands at home

  4. Many think this applies to all women – NO.
    Not all women have husbands.
    Not all women with husbands have men who are knowledgeable about God’s will.


1 Timothy 2:8-15 (esp. 12)

8 – Men = males, not females
Mankind, humanity, all humans = Greek – anthropos
Male (as opposed to female) = Greek – aner

9 – Women should dress in modesty

Women, females (as opposed to males) = Greek – gune

11 – Learn in submission (subjection)

12 – Woman is not permitted to teach

Teach = deliver a discourse (preach)

Not prohibited from commenting in a Bible class

12 – Woman is not permitted to have authority

NOTE: “usurp” today implies taking by force – error in translation

Greek word means to act for yourself, dominate, control = Greek - authenteo

12 – Authority = power to make decisions, rule, control

12 – Over the man = the man of verse 8

12 – Silence

Not = absolute silence, no sound

But = calm, quiet, tranquil, peaceful, stillness

1 Peter 3:4 – gentle and quiet spirit

13 – Seniority is the reason

14 – Not related to who sinned first or worst

Adam was not deceived – sinned with full knowledge

Eve was deceived – tricked, not fully alert to the wrong

15 – Saved in childbearing

Woman can “redeem” herself by training her children (faith, love, holiness, self-control)


1 Timothy 3:8-13

  1. Office of deacon – technical term

  2. Word can also apply to anyone (male or female) who serves, ministers, helps others – non-technical term

  3. This text is dealing with the technical term – the “office of a deacon”

  4. They must have wives – 11

  5. They must have only one wife – 12

  6. They must have children under their control – 12

Romans 16:1 – Was Phoebe a “deaconess” in the church?

  1. The same word (Greek word – deaconos) is used here.

  2. This word is used throughout the NT.
    Total – all forms of this word – 101 times in New Testament
    3 = deacon (official office) Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:8, 12
    17 = Servant, serve
    67= minister, ministry, ministering, minister unto, ministration
    14 = misc. translations

  3. Used here in feminine form = a woman who ministers to others

Acts 18:24-28

  1. Aquila & Priscilla (husband & wife)

  2. Took Apollos aside

  3. Instructed, explain, taught, expose, expound


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