Women’s Ministry and Women in Leadership
For years there have been women committed to women’s ministry. Women’s ministry has included special fundraising, planning of ladies retreats, local church auxiliaries, and has focused on promoting “pastor’s wives and ministers’ wives.” All of these efforts are important, but there is something we have forgotten as women in these roles. We have forgotten to promote women in leadership. As the next generation rises up and comes into leadership within the church, we need to start promoting women in leadership, because it is Biblical and the only way the church will grow. Women in leadership can be defined as women fulfilling the Biblical call to leadership within their local and global church as pastors, teachers, evangelists, prophetesses, and apostles. The gift of leadership has been given to both women and men. The apostle Paul in Romans 12 lists several gifts given to women and men. Paul says we may have different gifts, but he proclaims to both women and men: “let us use them” (Romans 12:6). Paul says we shouldn’t think more highly than those around us because we have different gifts (12:3), but he says we should use these gifts “to equip the saints for the work of the ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12). Our mission as women must be to be the church to everyone who is around us, to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, to love as Christ loved, and to step up to the call of leadership within the church.
One of my dreams and hopes is that every UPCI Ladies Retreat will have a class which focuses on women in leadership. Even bigger than that, my hope would be that every Christian’s woman’s conference would have a special place for Women in Leadership. I would love to explore with women (and men) about what it means to be a female in leadership, and to think about how we can impact our community and world. Women have a special place within leadership, because they have God given characteristics which are natural to leadership. Women often have caring spirits, want to help others, are not worried about power and control, are creative and intuitive, and have many other attributes which can make them a good leader who serves the Lord and the people. Leaders by definition are servants, so it makes sense that both women and men should be involved in leadership within the church.
Women offer a place in leadership which men cannot offer. Men offer a place in leadership which women cannot offer. The point is that we need both women and men. Since both women and men are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26), both need to be included in the leadership of the church.
We need reconciliation!
Women’s and Ladies ministry must include the aspect of leadership. Our movement will not grow without the impact women can provide through the leading of the Holy Spirit. I hope that if you are a Ladies President in one of our districts or a secretary, you will hear this burden. I pray God will give you a vision for women in leadership, and will help you put together programs to help women who feel a call to leadership. We don’t need one woman islands. We need to support one another, work together, and make Women’s Ministries include Women in Leadership. The vision is great, but the calling is greater. There are many who still need to hear about the love of Jesus Christ. Let the women preachers, pastors, teachers, prophetesses, and apostles stand up and reclaim their God-given place in leadership.