A surprising number of people are suspicious of women's ministries. They say they're prone to error, lacking the covering of male headship, and that their position in Christianity is dubious. The implication is that women in ministry should be approached with caution.
The year was between 26 and 30 C.E. Jesus was well into His ministry, and there were women who followed Him.
They paid for things pertaining to His ministry out of their own pockets. The scriptures do not record Jesus having a problem with it. Luke 8:1-3 says:
Soon afterwards, He began going around from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God. The twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who were contributing to their support out of their private means.
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Imagine if a well-known preacher had a throng of women following him and playing a supporting role. Imagine for a minute what a scandal would erupt. Perhaps it did in Jesus's time.
Imagine the role of the modern-day woman at the well. She hears the gospel, and she goes and tells the men, and they believe. She isn't afraid to have a conversation with them. They aren't afraid to have a conversation with her. She isn't trying to seduce them. She is trying to save their souls. And she succeeds. Imagine if that happened today.
Ministry can take on different roles. It can look like the Samaritan woman who preaches the gospel. It can look like the women supporting Jesus's ministry. It can look like Priscilla who, with Aquila, explains more fully the scriptures to Apollo the Jew. This same Priscilla is described as a fellow worker in the Lord.
It can look like the woman with the alabaster box who broke it and poured the expensive ointment, pure Nard, on Jesus to prepare Him for His burial.
It can look like Martha who served the Lord when He stayed in her home.
It can look like the women who went to the grave to anoint Jesus after He had been buried.
It can look like those same women running and telling the men that He had risen.
It can look like the women following the admonition in Titus 2 to be teachers of the younger women.
It can be those using their gifts of hospitality and encouragement.
It can be those who, in Psalm 68:11, are described as a great army of women telling the good news.
It can be those with musical gifts like Miriam with her tambourine and singing.
It can be those like Dorcas who made things for other people.
It can be like Mary who ministered to the Son of God through motherhood.
All this is not to say that a woman in ministry should not be subject to accountability or that she should be a pastor or a deacon (1 Tim 2:12, Titus 1:6). It is to say that the Bible is rife with women who prayed, preached, and were deeply involved in ministry.
These women rightly divided the word of truth, as we should do today. To imply that women in ministry somehow don't belong, are disobedient, or are meddlesome is, if nothing, insulting.
A world with women in ministry is not scary. To the contrary, I propose that it would be frightening if they were not.
Think a woman can't take an active role in her own life and pop the question? Think again!
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