Should Christian Women Lead?
SHOULD CHRISTIAN WOMEN LEAD?
Yes! You must! Every Christian should being saying to others with the Apostle Paul, “Follow me, as I follow Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1). All Christians, both men and women, are called to make disciples; to lead others into mature faith in Jesus by sharing the gospel, baptizing, and teaching God’s word (Matt. 28:19-20). Since 75% of the world is women and children, it is crucial for women to take the call to make disciples seriously. Women who lead others to Christ and make disciples are indispensable for the building up of Jesus’ church in the world.
THE BURDEN OF MEN
While all Christians are called to lead others to Christ, God has by design placed on men the primary burden of responsibility for leadership at home, in the church, and in culture at large. Men are called to set the pattern for God-glorifying spiritual life, and women are called to help and strengthen men for that work. We see this beginning in the garden when God called Adam to lead spiritually. This is why when Eve sinned in the garden, God called out Adam and held him primarily responsible (Gen. 3:9).
This pattern of men bearing primary responsibility for spiritual leadership carries on through redemptive history with the leadership of Israel by prophets, priests, and kings, the selection of only male Apostles by Jesus, and the call for male eldership in the church today (1 Tim. 3:1-7), as well as male headship in the home (Eph. 5:22-33).
That means if for some reason my wife is not growing spiritually, using her gifts to serve, and making disciples, God is holding me responsible for that, “Holland, why are you not setting a better example? Why are you not modeling a love for God’s word? Why are you not serving your wife better, and helping her grow in her gifts? Why are you not praying for her more? Why are you not cultivating a passion for prayer in your home? Why are you not sacrificially loving her in such a way that she feels encouraged to serve others?”
The call of Biblical manhood and spiritual eldership and headship is a big deal, and men must take it seriously.
THE HELP OF WOMEN
With this burden placed on men, God has also called women to help, and this is a massive calling. The call on women to help is needed and necessary, and is a call to image the Lord God himself who is “our helper” (Heb. 13:6). In marriage, husbands sacrificially love and serve their wives, and wives help their husbands lead in the home and in ministry. In the church, godly, qualified elders are called to sacrificially and lovingly shepherd the flock of God for holy, missional living, and both male and female members in the church are called to submit to their leadership and use their gifts to serve the church and reach the lost.
This means that while God calls for male eldership in the church, God also calls those elders to equip both men and women in the church for effective lives of ministry. The preaching of God’s word, and the spiritual oversight of the church is the burden God placed on male elders, for the sake of every member being built up to flourish under God in Christ (1 Tim. 3, Tit. 1, 1 Pet. 5). Where women are not shepherded and equipped for gospel ministry in their communities, the elders of that church are failing to lead as God has called them to. Elders are called to “equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Eph. 4:12).
“Where women are not shepherded and equipped for gospel ministry in their communities, the elders of that church are failing to lead as God has called them to.”
The mark of healthy male eldership in the church is healthy female disciples who are growing in their gifts and making more disciples for the glory of God. If there is any hope in reaching our communities with the gospel, and reaching the nations with the gospel, we need women who will lead others to Christ, make disciples, train up other women in God’s word, raise godly children, and help the godly men in their lives toÂ be loving, sacrificial, Christ-like leaders for the glory of God.