The question on whether women should be allowed to take the pastoral role is a controversial issue in the churches today. But a minister argued that though he acknowledges the importance of women in the world, the Bible assigns the leadership roles to men. The reason for such, he said, lies in God's design and not because they are better.
"Men are given the positions of pastors and elders because God gave them the role of leading and dying for their family and the church. I believe that Christ coming into the world as a man was strategic for this very reason: to lead, shepherd, and die for. It has nothing to do with the culture of Paul's day because the male/female role began at creation; it's not about 'better,' it's about design," Shane Idleman, founding pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship, wrote on Crosswalk.
God's Design For Women In The Church
Turning to the Scripture, Idleman shared three things about the gender issue.
First, God's design.
The LORD has assigned different roles for men and women according to their design but God made them to complement each other. Thus, no gender is better than the other.
"To reject these God-given differences can lead to an unbalanced view," the pastor contended.
Also read: God's Divine Design for Women
Next, servant leadership.
Idleman pointed out that while men are designed to lead, they are called "to the position of servant leadership and protector." Like a servant, men are expected to serve, as well as "to protect, lead, and guard the church."
Finally, men's leadership role is ordained by God.
The minister shared God's statement in Genesis 3:16, wherein He declared that a woman will be ruled by her husband. Idleman clarified, however, that this type of leadership should not be "domineering or abusive" but one that is "kind, gracious, and humble."
"Pastors are to serve those in church, not lord over them. God's design is not focused on 'better than' or 'superior' even though abuse has tarnished it," he continued.
The minister stressed that though the Bible mentions women such as Priscilla, Lydia and Deborah, their roles do not suggest that of a pastor or an elder.
"The terms for pastor, bishop, or overseer were not used to describe them," he stated.
Responsibilities Of Men and Women In The Church
Further, Idleman said that while Jesus did honor the dignity of women, he called for men such as Paul, Peter and John to lead the church. Women, on the other hand, can teach, organize and administrate in women and children ministries, as well as in other positions, but not in the masculine role as a pastor.
While church leadership is assigned to men, he encourages them to seek "wise advice" from women in decision making. Idleman revealed that he himself employs book editors who are all women whose advice he deems "priceless."
"Women are a true blessing to the church; the glue that keeps everything together. We would not survive or flourish without them," he noted.
In conclusion, the minister emphasized that his statement is not just an opinion or to simply promote male dominance but is based on the Bible's principles.
"Times change, but truth does not," Idleman declared.