WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP
What does The Journey believe about women teaching and leading?
There are multiple verses that have been debated over the years regarding women and their role within the church. After careful study and much prayer, we have come to the following conclusion. We feel confident in this foundational belief based on the fruit that we continue to see when men and women come together with their complimenting gifts to lead, teach, and empower the body of Christ.
1 Corinthians 14:35 If they (women) have any questions, they should ask their husbands at home, for it is improper for women to speak in church meetings.
In the original language the word for “speak” in this text is a word that means “conversation, being a chatter box”. In the church of Corinth women were experiencing their newfound freedom to learn in the same context as men but were taking that liberty too far and interrupting in order to ask questions. We believe the context of this verse is “If you have questions about anything you hear, ask your husband at home, don’t be a chatter box in church”.
The word “speak” used in this verse is different from the word Paul used three chapters earlier in 1 Corinthians 11:5 when he gave women freedom and direction to pray and prophesy.
Another verse that has been pivotal in establishing our beliefs is 1 Corinthians 11:3-5
But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is the same as having her head shaved.
This verse references covering. Covering is a picture of authority and this verse establishes what that structure looks like within the church. Christ is the head of the church, man is the head of the woman and under proper covering (authority) a woman can pray and she can prophesy.
1 Timothy 2:12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.
The phrase “to have authority over” in the original language means “to take what is not rightfully yours through teaching”. Women are not to take over, to be divisive or manipulative, or to become the final, authoritative voice in the church. When a woman teaches or leads it is to always be done under the authority of pastoral leadership.
God allows men and women to lead, each in their very own male and female way. The two compliment each other and we see in the creation account that the role of the man is the initiator. God revealed to him his purpose and plan, gave him a vision, and Eve came alongside him to help him accomplish it. They were partners.
It has been referenced that because of Eve being deceived in the garden, women are not allowed to teach or lead outside of leading or teaching women and children. We believe the church should be the place that displays the redemption of God’s plan and not dominated by what became reality as a result of sin. Because of this, we choose to look to God’s original design for men and women as his structure for the home and the church.