I just listened to a recording of a well-presented sermon from a denominational leader making the case that women should be ordained. His argument was based on the many examples of women actively teaching, preaching, or prophesying. For example:
– Philip’s four daughters (Acts 21)
– Priscilla and Aquilla (Acts 18)
– The woman at the well (John 4)
– Mary Magdalene after the resurrection (Matthew 28, Luke 24, John 20)
I won’t comment on this approach because I think it’s the wrong issue. If the question is, “Should women be in ministry?” the answer is a resounding yes, of course. So should men, and old people, and young people, and people of all nationalities, races, and ethnicities. Note that in Acts 2.3, 4, the Holy Spirit came upon “each one of them.” In Acts 4.31, “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the Word of God with boldness.” (See my blog from January 2015.)
Churches give far too much attention to ordaining people as pastors and missionaries (church-paid workers) and far too little attention (almost always no attention) to ordaining people for their ministry in everyday life.
As one person said, “I spend an hour a week teaching Sunday school and they haul me up to the front of the church to pray for me. The rest of the week I’m a full-time teacher and the church has never prayed for me. That says it all.”
This glaring omission is well-articulated by Mark Greene (whose pamphlet The Great Divide contains the above quote) and Neil Hudson of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity. I strongly recommend Neil’s book Imagine Church, available on Kindle and in paperback from The Vere Institute. Mark Greene’s The Great Divide is also available from The Vere Institute. My book, Join the Adventure! has suggestions to get you started. Click on the Join the Adventure tab above.