Women Pastors?

By Shannon O'Dell / Posted on 22 February 2009

msmoonarmstrong2Why is it that we have Lottie Moon, Annie Armstrong, Dixie Jackson in SBC life, but we don’t use women in ministry as pastors? I am not saying as senior pastors, but as leaders and pastors in our churches? We commission and send them all over the world as missionaries to lead children, villages, college ministries, and orphanages. I am just a young pastor with passion, but I believe The Scriptures teach that women are to be respected as church leaders. In churches we let women pastor children, lead worship, sing solos, answer the phones, direct hospitality and more. I believe God wants to use women in a big way in His Church. Again, not as senior pastors, but as pastors and teachers under the submission and leadership of their husbands.

Look at this passage:

Romans 16: 1 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant[a] of the church in Cenchrea. 2 I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me. 3 Greet Priscilla[b] and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. 4 They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them. 5 Greet also the church that meets at their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia. 6 Greet Mary, who worked very hard for you. 7 Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was. 8 Greet Ampliatus, whom I love in the Lord. 9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys. 10 Greet Apelles, tested and approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus. 11 Greet Herodion, my relative. Greet those in the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord. 12 Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard in the Lord. Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord. 13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too. 14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the brothers with them. 15 Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas and all the saints with them. 16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings.

Paul commended so many women in this passage as key church leaders. Phoebe was a deaconess (servant).
At Brand New Church we just hired our first female campus administrator (pastor) and I believe God is now allowing unbelievable gifts to flow from her to impact His Kingdom. I believe it will and has inspired young women to utilize the gift of pastor in their lives. The spiritual gift of pastor is not gender sensitive.

Let me know what you think about this? Look forward to your comments.





There are 65 Comments about this post

  1. Skipper says,

    As long as she are under the authority and submission of her husband or father (in the case of a single woman) as well as the authority of a senior pastor.

    In our case (BNC) I think the leadership our campus pastor in Bergman has brought to the table is an ideal situation…AND she would faint if she knew we were comparing her to Lottie Moon or even Phoebe. But the comparison is excellent!

    I want MY Lydia to live the life of Lydia in scripture, opening up entire continents to the Gospel!


    on 22 February 2009 / 4:43 PM

  2. Shannon says,

    I am a minister and have two daughters and if they felt God was calling them to be a pastor in the local church, I would be tell them to pursue that with passion. There are some women who could do a much better job as a pastor than some men I know.


    on 22 February 2009 / 5:23 PM

    • sandra says,

      Women can be senior pastors as well. Every believer should read Lee Grady’s book The Ten Lies The Church Tells About Women. There’s a lot of ignorance in the church regarding this subject which is stupidity.


      on 26 July 2012 / 2:50 AM

  3. Skipper says,

    I do know English….as long as she IS (not are)


    on 22 February 2009 / 7:11 PM

  4. Fredi says,

    I tell my little girls God has an amazing task for you, when i say this my six year old replied, papa I want to tell people about God and I reply mija if that’s what you feel that God is telling you so be it go ahead and follow it with all your heart. So yes I believe that a woman can be a pastor..


    on 22 February 2009 / 10:14 PM

  5. Michael says,

    I’m not trying to be devil’s advocate here, but for starters, Lottie Moon & Annie Armstrong were missionaries. Secondly, these Scriptures you used say nothing about these women being pastors, it says they were servants in the local church, says they “worked very hard in the Lord”. Also, as stated earlier to me on Facebook Shannon, you said that the scripture I used to support women being silent in the church, well, you said you just don’t believe that anymore than “greet one another with a holy kiss”. If you will notice with me, the very last verse to back up your philosophy on this blog is exactly that, “Greet one another with a holy kiss”…how do you explain that? Are we allowed to pick and choose what we use to back up our beliefs and discard those that don’t line up with our agenda? If you honestly believe this passage is supporting women pastors, then you should also “greet one another with a holy kiss” as well. ;)


    on 23 February 2009 / 8:19 AM

  6. Phillip says,

    Under the correct authority, there is no place in the Scriptures that prohibits a woman from serving a pastor role.


    on 23 February 2009 / 9:08 AM

    • R.W. says,

      How’s this for authority—1Tim 3:2-5 A bishop then must be blameless, THE HUSBAND OF ONE WIFE, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)——-a pastor is a MAN! not a woman. the ending of that passage asks that the pastor should have rule in the home. THAT’S THE MAN, not the wife. God has not, does not, and will not call women to lead churches as pastors. FALSE DOCTRINE!


      on 13 March 2009 / 6:04 PM

      • R.W. thank you for participating in our small part of the blogosphere. I never stated women “bishop” or “overseer”(episkopos), but pastor (poimen) shepherd. I agree with the inerrant, flawless Word of God found in your reference to 1 Timothy 3. Refer again to the original blog. I thought you were legalistic, but I am glad to see that you are not. I don’t recall the New Testament using use a “worldly” tool like the internet to get your derogatory comments out. Keep your “half truth” comments coming…I love it!!


        on 13 March 2009 / 7:46 PM

      • Michael says,

        Hmmmm, wasn’t there a comment here? Where did it go???


        on 13 March 2009 / 8:30 PM

      • Pastor Greg says,

        The “husband of one wife” argument really misses the point. If you take that literally, no single or widowed men could serve as pastors. Galatians 3 puts us all firmly as sons of God with no distinction between male and female (language of Genesis). Women should not be restricted or limited at all in the offices of the church.

        Galatians 3:26-28 ( NRSV )
        for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.
        As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
        There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.


        on 05 December 2011 / 10:44 AM

      • Scott says,

        RW if qualification to be a Pastor is the issue then if we looked at 95% of Pastors and ask all these questions that Paul was directing to the church Timothy was leading most pastors would be unqualified. Have his house in order will dis qualify most of them. Not a lover of money would kick a lot out. I say this, If God calls you who is anyone else to tell you He didn’t. Theology or not I believe that we all carry a responsibility to God for what He leads us to do and if we don’t do it because someone else says that’s not theologically correct, We not them pay the price to God..


        on 23 June 2013 / 6:39 PM

  7. Laurie says,

    I think it is great to have an option. Some may be more comfortable with a woman than a man & now there is a choice. A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, & let her works bring her praise @ the city gate. Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life & imitate their faith.


    on 23 February 2009 / 6:33 PM

  8. Lindsay says,

    I think that everyone should stop trying to argue about anything that seems different to them! I grew up always hearing that a women wasn’t supposed to be a pastor. I didn’t neccessarily believe that. Then my friend, who is female, and who is also 16 years old started preaching at her church. A LOT of people were and still are talking about how she is not doing a good thing. I was a little ify at the beginning, but then I heard her preach. She helped me out a lot and she is very sincere! She is also a lot better than several male preachers I’ve heard! The bible talks about everyone having gifts and to follow what God is leading you to do. If a woman feels as if she is being lead to preach, she should probably do it!!


    on 24 February 2009 / 8:49 AM

  9. Michael says,

    There is perhaps no more debated issue in the church today than the issue of women serving as pastors / preachers in ministry. As a result, it is very important to not view this issue as men versus women. There are women who believe that women should not serve as pastors and that the Bible places restrictions on the ministry of women, and there are men who believe women can serve as preachers and that there are no restrictions on women in ministry. This is not an issue of chauvinism or discrimination. It is an issue of biblical interpretation.

    1 Timothy 2:11-12 proclaims, “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.” In the church, God assigns different roles to men and women. This is a result of the way mankind was created and the way in which sin entered the world (2 Timothy 2:13-14). God, through the Apostle Paul’s writing, restricts women from serving in roles of teaching and/or spiritual authority over men. This precludes women from serving as pastors, which definitely includes preaching to, teaching, and having spiritual authority over men.

    There are many “objections” to this view of women in ministry / women pastors. A common one is that Paul restricts women from teaching because in the first century, women were typically uneducated. However, 1 Timothy 2:11-14 nowhere mentions educational status. If education was a qualification for ministry, the majority of Jesus’ disciples would not have been qualified. A second common objection is that Paul only restricted the women of Ephesus from teaching (1 Timothy was written to Timothy, who was the pastor of the church in Ephesus). The city of Ephesus was known for its temple to Artemis, a false Greek / Roman goddess. Women were the authority in the worship of Artemis. However, the book of 1 Timothy nowhere mentions Artemis, nor does Paul mention Artemis worship as a reason for the restrictions in 1 Timothy 2:11-12.

    A third common objection is that Paul is only referring to husbands and wives, not men and women in general. The Greek words in the passage could refer to husbands and wives. However, the basic meaning of the words refers to men and women. Further, the same Greek words are used in verses 8-10. Are only husbands to lift up holy hands in prayer without anger and disputing (verse 8)? Are only wives to dress modestly, have good deeds, and worship God (verses 9-10)? Of course not. Verses 8-10 clearly refer to all men and women, not only husbands and wives. There is nothing in the context that would indicate a switch to husbands and wives in verses 11-14.

    Yet another frequent objection to this interpretation of women pastors / preachers is in relation to women who held positions of leadership in the Bible, specifically Miriam, Deborah, Huldah in the Old Testament and Priscilla, Phoebe in the New Testament. This objection fails to note some significant factors. In relation to Deborah, she was the only female judge amongst 13 male judges. In relation to Huldah, she was the only female prophet among dozens of male prophets mentioned in the Bible. Miriam’s only connection to leadership was due to her being the sister of Moses and Aaron. The two most prominent women in the times of the Kings were Athaliah and Jezebel – hardly examples of godly female leadership. Most significantly, though, the authority of women in the Old Testament is not relevant to the issue. The Book of 1 Timothy and the other Pastoral Epistles presents a new paradigm for the Church, the body of Christ, and that paradigm involves the authority structure for the Church, not for the nation of Israel or any other Old Testament entity.

    In the Book of Acts, chapter 18, Priscilla and Aquila are presented as faithful ministers for Christ. Priscilla’s name is mentioned first, likely indicating that she was more “prominent” in ministry than her husband. However, Priscilla is nowhere described as participating in a ministry activity that is in contradiction to 1 Timothy 2:11-14. Priscilla and Aquila brought Apollos into their home and they both discipled him, explaining the Word of God to him more accurately (Acts 18:26).

    In Romans 16:1, even if Phoebe is considered a “deaconess” instead of a “servant,” that does not indicate that Phoebe was a teacher in the church. “Able to teach” is given as a qualification for elders, but not deacons (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:6-9). Elders / bishops / deacons are described as the “husband of one wife,” “a man whose children believe,” and “men worthy of respect.” Clearly the indication is that these qualifications refer to men. In addition, in 1 Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:6-9, masculine pronouns are used exclusively to refer to elders / bishops / deacons.

    The structure of 1 Timothy 2:11-14 makes the “reason” perfectly clear. Verse 13 begins with “for” and gives the “cause” of what Paul stated in verses 11-12. Why should women not teach or have authority over men? Because “Adam was created first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived.” That is the reason. God created Adam first and then created Eve to be a “helper” for Adam. This order of Creation has universal application in the family (Ephesians 5:22-33) and the church. The fact that Eve was deceived is also given as a reason for women not serving as pastors or having spiritual authority over men. This leads some to believe that women should not teach because they are more easily deceived. That concept is debatable, but if women are more easily deceived, why should they be allowed to teach children (who are easily deceived) and other women (who are supposedly more easily deceived)? That is not what the text says. Women are not to teach men or have spiritual authority over men because Eve was deceived. As a result, God has given men the primary teaching authority in the church.

    Women excel in gifts of hospitality, mercy, teaching and helps. Much of the ministry of the church depends on women. Women in the church are not restricted to public praying or prophesying (1 Corinthians 11:5), only to having spiritual teaching authority over men. The Bible nowhere restricts women from exercising the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12). Women, just as much as men, are called to minister to others, to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), and to proclaim the Gospel to the lost (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 1 Peter 3:15).

    God has ordained that only men are to serve in positions of spiritual teaching authority in the church. This is not because men are necessarily better teachers, or because women are inferior or less intelligent (which is not the case). It is simply the way God designed the church to function. Men are to set the example in spiritual leadership—in their lives and through their words. Women are to take a less authoritative role. Women are encouraged to teach other women (Titus 2:3-5). The Bible also does not restrict women from teaching children. The only activity women are restricted from is teaching men or having spiritual authority over them. This logically would include women serving as pastors / preachers. This does not make women less important, by any means, but rather gives them a ministry focus more in agreement with how God has gifted them.


    on 24 February 2009 / 2:15 PM

  10. Lindsay says,

    I just don’t feel as it’s my place or anyone else’s for that matter to say they know something is 100% right or wrong. If someone feels as if they honestly are doing the right thing and doing what God wants them to do, then HAVE AT IT. As Christians we should stop trying to critizie everone ele’s life. Our number one priority should be to get the lost found! So instead of typing out 12 pages of versus, we should be trying to reach someone around us.


    on 24 February 2009 / 8:34 PM

  11. Michael says,

    Oh, I didn’t type it out, I cut and pasted it, and it speaks truth for itself. ;) It’s amazing to me how everyone is avoiding the topic at hand, and not willing to open the Bible to see what God says on the subject. Instead, the “opinions” on here say if someone “FEELS” they should do this, then they should do it. Obviously, your Christianity is based on feelings, and not the Word of God. So, maybe you should stop being critical because there are “12 pages of verses” on here, and open the Bible and see what GOD has to say about it and not what you FEEL it should say….


    on 25 February 2009 / 7:42 AM

  12. Lindsay says,

    Well I’m not going off just my opinion. I have actually already looked at most of those exact versus that are discussing this topic. I’m sorry if I upset you. I don’t feel as if anyone has avioded this topic, we’ve just been giving our thoughts. You are right, this is a very debated topic. I just think that if a person is helping others live a better life and leading them to find Christ, (whether it be male or female) then they are doing a good thing. That is just how I feel, not how everyone has to feel. Different people believe different things. But like I said before, my intentions were not to upset you.


    on 25 February 2009 / 8:26 AM

  13. Michael says,

    Right, you’ve been giving your thoughts, and haven’t backed them up by any Scripture. Bottom line. I am not upset, just trying to point out that no Scripture has been given to back up any “thoughts” and “feelings” on the women pastor issue. And, until Scripture is used to back up another viewpoint, I’ll keep standing on my beliefs that Scripture clearly says a woman is not to pastor. I don’t believe a Christian woman would be “called” to pastor because God would not “call” a person to do something that goes against what His Word says. So, if a woman “feels” called to pastor, I would question who “called” her in the first place.


    on 25 February 2009 / 9:32 AM

  14. Michael says,

    My husband pointed out that I should probably let everyone know I am a woman that is commenting under his name. Just so you know you aren’t debating a male on the issue. ;)


    on 25 February 2009 / 9:40 AM

    • Does every women here wear a head covering? Has anyone here cut there hair recently?


      on 25 February 2009 / 1:00 PM

  15. Michael says,

    1 Corinthians 11:14-15 says: “Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him? But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a COVERING”.

    This verse specifically says her hair is given to her for a covering. So, I guess I do wear a head covering, it is my hair, and yes, I’ve had it trimmed recently. But, it’s still longer than my husband’s hair! :o )

    I don’t see how this relates to women pastors?


    on 25 February 2009 / 1:46 PM

  16. My point in asking the question is that many passages of scripture are not being practiced in the local church that were important in the early church. Do you greet one another with a holy kiss? In my blog I referenced a powerful passage of scripture that referred to women as servants (deacons), leaders and apostles. Romans 12 and 1 Cor. 12 discuss the gift of pastor and it is not gender sensitive. I let a woman that pastors my 7 year old every weekend at my church. Miriam, Deborah, Huldah all held positions of leadership in the Scriptures. My point is that women, under the leadership of their husband and/or supervisor can pastor with God given effectiveness. Don’t misinterpret pastor as teacher…I am saying pastor.


    on 25 February 2009 / 3:13 PM

    • R.W. says,

      tradition and custom of the day, not a commandment. as a pastor I would hope you knew that.


      on 13 March 2009 / 6:09 PM

  17. winston says,

    Great debate and everyone will give an account for your motives, opinions, and what you say!


    on 25 February 2009 / 4:44 PM

  18. winston says,

    P.S. You wouldn’t be doing what your doing (it’s already been done by the way) if it wasn’t for “rural” mentality!


    on 25 February 2009 / 4:46 PM

  19. Michael says,

    Shannon, just to clarify, are you saying that you believe women are free to “pastor” from the pulpit in front of a male/female congregation as long as she is under her husband’s authority?

    And what is “rural” mentality?


    on 25 February 2009 / 5:20 PM

  20. No…read my original statement and you will see that is not my exegesis.


    on 25 February 2009 / 9:26 PM

  21. Michael says,

    I have read it through several times, and you have said “not as senior pastors, but as pastors and teachers”. The senior pastor is the overseer of the church (such as yourself) and that position is reserved for a man only. I would think that any other leadership position in the church would be described as teacher, not pastor. But, this is probably all the result of different Bible translations in which mine does not say “pastor” is a spiritual gift and yours does. So, my conclusion is that you do not believe women should be senior pastors, but women can be teachers in the church. You are just using the word “pastor” instead of teacher? Terminology is everything. I’ve been worried you had gone off the deep end there Shannon….;)

    Oh, as far as the “greet one another with a holy kiss” statement, that was a cultural greeting of that day IN that particular culture. The women pastoring issue, is a DOCTRINAL issue. There is a difference in between the two arguments, and that is the reason why we do not “greet one another with a holy kiss”. “Culturally” we have never greeted in that manner in the United States.


    on 26 February 2009 / 7:27 AM

  22. Carrie Martin says,

    I was licensed as a minister 40 days prior to my mother passing away. When I gave my sermon she was there. I did the service at her funeral and her grave site and performed the ceremony for my brother’s marriage. I have the gifts of service and exortation and my “ministry” is discipleship. I am not called to be a pastor but women can hold rolls of that nature (the gospel according to CJ) if the Lord sees fit to place them in it. Can a women witness to a man who needs to be saved? Yes, and that is what the main roll of the pastor is I believe, bringing lost souls to Christ and helping them to stay committed to His will for their lives. We have been forgiven of the “sin of Eve”. “Therefore, there is NOW no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus because we are set free from the law of sin and death.” I will always take the path Christ has for me and the ministry He has planned for my life. Never question the ways and means our Lord has to save the lost and disciple the saints. I take what the word has to say about men and women but I also read the fine print, where was Paul when he gave these guidelines, who was he talking to, what was the mode of the day in those times? Christ Forgives, He Heals, He Makes New, He Doesn’t Need Us To Bring People To Him. He allows us to participate in His work to grow us in faith and committment we need to serve Him as He wants us to. A woman pastor, a woman leader, a woman teacher? Let God be praised and the enemy be scattered if this conflict continues and causes women to fall away from the truth of their calling in His plan for all women.
    BNC is the place to receive the Word Of God in truth. You will grow there and be used in what the Lord wants for you. I have only been to one service and felt the Spirit there.
    Pray about His will for your life. He still answers prayer.


    on 27 February 2009 / 11:12 AM

  23. J says,

    “God wants to use women… as pastors and teachers under the submission and leadership of their husbands.”

    Shannon, would you be willing to clarify your statement for me? Is this actually a discussion hung up on semantics, such as applying the word “pastor” to a woman teaching women and children, or are you advocating placing a woman as a teacher over men? Or is it, they can teach men if they are under a “senior pastor”?


    on 28 February 2009 / 10:52 PM

    • William says,

      It’s interesting to note also that this blog completely contradicts the blog Shannon wrote 2 days ago titled “No One Teaches This”…in which he gave the qualifications of a staff member & pastor. #1 was “One Wife”….which restrict such positions (pastor included) to a man. Check it out…


      on 01 March 2009 / 7:42 AM

      • Shannon O'Dell says,

        Thanks for the reply William…! Tim 3 is talking about overseers (Senior Pastors) and I was talking about eph. 4:11 the gift of pastor being used in the church. Hope that helps!

        Love this discussion!!


        on 01 March 2009 / 8:03 AM

  24. Crissy says,

    I say… let ‘em preach (:
    It feels odd to me when I hear a women preach, however… I don’t see evidence in scripture that alludes to women ONLY preaching to women… There are many gifted women speakers/preachers and if they are preaching the word of God and living it out in their life… who am I to say, based on ‘my interpretation’ or others ‘interpretation’ of scripture that they should not declare the truths of our Lord?

    It seems quite odd that men are ‘just handed this role,’ automatically. I know many (like you said) men that are in the role of pastor, but, would be better at something else. Anything else.

    I think that within our spiritual mind there is the ability to render an individual capable of declaring God’s truth… whether they are doing it from a pulpit, or their backyard, whether man, or women, young or old, black or white, rich or poor. The problem I have is with my flesh… it makes me ‘uncomfortable,’ yet, when did Christ preach comfort?


    on 01 March 2009 / 7:39 AM

  25. Missy says,

    You need to remember, there is a difference between a pastor and a preacher. A preacher stands up and speaks to people as a group. A pastor is in charge of making decisions about the church and counseling people.Pastoring and preaching are two different things. Some people are excellent evangelists, but not good pastors. (I don’t know anything about your BNC pastors abilities to pastor. I don’t attend BNC.)
    If you want to look up scriptures on it a woman’s place in the church, I’m not a “King James only” person, but you might want to be sure that the translation you are reading is an accurate one. There are some out there that do change the original meaning of scriptures. Just, be aware of that. Read 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy and pray about it before and after you read it. Compare different translations. Ask God to reveal His truth to you. It would be a good idea before choosing which translation to read, also. Pray and ask God if this is accurate. Be sure your spirit and not your carnal mind is leading you.
    In Isaiah 3:12 it says, “As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they whick lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.”
    Read the whole chapter. It gives us ALOT to think about. I think of women trying to control everyone and rebellious children when I read that. Doesn’t that remind us of today’s society? It isn’t that women are bad or ignorant. I just think things are out of balance with people not fullfilling the roles God has given them. Today, people are told you can have it all, do it all, and be it all. That just simply isn’t true. You can be anything God wants you to be and be happy and successful in that. You CAN be anything, but if it isn’t in God’s plan, you will not be happy or successful.
    Sometimes people see an attack from the enemy as a sign that they are out of God’s will. Other times, people are out of God’s will and want to call it an attack of the enemy. You have to be seeking God’s will and not your own to tell the difference. Often, God’s will isn’t the popular thing to do. But, who do we want to please? God or people?


    on 01 March 2009 / 12:27 PM

  26. Missy says,

    I just wanted to clear up something. I’m not against listening to women preachers. My husband and I listen to them often. I LOVE to listen to Joyce Meyers, Beth Moore, and many others, as does he.
    As for having a female pastor being okay with God, you must study the Word and decide for yourselves. If you don’t feel that having a female pastor is scriptural, don’t do it. There are many churches with male pastors and this is a free country. If you are against it and feel that you have “given too much of your time and money to this church” to leave it or to have things not going your way, you have bigger problems than a female pastor leading you. That is a heart condition. You didn’t “GIVE” anything, and you certainly didn’t give it to God. Giving with strings attatched isn’t giving, it is blackmail and bondage. You are supposed to “freely give”. God knows your heart. If you gave “as unto the Lord”, don’t keep holding on to it. It’s not your’s anymore and you need to trust Him. It is all His, anyway. He only asks for 10% to take care of His earthly kingdom works and lets you keep 90%. Who else would give you that kind of deal? I’m not trying to “teach” anyone here, just sharing my thoughts. Personally, I’m more comfortable with a male pastor, but if my church gets a female pastor, I’m uncomfortable with it, and I seek God about it, then feel strongly it is unscriptural, I’m free to go elsewhere. What money or time I gave where I’m at, I GAVE freely. There isn’t much time left and definately not enough for splitting hairs and definately not splitting churches. We need to quit debating and get to dicipling. Go where you are happy and get busy. If you aren’t happy anywhere, the problem could be you, not the churches.


    on 01 March 2009 / 4:32 PM

    • William says,

      Where in the New Testament does God specifically ask for 10% of our money and he lets us keep 90%?


      on 08 March 2009 / 2:06 PM

      • It doesn’t it says to give 100% (Acts 2:45)…I go old school and start with the tithe.


        on 09 March 2009 / 8:53 AM

      • William says,

        Whatever we give, we are to give it cheerfully. It doesn’t specifically say 10% of our money…remember the widow that gave all she had? A tithe could be our $, our time, our talents, our food, etc. Whatever we are led to give, in whatever quantity we are led to give it. :o )


        on 09 March 2009 / 9:25 AM

  27. Thomas says,

    I am glad I belong to a denomination that does not discriminate against women. Yes they can be senior pastors. They are under God’s authority. You got to remember that when these scriptures were written, women were treated like livestock not equal with men. It is still putting God in a box by stating who we think God can use or who is worthy to serve. No one is worthy. White, black, male, female, gay or straight, God has an amazing imagination and can use anyone to further his message. If you go back to the original text Yahweh (God) has no gender.


    on 02 March 2009 / 9:20 AM

  28. Anthony says,

    Shannon, I have watched your sermons and noticed that you use the NIV to preach from. I’m I correct?
    The reason I ask is because the NIV leaves out many verses and many parts of verses. The NIV tells that JESUS was not born of a virgin and not GOD in the flesh. Can you enlighten me if I am wrong.


    on 03 March 2009 / 7:41 AM

  29. Crissy says,

    by the way shannon…
    I love that you brought this topic up… please e-mail me the insights you gathered from the previous comments after you wrote the blog…

    I love all of you and even though our opinions may differ I think it is important to still uphold each other with respect and love…

    remember, the world will know Him through the love that we express with each other…


    on 03 March 2009 / 12:38 PM

  30. Barry says,

    Word for William.

    Matthew 23:23, Jesus states that the Pharisees were concerned about living up to the law, but have neglected issues of justice, mercy and faithfulness — then states that they should have practiced these things with out neglecting the tithe. In this scripture alone, Jesus validates the necessity of the tithe.

    Yet, I believe that the arguement is irrelevant. If one is concerned about ‘if he should pay the tithe or not,’ he has missed the entire concept of what the tithe is. The joy is in the giving! We should not be stingy with God’s 100%. God owns it all. We are merely custodians. Be a good one.


    on 09 March 2009 / 1:48 PM

    • William says,

      I never questioned whether we should pay the tithe or not, I just don’t believe it’s limited to 10% of our money, that’s why I mentioned the widow that gave 2 mites, it’s all she had and it was her attitude that made it meaningful. Also, Christ specifically said in the verse you used (Matt. 23:23) that the Pharisees paid tithe of mint, anise, and cummin, which are herbs, not money. (also see Luke 11:42) So, like I said before, a tithe could be our $, our time, our talents, our food, etc… Whatever we are led to give, in whatever quantity we are led to give it.


      on 09 March 2009 / 3:58 PM

      • Barry says,

        Whatever quantity– above the tithe. The tithe is the beginning. The offering is the blessing.


        on 09 March 2009 / 4:59 PM

      • William says,

        I did not say we should tithe less than 10% Barry, I said I don’t think it’s limited to just 10% and then used the example of the widow that gave ALL she had…what point are you trying to get across?


        on 09 March 2009 / 5:25 PM

  31. D says,

    Go God! This comment reading is GREAT!


    on 09 March 2009 / 8:25 PM

  32. Amy says,

    How do you get around the “husband of one wife” requirement? Or do you promote homosexuality also?


    on 09 March 2009 / 9:20 PM

    • Thanks for the comment Amy…as previously mentioned we are not talking “overseer” or Senior Pastor, but utilizing their giftedness as pastor.


      on 10 March 2009 / 6:16 AM

  33. Brian says,

    I absolutely disagree with your entire premise. Women have a HUGE role in the life of the church and should be respected as members, leaders, etc. BUT, they should not be pastors/elders. Period. End of discussion. Anything else is extra-biblical. I think that women as “staff” is much different than women as “pastor”. Perhaps I should sit on that and pray about that more, but that’s where I start anyhow.

    The letter to Titus tells us that older women are to teach the younger, so, yes – women are given such gifts, but they are not to lead the church. This should NOT be derrogatory – it’s just that God has created us differently for different purposes.

    It saddens me that this argument is thought of as “modern” and “progressive”. I ask you to spend further time in prayer on this issue.


    on 10 March 2009 / 5:05 PM

    • R.W. says,

      that’s the most sense on here yet. thank you, brother.


      on 13 March 2009 / 6:11 PM

  34. Craig says,


    i am so freakin sick of that phrase.


    on 13 March 2009 / 2:03 AM

    • Michael says,

      Calm down man! It’s only a figure of speech.


      on 13 March 2009 / 6:39 AM

  35. Dawn says,

    I am a female lay pastor. It’s a calling, and I’m following. I’ve studied the same passages, and I just don’t see it as being fruitful to debate it. Let’s just show charity to one another. We all have different perspectives. And, that’s OK. I’m quite certain that my grace- and love-filled Jesus wants ALL of us (female and male, alike) to help show his love to the rest of this world. His grace covers all. So, for me, the argument really isn’t worth it. Do you love the Lord God with all of your being? Do you love others as you love yourself? Do you believe God sent Jesus as a living sacrifice for your sins? That is what is important. Doesn’t matter who is right. We all have grace.


    on 26 January 2010 / 10:50 AM

    • David says,

      Go for it Dawn… I have a woman pastor. , and she is awesome.
      Everybody; counselors, ministers, people on the street, could tell you that women are the best listeners. I do believe that God calls women to pastor… The organization that I’m a member of allow Women Pastors, because they know that God uses different people for different things. I believe if a woman was called to Preach, then she has the same ability to PASTOR. My pastor prays to and worships the same God I do. She preaches the same word of God that I do. We spend way too much time trying to pick apart the Bible. There are souls that need to be saved!!!


      on 18 January 2011 / 3:44 PM

  36. Steve says,

    As I read the exegesis of those who want to keep women out of ministry, I wonder if they use the same exegesis when it comes to slavery? If so, then slavery is Biblically appropriate.
    I come from an evangelical Bible-believing church that has long held that in the church era the Holy Spirit has been poured out on ALL flesh, and that our sons and daughters will prophesy. That in the church there is neither male nor female.
    That the Apostle Paul, just like he does with slavery, made concessions for the cultural norms of his day, but that in practice he lived by Galatians 3:28. For example, he listed Priscilla before Aquila in some of his writings and says that they taught Appolos. In Romans 16 he not only says that Pheobe is a deacon, and tells the Romans to do what she ask them to do, but he also list Junia as an apostle.
    I have a hard time believing that you can take a few verses and make them the final authority over all other texts. The whole of Scripture must be seen as authoritative. If that were not true then I would be forced to say that based on Timothy 2 that women cannot teach or have authority over a man and that women can only be saved through child birth. In other words, it is by works that women are saved, it is only men that are saved by grace. After all, the “you” in Ephesians 2:9 is in the masculine.


    on 10 February 2011 / 2:21 PM

  37. Tami says,

    If anyone went back to the Greek they would find that the gender for the word “overseer” in 1 Tim. 3:1 is feminine and in verse 2 it is masculine. So what does that imply?


    on 05 May 2011 / 6:10 PM

    • When speaking to the singular it is feminine…when speaking to the general (total) it is masculine.


      on 08 May 2011 / 5:47 PM

  38. k says,

    I’m a little surprised that no one mentioned that Philip had four daughters that prophesied and that they were virgins, obviously not under a husband’s authority. (Acts 21:8-9) I know that doesn’t speak specifically to the “pastor” issue, but just thought in light of many of the comments, it does have relevance. Very good discussion and comments. May God give us wisdom that “is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” (James 3:17)


    on 13 July 2011 / 1:21 PM

  39. Dayna Winke says,

    I was just reading your book and enjoyed it very much until you started requiring men to lead above women. My husband has been the bread winner until I became ordained. We have a grace filled marriage. We are equals. I know that God has truly called me. I have always been the senior pastor. I can no longer read your book and that makes me very sad. I am in rural ministry.


    on 26 August 2011 / 10:26 PM

  40. Bryan Hall says,

    Just wonder how a woman can be the husband of one wife? God’s qualification for a bishop.


    on 20 November 2011 / 10:52 PM

    • Exactly..women are not called to be bishops.


      on 22 November 2011 / 9:58 AM

  41. Everybody always wants to put women “under” a man. It’s a shame to realize how many people still do — when God never did in the Garden. Adam and Eve, what has been termed A Blessed Alliance, were both given the same assignment: take the garden part of the world to the rest of the globe. It was only after sin entered the picture that the relationship and structure changed – but then Jesus came and have many women disciples (leaders) who financed his trips, started house churches, and led or co-led the group. The traditions of men always hold us back from all of God’s word. And I realize this is a simplified comment, but a deep look into the original texts is quite eye opening. Thanks for posting!


    on 31 March 2012 / 1:32 PM

  42. Sue Bartholomew says,

    I have seen so many spiritfilled women sit silent in the church.These women were on fire for Christ but was not allowed to use it.We sat while men preached and their sermon’s were so dry you could almost see dust flying out of their mouth.Everyone left untouched and unchanged but we were bibically correct.
    So glad to see your stand on this subject .If there is to be a spiritual awakening the women will have to be involved in a leadership role(too many men sit idle). Praise our Mighty God


    on 23 July 2012 / 7:09 AM


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