In a Family and in a Community Men and Women Have Roles.
As I have mentioned (see Women in Ministry part 2), some believe that a woman’s opportunity to preside in leadership in the Christian community should be limited. For this reason, women have been kept out of the church board room, the elder-ship and the senior leadership team of local churches. The reasoning for this conduct, as I have mentioned, has been most typically supported by the writings of Paul, along with a historic and cultural backlog of this practice.I merit the idea that in order to understand a scriptural theme we should start at the very foundation. That is, the first time something is mentioned. The first time that The Lord gives a mandate to women is found in Genesis. It also happens to be the first time The Lord gives a mandate to men. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28) Over the years, I have heard many teachings that feature the Genesis account of creation in order to produce a commentary on the roles of men and women. Often, most highlighted, is the truth that Eve was made to help Adam. I have very much appreciated Stacy Eldredge’s writing on this particular subject.
She points out that, the Hebrew word for “helper” is also used to describe The Lord Himself as our very present “help” and our strong aid. This brings a new and important perspective on the subject of God’s design for women. I believe that The Lord made women to be strong; to stand alongside men and work with them in order to take dominion.
From My Experience
As Scott and I stand together in the challenges and opportunities of church leadership, we typically offer different perspectives on any given situation. When facing a problem, Scott may tend to be rational, seeing the practical solutions needed. I may be more cognizant of the the “feelings or needs” of the people, or sometimes the heart of The Lord. It is not always this way. However, we have seen that working together, in every instance brings a “completeness” to the governing process. That both of us, together (along with our leadership team) reflect the many facets of The Lord’s heart and mind.
A Matter of Comfort
Through the prophet Isaiah, The Lord states “As a mother comforts her child I shall comfort you and you shall be comforted…in Jerusalem.” Along these lines Jesus informs His disciples that after He departs He will send “the comforter” to them. In our family, I have noticed that when our little ones need comfort they tend to come to me. There is something unique about the comfort of a Mother. When a woman is healthy and able to express love, she is able to soothe and calm. The way she sounds and feels, her softness and her aroma reveals nurture. A mother can pour love into the heart of a child. In this way, I believe a woman reveals a facet of the heart and the ministry of The Lord toward His people. King David, the lion slayer, the bear fighter and giant defeater found His God to be a nurturer. He writes these words in Psalm 131:
“Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, Like a weaned child with his mother; Like a weaned child is my soul within me.”
As I read this psalm I can hear the heart of a powerful man who has entered into a tender experience with God. I believe that King David is expressing that there are times that He meets with God and it soothes Him so that he feels like a baby with his mother.
God’s Image Fully Revealed
As I read scripture, I see that God made men and women in His image. I understand that The Lord gave men and women a mandate to fulfill together. I observe The Lord talking of Himself as a Father and I see Him occasionally comparing His love for his people to that of a Mother. I notice men and women of God rising up and nurturing people with the expression of both a father’s and a mother’s love. I believe that a family thrives with both a Father and a Mother who are in good relationship with one another and who can stand in authority together. In the same way I believe that a healthy church should have Mothers and Fathers, male and female leaders in good relationship with one another. I believe that the nature of God as parent and as creator is expressed most accurately and fully as men and women standing in leadership together.
Stephanie Jones is the co-pastor here at New Day, alongside her husband Scott. With their 4 children, they moved from Michigan to Summerville to start New Day Community Church over 4 years ago. Stephanie has been radically impacted by the Father’s love and makes it her life’s mission to impart what she has with those around her – healing of the heart, hearing God’s voice, evangelism and flowing in the prophetic. You can listen to their sermons and read more about them on our main site: http://newdaychurchsc.com