During a recent conversation with the superintendent of our district, he asked me a question I had never been asked before: “Is there anything that is keeping you from not living in God’s design for your life?”
It didn’t take much time for me to think of a response: “I feel held back from being able to lead effectively within my congregation.” The words stung when they spewed forth, as they were words I hadn’t voiced to many people, let alone a leader in the district where my husband is a pastor.
It can be hard for women to find appropriate places to use their leadership gifts within the congregation. While I’m well aware of the words Paul speaks to Timothy, “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" (1 Timothy 2:11-12), I also believe that women can use the gifts of leadership they have been given and still honor the meaning behind Paul’s words.
Here are eight ways the church can offer additional places for women to lead while still preserving the biblical idea of submission.
Photo Credit: Thinkstock/Jacob Ammentorp Lund