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There were many women in the Bible whom God put in positions of leadership. Contrary to popular belief, God used both men and women to represent him. The Old and New Testament supply evidence of this fact. God sometimes uses the weak things of this world to confound the wise. Let’s look at Corinthians 1:27:
Corinthians 1:27-For God has chosen the foolish things of this world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame things which are mighty; and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things which are, that no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God-and righteousness and sanctification and redemption-that it is written, HE WHO GLORIES LET HIM GLORY IN GOD.
God chooses who he pleases for ministry, judgement and leadership. Who are we to limit God? Many women have been hushed and restrained by their male counterparts in ministry. Or they have not been allowed to lead in the fullness of their calling. Even worst ,their calling is denied and quenched. Women must respect men but men must also respect women. It’s a two way street. We are to glorify God above each other. Whether male or female.
The family comes first, is the mantra we often hear. But the family comes first, for both male and female leaders and ministers. Being a mother and having family responsibilities is not an illness. Women can function as leaders and ministers of a church. Often men may neglect their families putting ministry first. Women can fall in that same pattern. To say that a woman must care for the family, so she can not be an ordained minister, is a mute point.
It’s important for both genders to be sure of their calling and proceed prayerfully with caution. The Lord is more than able to teach men and woman how to conduct a ministry or pastor a church, without disrupting family obligations.
Some women leaders of the Bible were married some were not. So no points can be made in this regard. Now to the topic of leaders, judges, ministers and apostles who were women. Let’s look at Judges 4:4:
Debra, PROPHETESS AND JUDGE OF ISRAEL
Judges 4:4-Now Debra a PROPHETESS, the WIFE of Lapidoth, was JUDGING Israel at that time. And she sat under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethal in the mountain of Ephraim. And the children of Israel came up to her for JUDGEMENT.
Judge and Prophetess Debra judged Israel for 40 years. During her 40 year appointment , Israel experienced peace. There were no scandals or moral controversies reported on her character. Judge Debra had many duties, including deciding controversies, giving verdicts and executing judgement.
Miriam the PROPHETESS
Exodus 15:20-Then Miriam the PROPHETESS, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.
PROPHETESS Miriam was the sister of Moses and Aaron. She was of the three tier leadership of Israel during their exodus from Egypt. When Miriam was a little girl, it was her bravery that saved baby Moses. If it were not for Miriam, Moses would not have been weaned, by his own mother, Jochebed in the house of Pharoah’s daughter.
The following women stood in the office of the PROPHET in the Bible:
The following women were either prophets or ministers of the New Testament:
Tabitha, also known as Dorcas-Phobe-Aqilla-Priscilla-Junia-Phillip had four daughters who were EVANGELISTS as well as PROPHETS.
A careful reading of the scriptures will reveal that God called and appointed women in ministry as well as men. Not only were they in ministry but Priscilla and Aquila had a church.
We must consider the words of men and compare them to what God actually did and who is definitely appointed throughout the history of the people of God. Then we can discern correctly on the issue of women leaders and pastors. The last word would have to be ,what God did , over what some, said he should do.
And let us not forget that Mary Magdalene was the first to see the risen Christ. She bought the “Good News” to the apostles. Mary Magdalene was the first EVANGELIST.
SPECIAL NOTE: The woman at the well would not be considered the first Evangelist. Mary Magdalene was the first person to announce the “RISEN” Christ. Hence, Mary Magdalene is considered by theologians to be the first evangelist.