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The Role of Women in the Church #13

Do they need to be ordained?


THE ROLE OF WOM EN IN THE CHURCH #13


Is Ordination Needed to Women's Ministry?

by Rosalie Haffner Lee

CHAPTER IX

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Rosalie Haffner Lee is currently serving on the pastoral staff of
the Hinsdale Seventh-day Adventist Church in Illinois. Since 1980
she has been teaching also part time at the North American
Evangelism Institute in Chicago. She conducts numerous training
programs and workshops for local churches and conferences.
Mrs. Lee has the distinction of being the first woman in the
Seventh-day Adventist Church to author an adult Sabbath School
quarterly, Songs of Experience (lessons from the Psalms), studied
during the third quarter of 1983. She also authored the
accompanying lesson helps book, "Let Me Tell You About My God."
She has contributed articles to Ministry, Adventist Review and
for eleven years edited Bible Instructor Exchange, a newsletter
for women in church ministry.
After graduating from Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska, with a
major in Religion, Mrs. Lee did graduate work at the University
of Nebraska and later at Andrews University. She has served the
Seventh-day Adventist Church with distinction as a Bible
Instructor in the Northern California Conference, as dean of
girls at Monterey Bay Academy in Central California and at Platte
Valley Academy in Nebraska. Subsequently she served as Pastoral
Assistant at the College View Seventh-day Adventist Church in
Lincoln, Nebraska, and at the Battle Creek Tabernacle in
Michigan.
She is married to Kenneth L. Lee who has served as a pastor in
the Chesapeake, Ohio and Michigan conferences. In 1984 she was
honored as Alumna of the Year by her alma mater, Southwestern
Adventist College.


IS ORDINATION NEEDED FOR WOMEN'S MINISTRY? 


     Much of the current discussion regarding the ordination of
women seems to assume that women cannot effectively serve their
church unless the hands of ordination have been laid upon them.
     Is this assumption correct? The purpose of this essay is to
answer this question in the light of my own personal convictions,
which I have developed over a period of thirty years while
serving as a woman in the ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist
Church.

1. Personal Experience


     My own ministry has been rich and fulfilling. I share my
testimony to the joys and rewards I have known in the ministry of
the church as a voice to represent many women of faith who have
made significant contributions to the upbuilding of God's kingdom
by serving in vital supportive roles.

My Calling to the Ministry. 

     My inclination to ministry began at the tender age of four
when, with an old trailer bed as my pulpit, I preached to the
chickens (and whoever else cared to listen) on my grandparents'
farm. Actually, my parents had dedicated me to serve the Lord as
a minister before I was born. If they were disappointed that
their firstborn was not a son, I never knew it. But the sense of
mission in and for the church followed me through childhood and
youth.
     At age twenty the call to church ministry became more
urgent. But how could I, a female, become part of it? I could not
be a minister's wife without an invitation, and no such prospects
loomed on my horizon at that time. I waited for the Lord to
reveal to me how I could fulfill His calling to church ministry.
     I also sought guidance from my counselors and leaders in the
church. I did not feel that I had a sole right to interpret God's
call, nor did I expect the church to change its policies to
accommodate me. Gradually the Lord opened to my mind the
challenging possibilities for women in church ministry-
possibilities no less important than those offered to male
ministers, yet distinct from the representative role of a male
pastor.

2. Ellen White and Women's Ministry

Guidelines for Women's Ministry. 

     In the book "Evangelism" by Ellen White I found the
guidelines for women's ministry in the church. The author is a
woman who dedicated her energies to the mission and growth of the
Seventh-day Adventist Church. Though never ordained by human
hands during her 70 years of service, her vision for the ministry
of women in the church reached far beyond the cultural
conventions of her time.
     In all her counsel, which sometimes chided those who tended
to neglect women's ministry in the church, Ellen White never once
suggested or hinted that women should be ordained as elders or
pastors of the church. On the contrary, she clearly outlined for
women a personal ministry to families and individuals,
complementary to, but different from the shepherding role of a
male pastor. Repeatedly she urged her church to recognize and
utilize the indispensable ministry of women in the church. She
wrote, for example: "The Lord has a work for women as well as
men. They may take their places in His work at this crisis, and
He will work through them. They can come close to the hearts of
those whom men cannot reach. Their labor is needed." 1
     Ellen White envisioned husband-wife teams working together
in ministry:

     When it is possible, let the minister and his wife go forth
     together. The wife can often labor by the side of her
     husband, accomplishing a noble work. She can visit the homes
     of the people and help the women in these families in away
     that her husband cannot. And let none feel that these women,
     who understand the Word, and who have ability to teach,
     should not receive remuneration for their labors. They
     should be paid as verily as are their husbands. 2

Women to Be Paid. 

     Evidently some Adventist church leaders were happy to get
two workers for the price of one. Ellen White did not hesitate to
challenge this unfairness by championing the right of pastor's
wives to be paid out of the tithe. She wrote:

     The tithe should go to those who labor in word and doctrine,
     be they men or women. If a women puts her housework in the
     hands of a faithful, prudent helper, and leaves her children
     in good care, while she engages in the work, the conference
     should have wisdom to understand the justice of her
     receiving wages. This question is not for men to settle. The
     Lord has settled it. 3

     Apparently the matter was not settled in the mind of church
administrators, for thirteen years later she wrote again:

     Injustice has sometimes been done to women who labor just as
     devotedly as their husbands, and who are recognized by God
     as being necessary to the work of ministry. The method of
     paying men laborers, and not paying their wives who
     share their labors with them, is a plan not according to the
     Lord's order, and if carried out in our conferences, is
     liable to discourage our sisters from qualifying themselves
     for the work they should engage in. God is a God of justice,
     and if the ministers receive a salary for their work, their
     wives who devote themselves just as disinterestedly to the
     work, should be paid in addition to the wages their husbands
     receive, even though they may not ask for this. 4

3. Too Few Women in Church Minsitry

     What might have been the results had the Seventh-day
Adventist church consistently heeded the counsel to include women
in church ministry? How much more quickly might the good news of
salvation have spread, and the kingdom of God been established?
Why has the Adventist church been so slow to use women in church
ministry, in spite of Ellen White's counsel "that there should be
twenty women where now there is one"5 who make Gospel ministry
their calling?

Pastors Prefer Women Assistants. 

     The reason has not been the unwillingness on the part of
pastors to have a woman on the pastoral staff. Most of the
pastors for whom I worked were delighted to have a woman on the
staff. In fact, most pastors agree that if given the choice, they
would prefer to have a woman assistant rather than a man. The
reason is simply because women can minister to the unique
problems of other women in ways which men either cannot address
or should avoid.
     If pastors favor women assistants, why are there so few of
them in church ministry? Over the years I found Adventist church
administrators reluctant to hire women for ministry for two basic
reasons: budgetary considerations and marriage problems.
Budgetary Considerations. When asked why they do not hire more
women to serve as Bible instructors (a term used in the
Seventhday Adventist church to designate a personal church
ministry which includes imparting the knowledge of Scripture to
individuals or families), most Adventist administrators simply
say that they do not have a big enough budget. Interestingly,
those conferences which hire Bible Instructors usually have a
higher rate of accessions to the church. 6 This suggests that the
problem is more a matter of priorities than of budget.

     Ellen White spoke to this issue by suggesting that capable
women or men serving in personal ministry would contribute
substantially to church growth, thus increasing the tithe income?
When this happens, the personal ministry of women can be a
benefit rather than a liability to the treasury of the church.
Would the ordination of women as pastors change the attitude of
administrators and budgetary considerations in hiring them? In
all probability it would make the issue more complex. Conference
administrators who would be obliged to hire a comparatively small
quota of seminary women trained to serve as pastors will most
likely be less inclined to consider hiring other women trained
for a supportive church ministry. Thus the ordination of women as
pastors could ultimately be counter-productive by reducing the
number of women who should serve in the larger ministry of the
church.
     The very discussion of women's ordination tends to
discourage some administrators and pastors from hiring women
assistants because they do not wish to become embroiled in a
controversy by having an ordination-seeking woman on their staff.
On the positive side, some conferences are now making provision
to pay pastor's wives for their part in team ministry.

Marriage Problems.  

     A second major reason traditionally given by church
administrators for not hiring women is the limitation or
interruption of their ministry if or when they decide to get
married. Administrators seem reluctant to invest heavily in a
young woman, no matter how well qualified or trained, for fear
that the investment might be lost, should she decide to give up
her employment in the church in order to become a full-time wife
and mother. This attitude is understandable and certainly not
without foundation. This may explain why some church
administrators prefer older or mature women. whose life plans are
more settled, for the role of Bible Instructor or pastoral
assistant.
     Ordination for women would not change their human need and
desire for marriage, but it would most certainly complicate the
abovestated considerations for administrators in their hiring
practices. For example, what about the possible conflict between
the husband's job that calls for a given location and the wife's
pastorate that requires her to serve in another location? Whose
job gets priority?

Marriage Vows Versus Ordination Vows. 

     This brings us to the crucial question: Is it possible for a
woman to fulfill ordination vows and marriage vows at the same
time? Are the two compatible? I submit that they are hardly so.
The Seventh-day Adventist Manual for Ministers describes
ordination as the "setting apart of a person to a sacred calling"
which entails being "subject to the direction of the church in
regard to the type of ministry and [the place] of service." 8
     This means that an ordained person has a solemn
responsibility first and foremost to serve the church. Can an
ordained woman honor this sacred commitment to her church while
at the same time respecting her marriage vows to give priority to
her husband and her family?
     After twelve years in full time church ministry I was
confronted with the decision whether to marry and become a
pastors wife, or to remain single and continue my own career.
Ordination would have laid upon me a responsibility to continue
carrying out the official duties for the church inherent in those
vows. However, having not taken those vows, I had the freedom to
make a choice that enriched my ministry, though changing it
considerably. Sometimes it involved full time work when the
opportunity availed; other times it meant ministering
unofficially in my role as a pastor's wife. But my marriage vows
mandated that I make my husband and his ministry my priorities.

Celibacy? 

     Does this mean that a woman serving the church should remain
celibate? No, what Scripture teaches is not celibacy but role
distinctions between men and women. The wife is to be subject to
the husband: "As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives
also be subject in everything to their husbands" (Eph 5:24; cf. 1
Cor 14:34; 1 Pet 3:1).
     The wife and mother, though equal to her husband, has
functional responsibilities that, according to Scripture, must
take precedence over everything else because of their very sacred
and important nature. Ellen White emphasizes this truth, saying:

     We may safely say that the distinctive duties of woman are
     more sacred, more holy, than those of man.... The king upon
     his throne has no higher work than has the mother.... An
     angel could not ask for a higher mission." 9

     The vows of ordination demand total commitment and the use
of one's full energies in the ministry of the church. How can a
woman fulfill her marriage vows to be a loyal wife and mother and
ordination vows at the same time? I maintain that it is virtually
tackling the impossible to attempt to do so.10

4. Role Modeling

First Family Model. 

     The pastor as shepherd of the flock serves as a role model
to his congregation. The pastor s wife serves an equally vital
role. The pastor's family become "the first family" in each
church to model and inspire other families. In a society where
often roles have been reversed and confused, the pastor's family
role modeling cannot be safely ignored.
     What happens when the shepherd of the flock is a woman and
her husband must defer his plans to her? What impact will this
have on the families of the congregation? What kind of message
will this convey to them regarding the Biblical model for the
family? Even more crucial, who will act the role of pastor's
wife? Will the husband, who undoubtedly has his own job and
interests, be able to support her ministry in the same way that a
wife would her husband's?
     While this role modeling is important to the Christian
families within the congregation, it is even more crucial to
divided families. Children who have no father at all or a
non-Christian father look to the pastor as a father figure. In
many cases he may well be the only positive male role model in a
child's life.

Danger of Weakening Father's Role. 

     Some of the most serious ills in our society today have
resulted, at least partly, from a weakened father's role or the
complete absence of male models in the home. In her scholarly
work entitled Sex and Power in History, Amaury de Riencourt
argues that a successful society depends on a delicate balancing
of different male and female factors, and that the women's
liberation movement, which advocates role interchangeability,
contains with it "a social and cultural death wish and the end of
the civilization that endorses it." 11
     De Riencourt traces the various types of women in history,
and presents compelling indications suggesting that the
"liberated" Roman matron, counterpart of today's feminist,
"helped bring about the fall of Rome through her unnatural
emulation of masculine qualities, which resulted in a large-scale
breakdown of the family and ultimately of the empire." 12
     To counteract the breakdown of the family structure today
the church must uphold the Biblical model of the home where
father and mother fulfill different and yet complementary roles.
The role modeling of the pastors family, which serves as the
ideal of the Christian family, is essential to preserve and
promote the Biblical model of the home.

5. Single Women in Church Ministry

Role Modeling. 

     So far we have addressed the question of married women in
ministry. What about single women? Though most Protestant
clergymen are married, a few remain single, so why not single
women pastors? There are without doubt capable single women
without home or family responsibilities that could serve as
pastors. But if, as noted earlier, an important aspect of the
work of a pastor is his role modeling to families of the church,
could a single woman be as effective a role model as a male
pastor? Would her singleness be an asset or a liability?
Based on years of experience and observation in church ministry,
I can attest that being single in public life has its
liabilities. Loneliness. Vulnerability. Limitations because of
one's status. How will the single woman pastor relate to her male
elders, especially when they are her seniors? Or how will they
relate to her? How successfully can she minister to her male
peers?
     These questions do not imply that women are less capable or
talented than men. They do not suggest that women are inferior to
their male counterparts in any way. But they do help us to
understand the underlying reason for the Biblical instruction
that elders and bishops ordained to govern the church are to be
mature men, heads of families who know how to rule their own
household (1 Tim 3:5).

Supportive Ministry. 

     The pastoral ministry is different from almost every other
profession. The demands upon the person's public life make it
imperative that his own family situation be strong and
supportive. Therefore, the single woman as a shepherd or leader
of the flock works with a distinct disadvantage. At the same
time, those liabilities are less marked in a supportive ministry,
where the emphasis is on personal ministry, working with other
women, the teaching ministry, nurturing new Christians, outreach
ministry, etc., rather than on administrative and leadership
roles. The innovative woman will have no trouble finding her
niche in service, shaped by her own unique abilities.
In supportive ministry, a woman, either single or married, may
serve effectively, making a significant contribution to the
church program without her personal status becoming a major
factor in her professional life. With flexibility to remain
single or to become a wife and mother she may minister to those
who most need her specialized abilities. She may fill a vital
role that men simply cannot fulfill.

Working with our Strength. 

     I have often thanked the Lord that He gave me a work to do
that fits both my assets and limitations. It is estimated that
women have about 60% of the physical strength of men. On the
other hand, women have strengths that men do not possess, and a
supportive ministry utilizes those resources. Having worked with
pastors of large congregations and then being married to a pastor
for twenty years, I say with all sincerity that I would not trade
jobs with any of them!
     Ellen White warned women in church ministry to guard their
health from overwork. The idea that women can do the same work as
men, and that there are basically no biological differences
between men and women is a fabrication of the propaganda from the
women's movement. The truth of the matter is - that women are
different from men, sexually, psychologically and spiritually. A
woman will find fulfillment not by proving that she can function
as a man, but by working within her own strengths. Jepsen aptly
observes:

     Women have been gifted with a greater sensitivity to
     spiritual things. If women were to deny their special
     qualities, their true gifts as women, trying to model
     themselves after men, all of society would be distorted.
     Sensitive,loyal, faithful, brave, committed women willing to
     be used of God to speak His truth boldly would be sadly
     absent. 13

6. Ministries of Women in the Church

     The Biblical model for some men to serve as the
representative leaders of the church and for women to minister in
supportive roles is not a discrimination against women. Rightly
understood, this divine design ensures the recognition of women's
natural endowments to minister in special ways.

Home Visitation. 

     A type of church ministry women can effectively perform
relates to visiting and counseling mothers and children     n in
their homes. Ellen White emphasizes the need for such vital
ministry, saying: "We greatly need consecrated women, who, as
messengers of mercy, shall visit the mothers and the children in
their homes." "There is need of coming close to the people by
personal effort." 14
     Home visitation may not be the most popular form of church
ministry, but it certainly is one of the most effective ways of
reaching people for Christ. Men work at a distinct disadvantage
when it comes to home visitation. For one thing, doors open more
readily to a woman than to a man. Also it is difficult, if not
inappropriate, for a man to visit a woman alone in her home.
But even more important than the risks are the advantages of a
woman's maternal instincts and sensitivity which enable her to
reach into people's lives in a way few men can. A woman with
spiritual perception, trained in counseling skills, and free of
the duties and responsibilities of administration, can devote her
undivided energies to this kind of much-needed ministry.

Nurturing Abilities. 

     Ruth Senter, editor of Partnership, a journal for wives in
ministry, suggests that "The need to nurture is much stronger in
most women than it is in men." 15  What a blessing can come to
churches when the nurturing ability of dedicated women can be
used to minister to hurting, broken, and hungry hearts. Ellen
White emphasizes the importance of such a ministry, saying:

     [Women] can do in families a work that men cannot do, a work
     that reaches the inner life. They can come close to the
     hearts of those whom men cannot reach. Their labor is
     needed. 16 I have so longed for women who could be educated
     to help our sisters rise from their discouragement and feel
     that they could do a work for the Lord. 17

Teaching Ministry. 

     One of the greatest needs in the church today is for more
people to become involved in a Bible teaching ministry. This old
fashioned method of bringing people to a knowledge of God's will
for their lives still works as effectively now as it did in the
apostolic church and in the pioneering days of the Seventh-day
Adventist Church.
     The Bible teaching ministry forms the basis for a
challenging supportive ministry. Theologically trained women with
gifts of teaching may devote their full time to doing that which
the pastors with their heavy responsibilities seldom have time to
do on a large scale, namely, to impart knowledge of the
Scriptures on a personal basis, especially to new converts.
"There are women," Ellen White writes, "who are especially
adapted for the work of giving Bible readings." Again and again
the Lord has shown me that women teachers are just as greatly
needed to do the work to which He has appointed them as are
men."18

Varied Ministries. 

     The possibilities for women's ministry are almost limitless.
Women with sanctified imagination and initiative will find as
many opportunities for service as there are needs. Leading out in
workshops and seminars, developing ideas for spiritual and
personal growth and problem solving, training in witnessing, to
name but a few. Women's ministry in a supportive role will prove
to be an indispensable part of church growth in any congregation.
Church ministry today, as never before, involves meeting people
at the level of their needs. Families ripped apart by humanistic
philosophies and the inroads of moral decay and degeneracy on
every hand cry out for healing and help. Divorced women, unwed
mothers, teenagers with their multiple problems--the list is
endless. Many of these situations desperately need a woman's
touch. Pastors simply cannot fill all these needs, nor should
they. How many tragedies in ministry might have been avoided had
another woman counseled a woman in trouble?
     Women with ears to listen and hearts to feel and spirits to
respond can administer the healing balm of the gospel of Christ
to the hurting, the emotionally wounded, and those battered and
scarred by sin and guilt. Women with their powerful influence for
good, with their sanctified maternal instincts for nurturing and
comforting can perform a ministry that is even more important
than the traditional preaching and shepherding ministries. A
pastor who witnessed the results of such a supportive ministry by
women told me, "I never want to be without this kind of help on
my pastoral staff again."

7. Women's Movement and Women's Ministry

Women's Ministry Demeaned. 

     If women's distinctive ministry is as important as noted
above, why has it suffered such neglect? We commented earlier on
some of the reasons w by church administrators seem reluctant to
hire women for church ministry. Another reason is to be found in
the consequences of the role interchangeability of the sexes
promoted by the women's movement.
     Militants in the women's movement, determined to force us
into a gender-free socitey, have spread their humanistic view of
motherhood, womanhood and the family, until like a hidden poison
it has permeated every aspect of our lives. Young people growing
up in today's society have been so saturated with these ideas
that they hardly recognize them for what they are. The Biblical
values of the Judeo-Christian tradition regarding the family are
to many "idle tales," old-fashioned and obsolete. How has all
this affected the ministry of women in the church? One can see
the effects especially in the influence of the women's movement
on young women in seminary training who have been encouraged to
fight for their right to work as ordained pastors in the church.
The objectives of the women's movement are to change the status
of women in every area of life, including the area of church
ministry. While the Supreme Court has not been very sympathetic
to their litigation to force seminaries to admit women in equal
numbers, their attempts to influence public opinion on the issue
of ordination of women have been much more successful. There has
been a widespread attempt on the part of many authors to change
centuries-old standards and practices by explaining away as
culturally conditioned and timebound the Biblical emphasis on the
role distinctions of men and women in the home and in the church.
The arguments of such authors have been examined at great length
elsewhere in this book.

Fighting for Prestige? 

     Some young women in seminary training have told me
unabashedly that they had no interest in a specialized supportive
ministry for women. Why? Because, by their own testimony, they
wanted the "status and prestige" of the pastor's role. One young
woman, campaigning for women's rights within the Adventist
church, with whom I shared my joys in church ministry (without
ordination), said to me in bewilderment, "Well, then, what do you
think we should be fighting for?" Fighting? Is that the way into
the ministry? Are status and prestige the motives that should
impel us to answer the call of God? Will such a fabric of
character endure the acid test of wholehearted devotion to God
and unselfish service to our fellow human beings?
     Is it possible that the enemy of souls, knowing the positive
and vibrant influence that women can exert, especially in church
ministry, desires to neutralize that influence by subversion?
Could it be that the ugly monsters of pride and envy have invaded
even Christian circles with their poisonous propaganda? Ellen
White warns against the danger of this age-old problem. She
writes:

     Eve had been perfectly happy by her husband's side in her
     Eden home; but like restless modern Eves, she was flattered
     with the hope of entering a higher sphere than that which
     God had assigned her. In attempting to rise above her
     original position, she fell far below it. A similar result
     will be reached by all who are unwilling to take up
     cheerfully their life duties in accordance with God's plan.
     In their efforts to reach positions for which he has not
     fitted them, many are leaving vacant the place where they
     might be a blessing. In their desire for a higher sphere,
     many have sacrificed true womanly dignity and nobility of
     character, and have left undone the very work that Heaven
     appointed them. 19

The Secret of Self-fulfillment. 

     Our human tendency to see greener grass on the other side of
the fence often gets us off course in our thinking. How well I
remember visiting a young woman in my early ministry, who envied
my single status and career. while grossly neglecting her three
precious children. Like so many women. she saw motherhood as
drudgery and imprisonment instead of the highest privilege.
Position, prestige, titles, ordination, none of these per se
bring true happiness. Women and men must find their true
happiness by understanding and fulfilling their true worth and
calling in life. The superficial values of the current mindset
which seeks for happiness through position, fame, prestige are
symptomatic of inner insecurity emptiness and deeper problems.
The real problem often is that people seek to establish their
identity by pursuing external roles rather than cultivating
internal attitudes. Dee Jepsen perceptively observes:

     God is more concerned about "who" we are, than "what" we do.
     I believe God is more concerned about our moral attitudes
     than our roles. As we find our identity in Him, He will then
     lead us into our life roles. Women have: been given certain
     biological functions and characteristics that are unique.
     However in calling us to these roles, He will not violate
     our very nature and ignore unique gifts He has given to us.
     20

     The same author, concerned for the preservation of those
Christian values that have made America great, makes a moving
appeal to the ministers of this country:

     Don't let us complacently live beneath our spiritual
     heritage. Don't let us buy into the world's system, for it
     will leave us empty and still hurting after we've tried it.
     Don't let us, or the world, intimidate you. Don't let us
     accept the world's distortion of who we are. Instead, call
     to America's women and introduce us to the true Liberator,
     Jesus Christ! Affirm us in our full womanhood, which we will
     only find in Him, His love, and His plan for our lives 21

Christ's Call to Women. 

     Voices on every hand call women today to new challenges.
Some of the loudest voices call for liberation, for competitive
roles, for assertiveness, and for militant action. But another
voice, a still small voice, calls women of faith to servitude, to
humility, to self-denial: "Whoever would be first among you must
be your slave; even as the Son of man came not to be served but
to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Matt
20:27-28; cf. Luke 14:11; 9:23-24).

     Christ's call is to lay aside the "envy and self-seeking"
that lead to "confusion and every evil thing" (James 3:14,16,
NKJV). It is a call to surrender our proud hearts and to seek
instead His humility, which was manifested in His willingness to
empty Himself of His majesty and glory to become a suffering and
redeeming servant (Phil 2:5-7). It is the call to every woman and
every man to "come," take up the "yoke" of service, and "learn
from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart" (Matt 11:28-29).
     Christ's call is urgent, persistent. He needs you in His
service. The hour is late, there is not time for bickering about
credit, prestige, titles and position, or for wound-licking over
past injustices. A world is dying out there for the help that
devoted women can give.
     Dedication, commitment, humility, and a self-sacrificing
spirit are some of the key ingredients to successful church
ministry. The reward to women of faith who minister in their
God-appointed roles will far outweigh any supposed benefits from
ordination or the desire to compete with men for their roles in
ministry.

Closing Appeal. 

     Listen to the chorus of the women of faith who have
experienced first hand the joys of serving Christ in supportive
church ministries; who praise God for the privilege of being
women; who praise Him for their unique feminine qualities; who
praise Him for the opportunity and privilege of serving their
Master with their whole heart and being.


NOTES ON CHAPTER IX

1. Ellen G. White, Evangelism (Washington, D.C., 1946), p. 465.
Again she writes on page 472 of the same book: "There are women
who should labor in the gospel ministry. In many respects they
would do more good than the ministers who neglect to visit the
flock of God."

2. Ibid., p. 491. 

3. Ibid., p.492-3. 

4. Ibid., p.492. 

5. Ibid., p.472.

6. Black conferences in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which
hire comparatively more Bible Instructors than other conferences,
are experiencing a considerably higher growth rate. Other factors
certaintly contribute to it, but the role of Bible Instructors
can hardly be ignored.

7. Ellen G. White (n. 1), p.492.

8. Seventh-day Adventist Manual for Ministers (Washington, D.C.,
1977), p.16.

9. Ellen G. White, The Adventist Home (Nashville, 1952), p.231.

10. An excellent discussion of how Christian women handle their
careers may be found in Beyond Equal Rights, by Dee Jepsen (Waco,
Texas, 1984), pp.107-116.

11. Amaury de Riencourt, Sex and Power in History (New York,
1974), p.56

12. Ibid.

13. Dee Jepsen (n. 10), pp.228-229.

14. Ellen G. White (n. 1), p.459.

15. Cited in Moody Monthly (February, 1983): 14.

16. Ellen G. White (n. 1), pp.464-465.

17. Ibid., p. 461.

18. Ibid., pp. 469, 493.


19. Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets (Mountain View,
California, 1958), p.59.

20. Dee Jepsen (n. 10), p.113. 

21. Ibid., p.179.

                       .............................


NOTE:

So ends our study on the role of women in the church.

As I have proved in my in-depth studies on Church Govewrnment on
this website, women can do as much for Christ and the Gospel (in
some ways even more) outside of a two hour congregational
official service, as men can.
We have seen in depth in this study that women should not act in
reverse role models that God created when He made man and women.
The importance of women remaining true to their intended role in
life while still serving their Lord and Master is brought out
throughout the Bible. The stories of Ruth and Esther, are but a
few of ther examples. The women in the life of Christ's ministry
and in the life of the apostle Paul should make it clear to those
who really desire the truth of the matter on this subject.

I personally have been blessed with first of all Jesse in my life
and as much as she was able to serve with me in the Gospel,
before her untimely death from cancer. Her insight, her bright
mind, her ability with words of the English language far
outstretched my ability in that language, I tending to be a meat
and gravy speaker in my writings (which is not at all wrong just
as Jesse's use of words is not at all wrong) - but then the two
compliment each other.

I am presently blessed with having Tara Chapman in my life and
serving with me in the ministry of the Lord. Her writings are of
great importance to all who call themselves Christian. And if
this age is allowed to be prolonged by the Father for another 20,
30, 40 years etc. and Tara is given a full life, the Church of
God will be richly blessed. Tara's website is: www.endtimecog.net

Keith Hunt


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