In the past year, there has been attention drawn to the issue of the Southern Baptist Convention opposing women’s ordination. This has sparked discussions about the role of women in ministry within the church, with some supporting the ordination of female pastors and others opposing it.
Recently, pastor Z from an emerging house church in Central China suggested that male believers should hold the key positions and ministries within the church. He emphasized the importance of men taking on significant roles in the church's core ministries.
Reflecting on past experiences, Z mentioned that while the faith of female Christians was passionate, it could also be emotional. He believed that the role of women should be as helpers. Consequently, the church he serves has gradually transitioned from having female believers as core workers to having males take on core ministry roles.
He did not oppose female believers serving in the church but believed that Christian women whose husbands didn’t believe were not particularly suited for core ministry roles in the church. This was because it could lead to many family conflicts, as female Christians should spend a great deal of time taking care of their families. On one hand, they lacked the energy and time for ministry, and on the other hand, it posed significant challenges for them with unbelieving husbands to engage in ministry.
Pastor Z mentioned that, due to practical considerations, female Christians might have disadvantages in terms of energy and time compared to male ones in serving. If conditions allowed, the church still encouraged men to take on service roles.
He believed that, in general, male Christians tended to be spiritually stronger than female ones. However, he emphasized that this was not an absolute rule but rather a common observation.
This pastor added that once male believers firmly established their faith and commitment to the church, they were seen as having stable and continuous spiritual growth. On the other hand, women's involvement in ministry might fluctuate more, and factors such as marriage and family could impact their service. Married Christian women have to balance ministry with their family responsibilities.
Regarding the selection of core workers for the church, Z considered several factors. He looked at whether the individual's faith was strong and whether they could work in harmony with the church leaders. He also considered whether the core workers had settled in the local area, as this could affect their long-term commitment to ministry.
He mentioned that it was necessary to observe whether the person was giving tithes and offerings.
"If a man cannot even tithe, how can he devote his time and energy, selflessly and without complaint, to do the work of the Lord?" Pastor Z asked.
Education is another factor considered when selecting church workers. Z believed that theological education was important, but he suggested that it should be built upon a foundation of general education. He pointed out that an individual's educational background could influence their understanding of scripture and their approach to interpersonal relationships.
In cases where believers had lower levels of education but were eager to serve, Z advised them to participate in volunteer service.
- Translated by Abigail Wu