Women In Ministry
There is a fundamental difference between man and woman; not a difference of value or dignity but of role and responsibility. Contrary to cultural convictions, gender is not incidental to our personhood but is instead essential to who we are as humans. In the beginning, God created us male and female in His own image (Gen 1:27). We were not created as asexual beings but as male or female. This basic distinction serves as the basis for God’s expectations of us. At the core of who we are is not undifferentiated humanity but manhood or womanhood. It is this recognition of the inherent importance of gender that must found any theological discussion on the issue of gender roles.
Lakeshore City Church is complementarian in our understanding of God’s revelation of role distinctions on the basis of gender. The position is deemed “complementarian” in that we afﬁrm that men and women are granted roles and responsibilities which “complement” each other in the home and church. This position is to be distinguished from antifeminist chauvinism which asserts the unbiblical superiority of males. Contrary to chauvinism, complementarianism not only afﬁrms but celebrates the essential equality of the sexes. Man and woman are equals in regards to worth, value, personhood, and dignity. But equality does not demand equal access to all positions and ofﬁces of the church.
Though women have countless opportunities for ministry at Lakeshore, the Scriptures do place certain boundaries around the issues of teaching and authority. In particular, only men are to teach the gathered church and exercise authoritative leadership (1 Corin 14:34; 1 Tim 2:12). This means that no women should be elders or pastors. Women should exercise whatever gifts God has given them to build up the body as a whole, which rightly includes thousands of possibilities for ministry. Women should not, however, seek to occupy the authoritative leading and teaching office that the bible calls “elder” or “pastor”.