WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP at CHURCH
In 1st Timothy 1 we learned the key ingredients to discover and demonstrate our ministry as women, as well as the expectations for each of us with-in and around the church.
In Chapter 2 we learned about the importance of prayer. Our best of gifts and worship offerings as a woman, is prayer for those around us, whom can’t pray for themselves, for those who don’t have a personal connection with God and for ourselves, allowing for a one on one relationship with God.
Now in 1st Timothy 3 we will learn about qualifications of leadership. The Pastors and deacons of the church.
This chapter while it can pertain to us personally it is overall the qualifications that we want the leadership of our church to maintain just as we want the same leadership from our bosses at our jobs and even from our husbands, ultimately the Leadership Christ shows the Church. Many of the qualifications that are listed in this chapter specifically speak to the responsibility of a male leader must have, but we can always find application for women to aid in our representation of leadership; following the same qualifications described here, while we represent our love and faithfulness to God.
I Timothy 3: 3-13
Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task.2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full[a] respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.
By definition a Pastor or Bishop is said to be “overseer, guardian, bishop. It is used in reference to Jesus Christ in 1 Peter 2:25 and in other places of individuals who have a function of leadership in the church ( Acts 20:28 ; Php 1:1 ; 1 Tim 3:2 ; Titus 1:7 ). Also means, to take care of, to oversee, or to care for.
The first responsibility God has given the overseer is to watch over the flock. Acts 20:28a says; "Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers"; and Hebrews 13:17b says, "They keep watch over you." The idea is one of spiritual alertness, being on watch, being ready. Overseers watch for the souls of those entrusted to them in the Lord. They know that to protect them, constant attention is necessary.”
A second responsibility of the overseer is to shepherd the flock of God as instructed in 1 Peter 5:2. To shepherd carries the idea of tending, caring for, feeding, protecting, and leading. All these tasks are involved in the overseer's service of ministry to the spiritual flock of God. Responsibility is not a compulsion but something that the overseer has entered into willingly.
The qualifications the Bible gives for the overseer strongly emphasize character in all aspects of life, both personal and public. Titus 1:6-9. That the overseer must be above reproach appears to be an overriding qualification, expressing the idea that the overseer should demonstrate integrity in every area Paul mentions. His life and reputation are of such a nature that he is not open to attack or censure. No fault can be found in him that would disqualify him from office or open him to discipline by the body (cf. 1 Tim 5:19-20 ).” Pastors or Overseers lead, pray, teach and guide so
How do we as women represent this same role in our personal lives and those responsibilities we have within the church?
Examples of women who were leaders for God…
“After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; 3 Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.” Luke 8
The women who went with Jesus knew that following him could mean death, could mean that their lives would be on the line and yet for the love of God and the people they represented, they demonstrated leadership.
The story of Ester…. 4:11"All the king's officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king. 5:1" On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king's hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall, facing the entrance.” 5:2 “When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter.”
Ester represented her people and demonstrated leadership. She took care of their needs by standing firm and gracefully walked into the court knowing her life would be at stake, but knowing the importance of the needs of her people be heard and represented; she risked her life for the good of others.
Are we making sure that there is no question
that we hold true to these qualifications as a woman of God?
In what ways are you maintaining these qualifications in your role as a leader?
I Timothy 3:8-13
8 In the same way, deacons[b] are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. 9 They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.
11 In the same way, the women[c] are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.
12 A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well. 13 Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.
Deacon by definition is “to serve or minister or attend to the needs of someone, take care of, look after, as in nurse, treat, help, assist and administer to” “The role or office of deacon was developed in the early church primarily to minister to the physical needs of the members of the body of Christ.” .
“After the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, the church began to grow so fast that some believers, particularly widows, were being neglected in the daily distribution of food and alms (giving to others as an act of virtue, either materially or in the sense of providing capabilities). Also, as the church expanded, logistical challenges arose at meetings simply because of the size of the fellowship. The apostles, who had their hands full caring for the spiritual needs of the church, decided to appoint seven leaders who could tend to the physical and administrative needs within the body.” (Christianity.about.com)
“(Acts 6:2–4, NLT
A Deacon could be anyone, man or woman; that met these qualifications. Paul called to Phoebe one of the first appointed women deacons “Scripture makes it clear that ministering as a deacon is a rewarding and honorable calling in the church”
Even if we don’t have an appointed role in the church we are all, in some way a deacon. Women are especially good at the role of deacon(ness) because we naturally have the instinct and nature to take care of those who are in need. Whether it is a physical need or a spiritual need, we as women are able to meet the needs and serve
“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. MT 25:14-30
How do we take care of those we are caring for, serve, nurture or help?
While this part of scripture splits up the definition of Deacon and talks about the separate qualifications for both men and women it really is one in the same qualification. In fact the scripture states that women are to “in the same way…” remember what is expected of them and that through this it brings you into “excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus” So that we may hear “His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' Mt 25:21
In What ways are you a Deaconness in your life?
I Timothy 3: 14-16
14 Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, 15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. 16 Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit,[d was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.
Paul often, in the closure of his letters reiterates the point of his letter, which in this case was to be aware and stay true to how one “conduct themselves in God’s household” We must remember that we can and are equip to administer, approach, care, guide, teach and navigate as a representative of “the church of the living God” and to always be in awe of the true nature and greatness of our one true God who sent his son here on earth as only God could be represented and then taken up to Heaven. If our purpose on earth is but only a breath and but a glimpse in regards to eternity then it is our gift from God and our responsibility to represent Him well.
How will you represent God as He prepares His kingdom?