button

Fire in My Bones, by J. Lee Grady

Want to receive Fire in My Bones by email? Sign up here

What part of Galatians 3:28 don’t we understand?

This past weekend I had the honor of sharing the pulpit with my oldest daughter, Margaret, who serves as an associate pastor at a Christian college in Georgia. No buttons burst off of my shirt while she was preaching, but I can’t begin to tell how proud I was of her.

This was the same girl who used to insist on taking the lead role when she played Wilderness Family or Star Wars with her homeschooled sisters. My wife and I have known Margaret was a leader since she was a preschooler. Now she is a pastor.

Yet I still see puzzled looks when I tell people about Margaret’s vocation. That’s because in many sectors of the American church, people are locked into old, religious mindsets about gender. They have the idea that God wants men to lead and women to follow—even though Scripture gives us numerous examples of women leaders.

I run into what I call “gender myths” in the church all the time, even in progressive churches that claim to be trendy and “cutting edge.” Many women are still sidelined by these antiquated myths, even when the pastor is young and the music is hip.

1. Women are more suited for children’s ministry. Just because women often give primary care to babies and children at home does not mean they all want to spend their Sunday mornings in the church nursery, week after week with no break. All of us are called to serve. Jesus rebuked His disciples for minimizing the importance of children—and He took kids into his arms. We need both men and women in children’s ministry today!

2. Women are best equipped to be intercessors. Many churches promote the idea that “women pray better” because they do not allow women to do anything else. Yet the Bible does not segregate the prayer meeting by gender. Yes, there are powerful examples of women prayer warriors in the Bible (Hannah and Anna, for example) but we also need Daniels and Jeremiahs to storm heaven.

3. A woman’s most valuable ministry is motherhood. No one should ever minimize the importance of a mother’s love. But when churches tell women that their “primary role” is to be home with the kids, we are not only devaluing these women’s other spiritual gifts but also demeaning women who don’t have kids. (I know single women who have been told they can have no official ministry roles in their church until they are married.)

4. Women were made to be followers, not leaders. Traditional churches hire women to be secretaries, receptionists and administrative assistants, but females need not apply for ministerial positions. Yet the New Testament tells us that the Holy Spirit does not distribute spiritual gifts according to gender (see 1 Cor. 12:7-31). Many conservative Christians claim that the apostle Paul limited women in their service (because they take some of his comments out of context) yet they ignore the fact that Paul had numerous women on his apostolic team including Priscilla, Phoebe, Junia, Euodia, Syntyche, Persis, Chloe and Nympha.

5. Women cannot lead worship. Australian worship leader Darlene Zschech (who now pastors alongside her husband) has composed dozens of praise choruses that are sung in churches around the world, yet many conservative churches that use these songs would not allow Darlene to lead them from the podium. I know a talented young woman who was told she had to lead worship from the floor of the church instead of the pulpit because she would be “in authority” over the men if she sang from the stage. Please don’t forget that one of the first worship leaders mentioned in the Bible is Miriam! (see Ex. 15:20-21.)

6. Women can’t teach the Bible if men are in the room. Once when I was attending a conference in Colorado, a popular female speaker took the platform and began to teach. At that moment two pastors in front of me leaned toward one another and began to “bind the spirit of Jezebel” because they did not believe a woman should preach to a mixed crowd. Hello? Would they have prayed this way if Deborah, Esther, Mary Magdalene or Priscilla had been preaching?

What part of Galatians 3:28 don’t we understand? Paul wrote: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

I taught all four of my daughters that God created them uniquely, and that their spiritual gifts had nothing to do with gender but everything to do with His sovereign plan. Let’s teach the same in our churches. Let’s create opportunities for women instead of putting roadblocks in their way.

J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma and the director of The Mordecai Project (themordecaiproject.org). His latest book, Fearless Daughters of the Bible, will be released in Spanish next month. You can follow him on Twitter at leegrady

Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.

Get to know the Holy Spirit and how to interact with Him on a daily basis. Learn to enter God's presence and hear His voice clearly for yourself! Go deeper in your faith with Life in the Spirit and change your life and destiny. Are you ready to start your journey?

Did you enjoy this blog? Click here to receive it by email.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Angelic harvest

    2017 Prophecy: The Lord Is Releasing the Angels of Abundant Harvest

    "Opportunities will come your way that you never dreamed, imagined or even thought to ask for. ...

  • Chuck Pierce is calling the month ahead "critical."

    Chuck Pierce Prophesies 'Short, 10-Year Window' in the Nations

    Russia is a big part of what he sees.

  • The Things That Hold Us Back

    The Things That Hold Us Back

    The rich young ruler, like many of us today, was in a “quandary.” He wanted to follow Jesus, but he loved the lifestyle his money provided for him.

  • A bit of flirting may seem innocent, but it can lead to destructive behavior.

    3 Do's and Don'ts When Communicating With Women Other Than Your Wife

    Do you and your wife have any other rules for communicating with the opposite sex?

  • This revivalist had a vision of hell.

    Revivalist: I Went to Hell in a Dream

    After God took him on a prophetic journey, John Burton left with an important message for the ...

  • Are You Wishing the Holidays Would End Sooner?

    Are You Wishing the Holidays Would End Sooner?

    Perhaps you're one of the 45 percent of adults in a recent survey who said they dread the holiday season.

  • Get the answer to your challenging circumstance in this insight from James 1:5.

    Early Warning Signs You're About to Make a Terrible Decision

    Is Holy Spirit sounding off these alarms in your life?

  • Mantling a generation

    This Deadly Sin Squashes the Next Generation of World Changers

    And it places a demonic lid on young leaders' gifts and potential.

  • Warring angels

    Prophetic Word: 'I Saw Angels at Almost the Speed of Light'

    Here is why you must pray them through for yourself and for your nation.

  • How well you transition could depend upon these six things.

    8 Critical Keys to Transitioning Into Your Next Season

    It's still the year of shifting seasons and suddenlies, but what if you haven't shifted? ...

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit
button
button