This coming Thursday, in Moldova, we will celebrate the 8th of March which is the equivalent of Mothers’ Day in the USA. In honor of this celebration, the guys of the youth group are dedicating the youth service to the girls of the youth group. I am preparing a message for the service which will explain the importance of women in the church, as the Bible portrays.
As we saw in the previous 2 articles, modern man needs the church because in the church, mankind finds Jesus Christ who saves from sin and radically transforms lives. All women need to have a relationship with God because that is why they were created. Because of sin, their lives are falling apart until they meet Christ. Once they are introduced to Christ and their lives are transformed then women (like men) are called to get involved in the local church, taking the Gospel to the lost world around them.
This is the easiest form of participation in the Gospel through the ministries of the local church. If God blesses you financially then you can use that blessing to help fund the ministries of the church. This even happened during the days of Jesus Christ with His ministry. Doctor Luke describes this in his Gospel.
And it happened afterwards, He traveled in every city and village, proclaiming and announcing the gospel of the kingdom of God. And the Twelve were with Him, and also certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities; Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven demons, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, who ministered to Him of their possessions. And a great crowd coming together, and those in each city coming to Him, He spoke by a parable: (Luke 8:1-4)
Jesus had changed the lives of these ladies. They became His followers. God had obviously blessed them with abundant finances before they chose to follow Christ. Once they started to follow Christ they began supporting the ministry of Christ the best way that they could at the time, through financial support. So, God wants to use you in the church and one way is through financial support if He has blessed you. If you have not been blessed financially then there are other ways that you can serve in the church.
There is such a great need for sound doctrine (teaching) in the church.
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the Word of God may not be reviled. (Titus 2:3-5)
One of the ways that this can be met is through the women. God gives the gifts of the Spirit to whom He chooses and the gift of teacher has been given to many women (in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments). As a woman, you are needed to teach others in the church. Mature (not necessarily in age) women are to teach the younger women (immature in the faith) how to live their lives both at church and at home as well as in society in general. In order to teach, a woman must first be an example in practicing what she teaches others to do. She must not have a “loose” tongue. She must teach the Word of God to others.
I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, that you receive her in the Lord, as becomes saints, and that you may assist her in whatever business she has need of you. For she has been a helper of many, and of myself also. Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my helpers in Christ Jesus, who have laid down their own necks for my life; to whom not only I give thanks, but also the churches of the nations. Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Greet my beloved Epenetus, who is the first-fruits of Achaia to Christ. Greet Mary, who bestowed much labor on us. Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. Greet Amplias my beloved in the Lord. Greet Urbanus, our helper in Christ, and Stachys my beloved. Greet Apelles, approved in Christ. Greet those who are of Aristobulus’ household. Greet Herodion my kinsman. Greet those who are of the household of Narcissus, who are in the Lord. Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labor in the Lord. Greet the beloved Persis, who labored much in the Lord. Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine. Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brothers with them. Greet Philologus and Julias, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints with them. Greet one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ greet you. (Romans 16:1-16)
Phoebe was a servant. She served the people of the church and even served the great missionary, Paul. There are many women listed in this short passage and all of them were servants to the people of God in the church. Some taught while others served. Some opened their homes while others probably served financially. One of the ladies even suffered in prison for the Gospel. There were many women who were influential in Paul’s ministry and in the early churches of that day. God used them mightily and they were a great example to everyone around them.
All believers are called to make disciples according to the Great Commission in Matthew 28.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
You do not have to be a pastor to make disciples. You just need to be well trained. You must first be discipled (mentored) so that you will know how to train others. If you have a service gift then you will train others who have service gifts in the implementation of their gifts in the church. If you have a speaking gift then you will likely disciple those who have similar gifts to you. You can use your skills and talents to disciple others. If you have a talent for teaching languages, then you can use those lessons to teach people the Bible and show them how to follow Christ. If you are an athlete, you can use your skills to teach others and both your sport as well as the Word of God, showing them how to follow Jesus Christ. If you have children, or if you have raised children, then you can train young mothers in the art of raising children while at the same time teaching them how to study the Word of God and follow Jesus.
Proverbs 31 paints a beautiful picture of a woman who is an example in the church. I would like to take a look at her character and actions.
Who can find a woman of virtue? For her value is far above rubies. The heart of her husband trusts safely in her, so that he shall have no need of plunder. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and works willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants’ ships; she brings her food from afar. She also rises while it is still night, and gives food to her household, and a share to her young women. She considers a field, and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She binds her loins with strength, and makes her arms strong. She sees that her merchandise is good; her lamp does not go out by night. She lays her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretches out her hand to the poor; yea, she reaches forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household; for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She makes herself coverings; her clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes fine linen and sells it, and delivers girdles to the merchants. Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her sons rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all. Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears Jehovah, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates. (Proverbs 31:10-31)
Here are her qualities
- woman of character
- good conduct
- not just a consumer, also a producer
- prepared for the future
- speaks wisdom
- not idle
- not a busybody
- efficient in everything
Do not worry if all of these are not yet qualities of your life. You are a work in progress. If you remain faithful to God, stay in the Word, and serve in the church then God will build up all of these qualities in you. You have to decide to be trained in the Word of God and use your talents, skills, and gifts to serve the church and God will work in a miraculous way.
So, where do you find yourself? Are you being trained so that you can serve the church and the people around you? Are you contributing to the ministries of the church with your time, energy, and finances? Are you seeking to make disciples? Are you teaching new believers how to study God’s Word and serve in the church? Are you serving the people around you or are you like an immature child who has to be the center of attention and be taken care of all the time? Now is the time to begin serving. Give yourself to God and watch how He will work in you and through you.