Can women serve as pastor/elder?

My sermon notes from Sunday, November 27.  We continue our study through Titus.  Last week we looked at the calling and characteristics of a pastor/elder.  This week we looked at who can serve as a pastor/elder.  Remember, these are my study notes and not the sermon that I preached.  To see the sermon each week please visit


Women as elders/pastors/bishops

Can a woman serve as an elder or pastor within the ministries of a local church?


1 Tim 2:8-12

I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. 11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

  • Beauty of the world rather than the beauty of a Godly life.
  • Submission – finding the spot.   Roles/responsibility.
  • 1 Cor. 11:5 – Women do speak in church. (silent v. 2 …peaceable)


IS THIS PASSAGE RELEVANT TODAY?…..what others are saying.

  1. This is the opinion of Paul, and he was chauvinistic. Jesus never said it, so we need to just listen to Jesus on this matter.
  2. Teachings were true then, but this is a different day. Things have changed.
  3. If someone feels that God has called them to a particular ministry, who are we to question?
  4. Some women are more gifted than men.
  5. There are no men, so women must step up.


This is not about men and women this is about God and His Church.  God and His Kingdom.  It is about submission and service.  It is about roles and responsibility.


Respect and responsibility in Chaos (authority)

  • Citizens do not have the same respect for government’s authority.
  • Students do not have the same respect for teacher’s authority.
  • Women do not have the same respect for men’s authority.
  • Children do not have the same respect for parental authority.
  • Employees do not have the same respect for their employer’s authority.
  • People do not have the same respect for the police’s authority.
  • Christians no longer have the same respect for church authority.
  • People no longer have the same respect for God’s authority…The Bible


If the church does not get it right, then the home cannot get it right, then the community cannot get it right!!

Key Words:

  • Equality
  • Responsibility/Complement– Submission to our role/spot


We are equal before God, but it should be understood that we are made different. With this comes the idea of responsibility and purpose (we complement each other)

From my understanding and study of the Bible, men have the responsibility to be the pastor/elder within the leadership of the local church.


A biblical look:


Gen. 1

  1. 26-27 – Let US make man in our own image. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him: male and female He created them.


  1. 31 – God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good.


Image – man is a living being and capable of embodying God’s communicable attributes.

  • We all are created in the image of God. We are equal before God. EQUALITY
  • God’s creation…is good. Everything God does is good/right


Gen 2

  1. 18 – Not good for man to be alone. I will make him a helper fit for him.
  2. 20 – for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.
  3. 24 – Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.


  • Man was created first
  • Not good to be alone
  • God provided a helper.
  • A perfect fit (complement each other)
  • Two coming together to form one.
  • God has a purpose. BIG PICTURE
  • Each one has a part. (responsibility)


Gen 3

  1. 9 – But the Lord God called to the man.
  2. 16 – your desire will be for your husband and he shall rule over you.
  • God went to the man first. (Responsibility, accountability)
  • Man blamed God for it…you gave me the woman
  • The curse – relationships in chaos without the presence of the Spirit.


New Testament

Gospels – Jesus

  • In Jewish culture rabbis did not teach women, yet Christ taught women and included them in his day to day activities. (Equality)
  • They traveled with Him. Ministered with Him. (Equality)
  • Very clear that Christ had a great respect and love for women.
  • Chose 12 men to be his disciples. (responsibility)
  • Encouraged John to take care of his mother. Oldest son…take care of family. (responsibility)



The Home

Husband be the leader….the loving leader


1 Cor. 11:3 – But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.


Eph. 5:22-25 -Wives submit to your husbands, as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is head of the church, his body and is himself Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.  Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.


Col. 3:18-25

18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. 22 Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters,[f] not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.


The Church

Men lead.  Humbly, graciously, as a servant of the Lord.


The church leadership

1 Tim 3:1-13, Titus 1:5-9

  • Husband of one wife
  • Men that are dignified
  • Men above reproach


Truths to consider:

  • As believers, we must embrace equality and responsibility


  • As believers, we are all equal in God’s eyes.


  • As believers, one is created with the God’s purpose in mind.


  • As believers, each one of us has a responsibility to fulfill our call for God’s purpose.


  • Often, we take a too narrow view of what is really the issue. Keep the Kingdom view in mind.
    • Christ and His church
    • Christ and the home.


  • To deny our roles is to deny God’s Word and Will.


  • God has and will continue to use both men and women in a great way for His Glory, His Purpose, and His Church.


  • So goes the church, so goes the home, so goes the community.


The two approaches.

Egalitarianism  (Both men and women can be a pastor/elder)

Egalitarianism, within Christianity, is a movement based on the theological view that not only are all people equal before God in their personhood, but there are no gender-based limitations of what functions or roles each can fulfill in the home, the church, and the society. It is sometimes referred to as biblical equality. Egalitarians understand the Bible as teaching the fundamental equality of women and men of all racial and ethnic groups, all economic classes, and all age groups, based on the teachings and example of Jesus Christ.


Complementarianism  (Men should be pastor/elder)

Complementarianism is the theological view that although men and women are created equal in their being and personhood, they are created to complement each other via different roles and responsibilities as manifested in marriage, family life, religious leadership, and elsewhere. It is rooted in more literal interpretations of the Creation account and the roles of men and women presented in Scripture.



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