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Being a preacher or pastor is an important leadership position in the Christian church, today and since the first churches described in the New Testament. Does Jesus trust women to be leaders in his church? I believe the answer is a resounding YES! But we live in a fallen world, filled with evil, wickedness, corruption and decay caused by our sinful human natures and fueled by the lies and deceptions of our enemy Satan and his demonic hordes. Since the fall of human beings into sin, men have dominated women and suppressed their rights to be equal in the sight of God. It has only been a hundred years since women received the right to vote, for goodness sake. So when we see examples of women being "subjugated" to men in the scriptures, it is happening because of the cultural corruption caused by sin. My proof will provide examples of women in "leadership" positions within the people or family of God, the nation of Israel and the Christian church as recorded in the bible. We must keep in mind this one essential truth: all of God's chosen leaders (except Jesus) made mistakes, committed sins, and were unfaithful at some point. It is easy to judge their mistakes and disqualify them as leadership examples, but God didn't do that. God chose weak and sinful people to "shame the wise" and bring the glory to himself. Old Testament In the Old Testament there were three leadership positions within God's family: prophets, priests and kings. Esther Esther was made queen of the Medo-Persian empire, and she saved the nation of Israel from extinction and annihilation. We can read her accomplishments in the book of Esther. The Patriarch's Wives Sarah, Rebekah, Leah and Rachel were all leaders of the people of God. Their lives are recorded in the book of Genesis. They shared the OT gospel with the Canaanite women, they led many women to faith in God, and taught them how to lead a God-pleasing life. These details are not recorded in the bible but we know they are true, because God never changes. He is not willing that any should perish. God uses all his servants to proclaim his message of salvation. God uses all his servants to teach people how to lead a God-pleasing life. These women were faithful to God and served him all their days. Miriam Miriam was the sister of Moses and Aaron. She was a leader of the nation of Israel. She witnessed and instructed the women and children in the Israelite community. We can read her story in Exodus and Numbers. Deborah Deborah was a judge, a prophet and led the nation of Israel. We can read her story in Judges chapter 4-5. Under her rule the land had peace for 40 years. New Testament Anna Anna was a prophet who never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. She came up to Mary and Joseph at the temple, gave thanks to God and spoke about baby Jesus to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem (Luke 2:36-38). Mary Mary, the mother of Jesus played an important leadership role in the early church. She launched Jesus into his public ministry at the wedding in Cana. At times she strengthened the disciples who were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Mary Magdalene Mary was saved and delivered by Jesus in miraculous ways. She became one of his most devoted followers. She had the privilege of being the first person to witness his resurrection. House Church Leaders The apostle Paul sends greetings to many women who served in leadership roles in his house churches. The apostle John, writes his second letter to "The Elder, the lady chosen by God and to her children, whom I love in the truth." Qualifications for Leadership In the qualifications for leadership provided by the apostle Paul, there is no mention of gender, no bias or disqualification of women. See 1 Corinthians 12:28-31 and Ephesians 4:11-16. It is spiritually mature people who should be leaders in the church, and Jesus expects both men and women to become mature and complete in their faith and practice.
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