Community Presbyterian Church Position Women and Men Serving Together in Ministry
Community Presbyterian Church (CPC), Danville, has long embraced the fact that the Holy Spirit gives Spiritual gifts to women and men equally. For decades women and men have served together in areas of leadership throughout the church, as volunteers leading ministries, as elders and deacons guiding and serving our body and as ordained pastors shepherding our congregation. Through the years CPC has taught and modeled our belief that God expects all believers in Christ to use their Spiritual gifts to further His Kingdom.
The basis for CPC’s position is biblical, not cultural. Both the Old Testament and New Testament contain significant scriptural examples of women and men serving in ministry in noteworthy leadership positions.
- Old Testament texts address women and men serving in ministry together1
- New Testament texts present a view about women in leadership that is counter - cultural to the predominant view of women in ancient societies.
- Jesus' attitude and practice about women was in direct contradiction to that of his contemporaries.2
- The Book of Acts clearly and consistently documents the newfound freedom and role of women in Christ and in the founding of the early Church.3
- The ministry of women is explicit in the writings of Paul with the exception of a few passages that require deeper understanding of their context.4
While a few scriptures on the surface appear to contradict the position of women in leadership they are not persuasive when examined within the context of the issues of the times that the writer was addressing.5 These select texts are in direct conflict with the many examples of women in leadership found elsewhere in the Old and New Testament.
The Session of CPC maintains that God’s calling to ministry and leadership is a privilege to which many, both women and men, are called and we believe and commit to the following values:
- To provide opportunity for ministry at all levels, including teaching and ruling elders and deacons, based on giftedness, character, and calling without regard to gender.
- To pursue the kind of purity and loyalty in relationships between women and men that led New Testament writers to describe them in terms of family; “brothers and sisters.”
- To be intentional in overcoming sexist elements in our culture and to offer encouragement to women in areas where their giftedness has been traditionally discouraged.
- To teach and model these values to members of our community, to the church, and to the world at large.
1. Genesis 1:26-28; Exodus 38:8 and 1 Samuel 2:1-10; (Exodus 15:20,21 and 2 Kings 22:14-20; Judges 4-5; Joel 2:28-32
2. John 4; Mark 15:40, 41 and Luke 8:1-3; Luke 10:38-42; Matthew 28:7
3. Acts 1: 14; Acts 8:3; Acts 17:12, Acts 2:17-21; Acts 21:9
4. Galatians 3:28; Romans 16:1, 2; Romans 16:3; Acts 18:26; Romans 16:6; Romans 16: 12; Romans 16:7 ; Philippians 4:2, 3; 1 Corinthians 11:5
5. 1 Timothy 3:1-7, 1 Corinthians 14:34-36, I Timothy 2:8-11, 12-15