By Mark A. Taylor
While opinions differ about what women should or should not do in a Christian church, no one can deny that God is working through women today.
• Several significant and surprising women are included in the genealogy of Jesus.
• Mary, the mother of Jesus, demonstrated strength, character, and obedience to equal that of any male Bible hero .
• And in this virgin’s submission, God showed the divinity of her Son before he grew up to perform his own miracles .
If it weren’t for women, we would not have the gospel. And still today, if it were not for women, the church’s ministry would be poor, indeed.
Let’s recognize here the persistent and often taken-for-granted ministries of women who keep the gears rolling in many congregations. Before we talk about which nontraditional roles women may fill, let’s add our gratitude for “usual” service performed frequently by women with remarkable commitment: the fellowship dinner providers, wedding coordinators, administrative assistants, and Vacation Bible School planners; the women who encourage and advise their elder or minister-husbands; the musicians who have given us our songs and the teachers who have told us the stories central to God’s good news; the missionary wives who have sometimes been the first to hear God’s call for their families to serve a foreign field. All of us know how much the church needs women.
And this month we’ve moved on to include women-led ministries that did not exist a decade or two ago. Some of these women are concerned about the condition of women caught in the adult entertainment industry. Others are devastated by the hopelessness of women enslaved by sex trafficking. Some display the compassion of Christ toward women with an unwanted pregnancy. Others show women how to build homes devoid of the dysfunction that characterizes too much of their community.
The industry, skill, giftedness, determination, and love of the women we’re profiling here are examples to men and women anywhere who want to serve Christ. Their ability to see needs, develop strategy, and manage ministry prompts all of us to wonder why such women aren’t given more responsibility in the outreach of local churches. These women provide most of their ministry to women. Certainly the church would be richer if more women like them were leading ministry to men as well.
God used a woman to bring his Son into the world. God is using women today to lift up his Son in a world that sorely needs him. Even as we celebrate his birth, we’re thanking God for the example of Christian women who submit to God’s call today.