Men, women, and spiritual gifts

Here is my statement on men and women in ministry:

Spiritual gifts, which are imparted by the Holy Spirit, are given to foster love and unity in the body of Christ. Both men and women have spiritual gifts and should be able to foster them accordingly. In cases where men and women are more inclined with a gift of teaching or preaching there should be consideration of how to responsibly respond in faith to the Holy Spirit’s calling. Some qualifications to consider: is the fruit of the Spirit being produced in their life and do they show a consistent Christian lifestyle in and out of the context of church and official “ministry”? Not all are called to be teachers in a formal church ministry context as pastors or other roles. Passages of Scripture seem very clear to me that the role of elder is being fulfilled by men in Paul’s time, as it should be (1 Tim. 3).

I personally do not believe that the Holy Spirit would give a gift, specifically, the teaching or preaching gift, to men or women for the exhortation of the body of Christ and then inspire the authors of the Bible to authoritatively write against the use of that gift because of gender or any characteristic other than living in a sinful lifestyle. Therefore, I am comfortable with confirming that it is appropriate for men and women to use their gifts to minister to others under the context that it promotes unity and love in the body of Christ, and more specifically to the local church in which they minister. Whether they receive an official title or not is up to the discretion of the local church and their agreed creeds and/or doctrinal statements.

My clear and distinctive statements are for male eldership; distinctions in the title of pastor and elder; and the unity of the local church as the ultimate goal so that we can be a good witness to those in our community.

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