I enjoyed the Gifted to Lead conference I attended last week. It was particularly focused on women in leadership in churches and I was personally challenged about using my gifts. One of the things that was said was in regard to the parable of the talents (Matthew 25). When we get to heaven and God asks us what we did with the gifts he has given us I won’t be able to say I didn’t use them because I’m a woman.

In the booklet we were given there was a statement from the Willow Creek Community Church Elders about women and men in ministry and I have copied part of that statement here:

In the formation of the church at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out on women and men alike, as had been predicted long before the coming of Christ (Joel 2:28, Acts 2:18). In the New Testament, women as well as men exercise prophetic and priestly functions (Acts 2:17-18, 1 Corinthians 11:4-5, 1 Peter 2:9-10). Further, the Spirit bestows gifts on all members of the New Community sovereignly, without giving anyone preferential treatment based on gender (Acts 2:1-21, 1 Corinthians 12:7,11). Every believer is to offer her of his gifts for the benefit of the Body of Christ (Romans 12:4-8, 1 Peter 4:10-11). To prevent believers from exercising their spiritual gifts is to quench the work of the Spirit.

In all attempts to understand and put into practice appropriate relationships between genders in the body of Christ, our sole authority is the will of God as expressed in Scripture. A few isolated scriptural texts appear to restrict the full ministry freedom of women. The interpretation of those passages must take into account their relation to the broader teaching of Scripture and their specific contexts. We believe that, when the Bible is interpreted comprehensively, it teaches the full equality of men and women in status, giftedness, and opportunity of ministry.