How extensively can a woman serve God in an assembly?

How extensively can a woman serve God in an assembly?

Some scriptural boundaries surround the service any of us contribute to the assembly: maintaining order (1 Corinthians 14:40), showing consideration (14:32), and edifying others (14:31). God ordains three additional protective boundaries for sisters: silence in the assembly’s praying and speaking (1 Corinthians 14:34, 35); not teaching publicly (1 Timothy 2:12); and not usurping authority over men (2:12b), meaning not taking leadership. Within those boundaries, sisters have a significant service in the assembly.

Prayer is the most important service.

Older women have the responsibility of teaching younger woman (Titus 2:4). Younger believers

may be able to relate better to godly sisters who have retained a youthful outlook combined with spiritual wisdom. This relationship opens the door for giving spiritual help. Sisters are effective in communicating Bible truth to children (2 Timothy 3:15; 1:5), whether at home or in the assembly’s children’s work. Phebe had spiritual service entrusted to her (Romans 16:1) as a "deaconess" of the assembly. That may include something so sacred as delivering the Roman letter to Roman believers.

Hospitality is a means of cultivating social and spiritual relationships that give a couple greater opportunities for spiritual service. Single sisters can serve the Lord in this way, as well. The Lord fed His disciples before dealing with the failure of their hearts (John 21:12-15).

Other areas that do not undermine male leadership are planning and providing meals for assembly functions, helping to decorate the assembly’s meeting place, and doing personal work in evangelizing. An assembly could utilize a woman’s abilities in accounting. Elders could wisely encourage a trusted sister to advise a young sister regarding modest clothing. A sister’s handling such issues avoids the potential appearance of impropriety were a man to deal with this subject.

Confidentiality may required elders to keep some information from their wives, but God gave men wives to complete their ability in serving as God intended. A godly wife won’t tell her husband what to do in guiding the assembly, but her counsel will save him from many mistakes. Adam was accountable for ruling the earth (Psalm 8:6), but God gave the responsibility to Adam and Eve (Genesis 1:28).

D. Oliver