Monday, September 20, 2010

Women's Ministry in the Local Church: Chapter 2 Discussion

Led by Ronnica from Ignorant Historian

In chapter 2 of Women's Ministry in the Local Church, Duncan and Hunt spell out the need for women's ministry. Here they define their position (and mine) beautifully:

"Complementarians believe that the Bible teaches that God has created men and women equal in their essential dignity and human personhood, but differently and complementary in function--with male spiritual leadership in the home and believing community, the Church, being understood as a part of God's design." (p. 32-33)

For a little background, I should share that I'm young, single, and the focal point of my ministry is children. Though I've studied biblical views of gender issues in seminary, I don't have much (any) practical experience to back it up. When I started this book, I really had to think through what my church does that would be official "women's ministry." I've always been encouraged to build relationships with women in my care group and in the larger church, but have rarely participated in women's events which we hold a few times a year.

That said, this book has helped me to think through what should women's ministry look like as I agree with Duncan and Hunt that it is necessary.

So, why do we need women's ministry?

  • We live in a culture that is constantly teaching us about gender, directly and indirectly. The church should have something to say about this as God's Word certainly isn't silent on this issue.

  • For women to grow to be godly women, we have to understand what that means. Preaching and teaching in godliness alone isn't enough; we need to know specifically how we should act out our faith as women. God created men and women to be different, so godliness will look different in some respects between the two sexes.

  • The church needs to support godly marriages. We've all heard about the divorce figure within the church being the same as in the world and about the rising numbers of churches accepting homosexual couples as a part of their membership...obviously the church needs help in this area.

What evidence have you seen for the need of women's ministries? Do you agree with Duncan and Hunt that it's necessary?


  1. In addition to what was said above, I also think I need help and a model for being a better, more godly wife and mom. BUT even before I was married, just to counter culture's expectations and to help me grow as a Christian, esp bc I didn't grow up in a Christian home.

  2. I think it's really hard to connect, as women, because we have our own homes to care for, families, etc. At least, that's the stage I find myself in. But you know what? I really NEED women in my life who are ahead of me in the game to encourage me along and to remind me that it's important to cherish all of these little (and sometimes annoying) moments along the way. Their words of encouragement can really speak to a weary soul in a way that a man can't quite master. So I definitely think it's important for older women to encourage the younger women to love their husbands, children, and homes.

  3. I definitely agree that women's ministry is crucial, but I also think that the popular Christian view of women's ministry is skewed. Yes, we need time to be set apart and to learn and to discuss issues that women alone face; however, I find that few popular women's events center around the definition of Biblical womanhood. Instead, they feed our tendency to justify ourselves when we're beat down by our emotions, insecurity, vanity or pride. I'm not trying to negate the validity of some of those feelings at times...but many times we (myself included) seem to wallow in our sin and defend ourselves by claiming we're the victims of hormones, circumstances, etc. Then we make light of it? It's hard to consider a women's speaker/teacher/author to be genuine when she's made up/dressed up to the hilt, but makes self-deprecating jokes about herself.

    We need teachers and events that will cause us to want to learn more about the unique gifts & calling God has given us as women. How do we use them & fulfill our roles? THAT'S what I need from women's encourager, more than a "cheer leader".

    Sorry to ramble...I hope at lease some of this made sense!

  4. Well said, Melissa! YES! I think that puts it very well and distinguishes between a valid, scripturally and spiritually productive ministry and one that is just put together for a girl's night out. I agree with you!

  5. I believe there's room in biblical ministry among and to women that includes spiritually deep events, like Bible study and conferences, as well as events put together just for the fun of it. If we're not having fun together, I think it's hard to go deep with each other. I believe there's a balance between the two and that focusing too much one way or the other is getting away from productive ministry.