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Women in Ministry

by Yvette Nietzen  
2/05/2008 / Leadership

1 Timothy 2:11-14 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.

The controversy continues with women in ministry, but not to the same degree as in the past. If you have paid attention, you see plenty of women pastors, ministers, blogs and websites. Women all over are promoting their ministries, myself included.

The verse above is one that is quoted often, mostly by men, to make their stand against women in ministry.

But what does the scripture say? I will share with you what I have learned, by a man in the highest ministry position.

The word says that God has made the husband the head of the wife, not the man the head of the woman. The words man and woman in the Greek are the same words used for husband and wife and may be translated either way. Therefore, when a woman asserts any kind of ministry or authority in the presence of her husband, she does it under his authority and permission."

I have seen marriages where the woman has a far greater ministry potential than her husband, and the husband may feel threatened and unsure of himself, and does not allow his wife to minister. The bottom line is, who suffers when this happens? The Body of Christ.

When a woman exercises her spiritual authority, she is functioning under her husbands' covering and protection. If a woman is not yet married, that covering and protection should come from her pastor or spiritual father. In either case, the man has the final authority, and if the woman ministers under him, she does it under his authority.

We also need to read between the lines. Paul states "I do not permit" He does not say, "God does not permit." This was his personal stance on the issue, and as a spiritual father over the churches, he had authority to do so.

We also need to understand when God places a calling on someone, he is not looking for a man or a woman to do the job. God is looking for willing vessels. When it comes to receiving gifts of the Spirit, there is no gender involved. God does not call men pastors, women prophets, men evangelists and so forth.

When I minister, I do not see myself as a woman. I see myself as a willing vessel, carrying out what the Lord has called me to do, under His anointing. Many women see themselves foremost as women. I believe that by doing this, they limit themselves. If women see themselves as appointed by God, a willing vessel, then the possibilities are endless.

As I minister, I have the protection and covering of my husband. I am under his authority, and I have full permission to minister.

But what does a woman do when confronted by a man with the verse quoted above? First, she has to be sure of herself and have a strong conviction in her calling. Second, have him take it up with her husband, pastor or spiritual father. God calls and uses willing vessels, even a donkey. Remember, He is no respecter of persons.

Yvette Nietzen lives in the foothills of the Zurqui mountain in Costa Rica with her husband of 30 plus years. View her blog at:

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