Not long ago, the only member of the five-fold ministry and the lone individual allowed to lead the church was the pastor, and even the pastor, it was believed, must be male. A woman’s leadership in the Church was rare with the possible exception of the pastor’s wife or daughter or family member, the pastor’s male oversight considered proper and necessary restraint for the female’s natural inclination for foolishness.
Another misconception—a superstition, really—derived from the biblical story of Queen Jezebel, a woman who, from her position as queen, manipulated others who were in authority and controlled everyone, including her husband with an iron hand. This Jezebel, it was believed, is reincarnated in most women, especially women leaders. Such error meant the church in general, and male leaders in particular, labeled women “a Jezebel” if they dared to venture into governmental roles, spiritual or otherwise.
Unfortunately, the same leaders looked the other way when men in leadership behaved like the power-obsessed character Jezebel, destructively dominating and controlling everything and everyone. Male misbehavior received a pass, their power and leadership positions protected from scrutiny.
Obviously—and you don’t have to be a deep-thinker to discern it—resistance to authority was never a woman-only issue, therefore gender-specific traditions that sideline women cannot inoculate the Church from Jezebel’s influence. In pivotal and historic times of the Holy Spirit’s moving, male leaders have resisted the Holy Spirit in worship, prayer, and matters of spiritual authority, so excluding women from five-fold ministry and leadership is not the path to preserving a pure model… nor is it a Bible model.
God-given authority misused by any individual has power to dominate inappropriately; however, every individual, male or female, can instead choose true humility and a right balance for skillful, decisive leadership by the man or woman God chooses.