Not long ago the only member of the five-fold ministry and 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, his male oversight considered proper restraint for the female’s natural inclination to foolishness.

Another misconception, a superstition really, derived from the biblical story of Queen Jezebel, a woman who in a power position as queen, manipulated others in authority and ruled everyone including her husband with an iron hand. This Jezebel, it was believed, is reincarnated in most women, especially women leaders.  

This error meant the church in general, and male leaders in particular, labeled women daring to venture into governmental roles, spiritual or otherwise, “a Jezebel.’ 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 female-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 and is not the answer to preserving a pure model nor is it a biblical model. 

God-given authority misused by any individual, male or female, has power to dominate inappropriately; however, every individual, male or female, can instead choose true humility and a right balance of authority and position for skillful, decisive leadership by the man or woman God chooses.

Religious mindsets are changing. Thank God. 

Amen.

Galatians 3:27-29 | Ephesians 1:22-23 | 1 Corinthians 12:7 | Verses@Once