Can women share God's word in church?

by Matt Slick

Whether or not a woman can share God's word in a church depends on what is meant by "sharing God's word."  If it is in the context of preaching, then no, a woman is not to teach or exercise authority in the church (1 Tim. 2:12-13; 3:15).  If it means she is sharing what God has done in her life or the life of others and she cites Scripture to support it, then that's fine.  The line must be drawn when a woman's sharing of the word of God implies an authoritative teaching in a church context.  This is not her place.

Some have stated that a woman can teach the word of God authoritatively if it is only to women. Though this argument might have some merit, the issue is the authoritative teaching in the church context which is specifically the domain of the men (1 Tim. 5:17; 1 Timothy 3:1-7).  So, if we have a woman teaching authoritatively (i.e., preaching from the pulpit but only to women), then she is still in an authoritative teaching position in the church.  The Scriptures do not give any such responsibility to women in the New Testament pastoral epistles.  Instead, these roles are always said to be held by men.

However, this does not mean a woman cannot be a good teacher or might not be a better teacher than men.  The important issue is regarding what the word of God actually teaches and not what political correctness would advocate.  In light of that, God's word instructs us that the teaching elders are to be men--not women (Titus 1:5-9; 1 Timothy 3:1-7).


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.