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 that 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 it is 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 held by men, by the elders who must be a husband of one wife, literally "a man of one woman" (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:6).

Can a woman be a mouthpiece for presenting her husband's views in church?

Again, this depends on the context. Is her husband the pastor and she gets up and preaches his message because he was sick? That would be wrong since she would be functioning as an elder. But if her husband is not a pastor or an elder, and she were conveying his desires about something, then it is not an issue that relates to teaching authority.

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, 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).  We must be careful not to try and find a way to get women to be and authoritative teaching positions in churches.



About The Author

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