As we have seen throughout this series, womanhood and femininity are, without a doubt, under attack. But this issue is not confined only to a lost and dying world. Extremes concerning women exist even within the imperfections of the church. One liberal theology wants to go along with the world’s social agenda of completely erasing gender. Then there are others pushing hard in the other direction whose aim seems to be to silence women completely as they refuse to recognize or celebrate the unique gifts God has given women for ministry.
But women are not just some nice bonus God added to make church congregations sweeter and kinder. Women are vital to the mission of the church. So what is a woman’s role missionally?
A woman MISSIONALLY in Christ is expected and equipped to strengthen the church and make the gospel known.
Believing men and women alike are all called to make the gospel known. This is why we are here. This is why God does not graciously redeem us and take us home instantly upon salvation. We are here so that others may be saved. We are here so our Redeemer can leverage our lives to bring more people to Himself.
Women are also a part of the body of Christ, meaning they are a necessary part of the church body by design. In 1 Corinthians 12:18-19, the Apostle Paul writes, “But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be?” Paul also states in Ephesians 4:15-16, “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” So the health of the church is counting on women to do all that God has called and designed them to do.
The New Testament gives us many beautiful examples of women using their lives for the glory of God, the furtherance of the gospel, and the strengthening of the church. Let’s take a brief look at several of them here:
- The Lord entered the world through the womb of a woman, Mary. (Luke 1:26-33)
- Elizabeth, Mary’s cousin, brought John the Baptist into the world. (Luke 1:13-17)
- Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, were integral in Jesus’ ministry. (Luke 10:38-42)
- Mary Magdalene holds a special place in the heart of the gospel. (Mark 16:1-10)
- Priscilla’s faith was such that she and her husband, Aquila, labored beside Paul, and they both poured into Apollos, teaching him clearly about the gospel. (Acts 18:1-3, 18, 24-28; Romans 16:3)
- Lydia’s conversion sent shockwaves in early Acts. (Acts 16:11-15)
- Paul so trusted Phoebe that it is believed he had her deliver his letter to the Romans. (Romans 16:1-2)
- Euodia and Syntyche labored beside Paul. (Philippians 4:2-3)
- And when Timothy was struggling in his faith, Paul wrote to him, encouraging him to do the work of the gospel and reminding him of the influential faith that first dwelt in his mother and grandmother. (2 Timothy 1:5-7)
Women would not be featured in Scripture prominently if their lives held no importance missionally. Their contributions, even today, are not to be taken lightly, and the strength they bring is not to be underestimated. The church must not take a position of merely tolerating women, nor is it to simply or half-heartedly add a few women’s programs. The church needs our sisters in the Lord to fulfill the mission of Christ, and that means we must equip them, celebrate them, and position them to be used mightily by God.