|| Bible Question: Are
women allowed to be on a church board that has voting privileges
to determine budget and accounting practices?
Bible Answer: A
previous study entitled, "Role
of Women In The Church " will provide some important background
information for the answer of your question. I would encourage you
to read it.
1:1 is a great verse in the New Testament. It informs us that there
should be three groups of people in every church.
and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints
in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers
and deacons . . . (NASB) 1 Tim. 3:1
first group of people are the saints or Christians in the church.
The second and third groups are the church leaders. The deacons are
to support the elders and the elders have the responsibility to lead
Acts 6:1-7 sets the example for the selection
of deacons. A complaint came to the apostles from the Hellenistic Jews when the
needs of their widows were not being met. The apostles responded by saying this,
the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and
said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word
of God in order to serve tables.' (NASB) Acts 6:2
apostles simply said that their ministry was not about doing the "work
of deacons." The Greek word for "serve" is where we
get the word "deacon." Attention to administration details
is deacon's work.
Elders have the responsibility of teaching, shepherding,
and leading the congregation. In 1 Peter 5 the apostle Peter says,
I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness
of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory
that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God
among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion,
but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for
sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over
those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples
to the flock. (NASB) 1 Pet. 5:1-3
in 1 Timothy 5:17 we read that elders are responsible for teaching
the elders who take the lead well be counted worthy of double
honor, especially those laboring in word and teaching. (GLT)
1 Tim. 5:17
we put the puzzle together we have elders leading, teaching, and
shepherding the church, and male deacons and female deacons (deaconesses)
supporting the elders.
can serve in the church in many different ways, but they cannot serve
as elders. The role of an elder is one of great reasonability, and
God has reserved that for males. How do we know this? The answer
is found in the list of qualifications in 1 Timothy 3:1-7. But the
key verse is as follows:
overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one
wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to
teach . . . (NASB) 1 Tim. 3:2
word "overseer" refers to the function of an elder. Notice
that the elder is to be "husband of one wife." The actual
Greek words are "one woman male." This means the elder
must be a male. Woman cannot be elders.
first and second sections tell us that the elders who lead, teach,
and shepherd the church are to be males. Both men and women can serve
as deacons. Their role is defined by the elders. This implies that
a woman can serve on any church board that is not the Board of Elders.
Any sub-board is okay, but that board can never have "the ultimate
authority" since the elders are the ones ultimately responsibility
for the church. They are responsible to the real Leader - Jesus Christ.