Throughout our almost 75 years as a congregation, the women at Preston Road have always played essential roles. The role of women at Preston Road has expanded to include many activities such as organizing fellowship gatherings, teaching in our women’s and youth ministries, teaching some co-ed Bible classes outside our regular curriculum, as well as assisting with the distribution of communion and the collection of offerings, singing solos, participating in chain prayers and reading scripture, participating in various ministry program presentations and making announcements.
Recently, the elders have been in discussion, study and prayer regarding other public opportunities for women to use their gifts and talents consistent with Scripture.
It is our view that women may teach adult Bible classes as part of our regular curriculum. In addition, it is our view that providing opportunities for women to participate in the public worship assembly in the following ways is consistent with Scripture: offering a testimony of personal transformation, inviting support for or reporting on a ministry effort.
While it is our view that Scripture limits the roles of elders and preaching ministers to men, there are numerous roles in our church which can and should be filled by those most gifted and qualified to do so, regardless of gender. This is in keeping with Scripture and our congregation’s history of allowing men and women to serve on our ministry staff, various committees and ministry projects. We have been blessed to have both men and women serve effectively as ministry coordinators, Bible class leaders and facilitators.
We seek to uphold the integrity of Scripture and its call for unity within the church and, at the same time, empower each member to live out his or her freedom in Christ to their full potential.
In approaching this subject we are guided by the words of Paul to be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called. (Ephesians 4:2-4)
As always, we invite your prayers and welcome your feedback on this, and all other, decisions impacting the worship, mission and unity of the Preston Road Church of Christ.