In many churches, women are limited in what they are allowed to do. They can make the coffee, (actually a specifically male role as exemplified by the book of He Brews) and teach a children’s Sunday school class. But it is what women are NOT allowed to do that is the problem. In many situations, women are not allowed any role that carries “authority.” For example, I have a close friend who has been trained to teach a disciple-making course. But sometimes, when a church hears that one of the presenters of the course is going to be a woman, they refuse to allow her to come.
God has given me (and many other women) certain desires and gifts that have always led me to be a strategic thinker. I love listening to God, particularly in the context of a group that is seeking His face for what He is doing within the Kingdom. As a physician, I was capable of making life-and-death decisions, but for years I was not allowed to take any kind of leadership role in church because of my gender. This was a huge source of sadness for me.
Thankfully the Holy Spirit is beginning to change all of this. There is an increasing understanding that the Scriptures do not prohibit women from leadership roles. God is using women all over the world to extend His Kingdom. Women have started over 80 percent of the house churches in China. A similar situation exists in Dr Yonggi Cho’s church in Korea where again women lead over 80 percent of the cell groups of the largest church in the world. Think of Heidi Baker, who with her husband, Rolland, is responsible for more than 10,000 churches in Mozambique and other African countries. In India, recently, I met a middle-aged housewife who, with the team she has trained, has started more than 6,000 churches.
What can God do with a woman who is yielded to Him?