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Can Women Be Ministers?


Is there anything that prevents women from being ministers?

Steve Answers:

Because males have functioned as pastors for so long and females have functioned in assistant or associate roles, many women may not have even considered this an option. (In the same way females years ago didnít picture themselves as physicians, but nurses.)

But the crucial issue regarding whether or not youíre a minister is whether or not God equips you to minister. If God does, then thereís no reason you canít minister. You may not get the position youíd like, but that doesnít need to stop you from ministering where you are. (Most males donít get the position they want either!)

Actually, thereís a shortage of pastors in North America at this time. One conference official recently reported an estimated 200 pastoral positions available. And some conferences are especially seeking female pastors. But other conferences still shy away from hiring females.

In the Northern California Conference there are more than 100 pastors. Only one is female. Iíve asked her to answer your question, because Iíve found that females often have a vital perspective that males just donít have. So hereís her response:

ďMy name is Marit, and Iíve been an associate pastor at the Pacific Union College church for more than eight years. I really enjoy my job, and my congregation is supportive and accepting of me.

ďI donít think thereís anything that prevents women from being ministers. In fact, I would encourage women to become ministers! And since 60 percent of most church memberships are made up of women, I think that as a woman you can minister to this group in a unique and different way.

ďWhen I first arrived on this campus, many women told me they were so glad I was here. Why? Because women relate differently to a woman pastorósomebody who understands what it means to be a woman in todayís society; somebody who looks at the Bible through the eyes of a woman; somebody they can spend one-on-one time with without having to be afraid of sexual implications.

ďRight now ordination isnít something thatís been approved for women ministers in the Seventh-day Adventist denomination. So if youíre looking to become an ordained minister, you might have to think twice.

ďBut Iím finding that I function and participate in church life the same way my ordained colleagues do. In fact, baby dedications and baptisms are my specialties!

ďI feel honored and blessed by the opportunities God has provided for me to serve and be a part of my congregation.Ē

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