Married Co-Pastors and Women Preachers
Hello friends! During one of my usual perusings of the interwebs, I came across a video of a man on youtube, telling his followers to stay away from churches that have the pastor's wives as a co-pastor to the church they attend. And his reasoning for saying something like this, was because he feels as though women being able to preach to coed congregations, and ultimately lead a church, is unbiblical. He even claimed that there were *zero* biblical examples of a married couple or a woman leading a church, and that lack of representation in the bible was enough evidence for it to be considered a sin/wrong/bad theology to him. And directly after saying that statement, he also said that if the church they attended was bold enough to be lenient on this piece of theology, then the church they attend could also be spreading bad theology in other areas of importance in the faith, and he considered that to be very dangerous, so that's why he was calling and urging people to leave those churches with women in leadership.
As I watched the video, I knew that everything that he was saying was ill-informed, but as I looked in the comment section, all of the comments that I saw were in agreement with what he was saying to them. And this was a cause of concern for me because many people believed that what he was saying was correct. He even linked an opposing article in the video and said that it was essentially invalid because it lacked scriptural evidence supporting married co-pastoring. And as someone who also needs biblical evidence in order to believe a piece of theology, I understand not wanting to accept something until seeing the biblical evidence to back it up. Personally, within my own walk with God, I didn’t believe that God accepted LGBTQIA+ folks until He showed me *MULTIPLE* scriptures that showed me that He did. And even after all of that it still took a long time for me to accept the message fully within myself. So I can relate to this sentiment, and to help bring clarity into the situation, I will provide the biblical evidence of married co-pastors and women leading a church. And both of these examples can be found within the biblical couple in the New Testament during the forming of the early church named Priscilla and Aquila.
Priscilla and Aquila were a married couple, who were also co-pastors that headed a church in the bible. They were also good friends with Paul, and they traveled around with him to preach the gospel. Paul later even thanked them for helping him out and called them his coworkers in Christ. And this can be seen in Acts, Romans, and 2 Timothy.
After this, Paul left Athens and went on to Corinth. There he met a Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, for Emperor Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, and stayed and worked with them, because he earned his living by making tents, just as they did.
Acts 18:1-3 GNTD
Paul stayed on with the believers in Corinth for many days, then left them and sailed off with Priscilla and Aquila for Syria. Before sailing from Cenchreae he had his head shaved because of a vow he had taken. They arrived in Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He went into the synagogue and held discussions with the Jews.
Acts 18:18-19 GNTD
At that time a Jew named Apollos, who had been born in Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent speaker and had a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the Way of the Lord, and with great enthusiasm he proclaimed and taught correctly the facts about Jesus. However, he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him home with them and explained to him more correctly the Way of God. Apollos then decided to go to Achaia, so the believers in Ephesus helped him by writing to the believers in Achaia, urging them to welcome him. When he arrived, he was a great help to those who through God's grace had become believers. For with his strong arguments he defeated the Jews in public debates by proving from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Messiah.
Acts 18:24-28 GNTD
I send greetings to Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in the service of Christ Jesus; they risked their lives for me. I am grateful to them—not only I, but all the Gentile churches as well. Greetings also to the church that meets in their house. Greetings to my dear friend Epaenetus, who was the first in the province of Asia to believe in Christ.
Romans 16:3-5 GNTD
I send greetings to Priscilla and Aquila and to the family of Onesiphorus.
2 Timothy 4:19 GNTD
As one begins to read about them in the scriptures, it becomes clear that Priscilla and Aquila were a married couple that started a church together and preached side by side. They even corrected Apollo, who was a preacher of the gospel, and was able to more accurately explain the gospel to him. And because of their help, he was able to win more souls to the kingdom in a more accurate way. They also allowed Paul to stay with them when he needed someplace to stay, and he credits them for helping all of the gentile churches because of the help that they provided for him.
And as one begins to understand the cultural context of when these scriptures were written, one will be able to see that the church that Priscilla and Aquila pastored over, was mostly led by Priscilla. And that can be seen from Priscilla’s name always being mentioned first whenever they are talked about. Most women in the bible don’t even have their names mentioned, much less have their names mentioned before a man’s in sequence. This goes to show the authority that Priscilla had over Aquila in terms of pastoring over their church. So Priscilla was the head pastor, and her husband was the co-pastor over their church. And with this one example alone, the bible shows evidence of both a woman pastoring over a church and a married couple pastoring over a church all in one go! (Look at God being quick and to the point! lol) But if this example is not enough to convince you that women have the God-given ability to lead and shepherd over a flock of sheep, then one has to go all the way back to the start of creation in genesis.
Some of the reasoning that many churches use for women to not be able to lead, is due to Eve having first been deceived by Satan, and that then cancels out all other women from being allowed to be heads over churches. But this statement, friends, goes completely against the gospel! There is no sin that is too big for God to cover, and God does NOT punish other people for the sins of someone else.
55 “Where, Death, is your victory? Where, Death, is your power to hurt?”56 Death gets its power to hurt from sin, and sin gets its power from the Law. 57 But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!
1 Corinthians 15:55-57 GNT
20 It is the one who sins who will die. A son is not to suffer because of his father's sins, nor a father because of the sins of his son. Good people will be rewarded for doing good, and evil people will suffer for the evil they do.
Ezekiel 18:20 GNT
However, even though the book of Genesis is typically where people go to try to claim that women aren’t equal towards men, but it’s a great place to start to see how God feels about women, when He created them.
This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; 2 male and female created he them, and blessed them, and called their name [a]Adam, in the day when they were created.
Genesis 5:1-2 ASV
When God created BOTH of the first two humans, He gave them the same name. But it was Adam, who changed Eve’s name to Eve. God called them by the same name, gave them the same blessing, and created them BOTH in His image! God created both Adam and Eve, and saw both of them as equals in His eyes. So God also sees ALL of His children as being equal to each other, and He has placed gifts in all of us, that He wants ALL of us to use. And that can be seen in Ephesians, Galatians, Colossians, 1 Peter and in James.
6 there is one God and Father of all people, who is Lord of all, works through all, and is in all.
Ephesians 4:6 GNT
28 So there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles, between slaves and free people, between men and women; you are all one in union with Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:28 GNT
11 As a result, there is no longer any distinction between Gentiles and Jews, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarians, savages, slaves, and free, but Christ is all, Christ is in all.
Colossians 3:11 GNT
10 Each one, as a good manager of God's different gifts, must use for the good of others the special gift he has received from God.
1 Peter 4:10 GNT
17 Every good gift and every perfect present comes from heaven; it comes down from God, the Creator of the heavenly lights, who does not change or cause darkness by turning.
James 1:17 GNT
So as one reads the scriptures, it becomes clear that God has a plan for and gives gifts to everyone that He wants them to use for His glory. And when we as humans say that someone can't use their gift in a specific way that God called them to use their gift, then we are placing ourselves in front of God. Who are we to say what God is doing in someone's life? Who are we to say that someone doesn't fit our own human requirements to be a leader? When we deny what God is doing in other people's lives, then we are denying Him. When we reject who God called someone to be, then we are rejecting God's will. You don't have to like every pastor that God calls, and you certainly don't have to sit under every pastor either, but to claim that God could never call an entire gender into leadership, is honestly the manifestation of denying the power and ability of God. And that makes a strong (and wrong) statement that says that God prefers and only speaks to men. If God never wanted to call women into leadership then He would have never created women, period. God is not in the business of wasting gifts, time, or vessels to do His will on the earth. God calls leaders of ALL genders (including nonbinary and agender people) and the work of the Lord will be done whether people approve of the vessel He uses or not!
Peter replied, “I'm totally convinced that God has no favorites. In every nation God accepts those who respect him, and do what is good and right.
Acts 10:34-35 FBV
My friends, as believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, you must never treat people in different ways according to their outward appearance.
James 2:1 GNT
17 It is clear that God gave those Gentiles the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ; who was I, then, to try to stop God!”
Acts 11:17 GNT
Also, friends if you would to read another AMAZING article on this subject, I'll link one down below for you to read that I absolutely LOVED!