DMINLGP

DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

from an AG perspective

Written by: on April 4, 2019

What an exciting last run of books for us to end on! I am truly excited to dive into the blogs this week and see how all of you are wrong.

just kidding

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Growing up in the Assemblies of God I have seen many women ministers, all of whom I have considered very effective and some of whom I consider better preachers than their minister husbands! In light of this background, it should not surprise you that I have heard many arguments and many explanations as to why women should be allowed into leadership positions in ministry.

The reflections listed here will be my thoughts on what have become some of my primary pillars for my stance on women in Ministry. Although I don’t know if these are the three strongest points out there, these would be the three points I would bring up if someone questioned why I would allow women in ministry.

The first point I would bring up would be the concept of Redemption. Ever since the fall of man we have been trying to alleviate the pain we received from our own curse, we do this through epidural, farming equipment, government but yet we still insist on man’s dominion over women. I would suggest that we should seek redemption in our male to female relationships as well. Furthermore, “the fall created an inequality in the family relationship that did not exist before the fall, but Christ became a curse for us, and so the curse of inequality is undone in him.”

Beyond this idea that Jesus is redeeming us to a pre-fall status, we also see the same principle of redemption in how Jesus (and Paul treated women). I see the concept reaching down to someone that is traditionally/culturally/socially lower than you and pulling them up to your own level. For example, in 1 Corinthians 14 where the women are commanded to sit in silence is actually a step up from how that culture generally treated women. Normally women were not even allowed in service! Therefore I see the principle of redemption evident again. Likewise, I think today we should carry the torch of this principle and continue to bring redemption and empowerment by reaching down and pulling others up to our level every way we can see it.

The second point I would bring up would be the concept of culture. If Paul was to write a letter to this culture, and he saw that prohibiting women from leadership in church was causing a division in our churches, I imagine he would write a totally different letter to us. I think it seems logical that he would not write a letter telling us to keep our equally educated women silent in church, but just the opposite! If he did this, it might sound like he would be contradicting himself, but when we consider Paul’s wisdom to be all things to all people so that we might win some we can hopefully realize the importance of culture.  Walter Leifel gives a superb explanation of this, “to prohibit a woman from having the same dignity and opportunity in church as she does in society is a stumbling block to many people… we can actually commit the very error Paul sought to avoid that is, offending people’s moral sensibilities and hindering them from accepting the gospel.” Of course, I need to careful using this argument, because someone could easily have said the same thing but in regards to homosexuality, which I do not affirm. We must ask ourselves with every interpretation of scripture, what did the author mean to say to his audience & how does that message transfer today?

The third point I would bring up would be the concept of servant leadership. The ministry of Jesus was never about authority. The question should not be what authority do women have, but what ministry do women have. After all, as Jesus clearly taught, by his actions and words, ministry isn’t about authority or being great, it’s about serving and about placing others above yourself. Furthermore, even if there is any authority, it is in the biblical message, not in the preacher.  Beyond the actions and teaching of Jesus, there is not even any hint of a concept of a church office in the entire New Testament!

As I read these ideas describing the restrictions of women in ministry, I found there were so many grey areas. How can you objectively define the difference between teaching/ preaching/ sharing, and how can you definitively say what is Sunday school and what is a worship service? How could it be ok for women to not teach men (who are educated and attentive and ready to spot inconsistencies, errors, and frauds), yet allow them to teach children who can do none of those things? With so much grey area in these restrictions, it makes me doubt the validity of this stance, to begin with.

About the Author

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Kyle Chalko

12 responses to “from an AG perspective”

  1. mm Jay Forseth says:

    Hi Kyle,

    Funny joke at the start!

    I respect and appreciate your three points. Thank you for sharing them. And I believe you outlined them well, and backed them up. Well done!

  2. mm Mike says:

    Kyle,
    I don’t have an AG background, so some of your theology does not connect with me. Your reaching down viewpoint fits God reaching down to us, but after that, we are all on the lowest level except for the love and grace He extends to us.
    Regarding your second point, how do you feel about the Holy Spirit’s role in maintaining the integrity and inerrancy of the Bible? I guess I would think that it might be more our problem not “getting it” versus Paul’s problem communicating it, given the Holy Spirit’s divine oversight and influence in the writing, publishing, and maintenance of the Scriptures.
    I agree with your point three on servant leadership. Well stated.
    All in all, great post. I see your closing question on the “validity” of this debate and I propose it is another grand ploy by Satan. He is all about dividing God’s people from each other, damage their testimonies, and creating stress and separation on their relationships with God.
    Stand firm,
    Mike

  3. Dave Watermulder says:

    Kyle,
    Thanks for this well organized and clearly thought out post. I appreciate you engaging some of the textual nuance and exegesis, but also moving toward using your baptized imagination to consider how Paul would approach this issue today. Nice post, man!

  4. Great post, Kyle!

    You assert, “What an exciting last run of books for us to end on!” I completely agree! I’m glad that this book was one of the last to read. It gave us all a chance to interact in conversation before engaging in controversy.

    I can’t even imagine how empowering and amazing it must have been to always see equality within the church. I’ve seen ageism, sexism, racism and countless other isms within the doors of the church and love Christ inspire of many ‘church’ experiences. How did this influence your interactions with females in ministry? How does your view of Egalitarianism impact your marriage?

    • mm Kyle Chalko says:

      Hi Colleen,

      I am egalitarian in my marriage as well. My son often says… “Dad is the boss…” and I correct him, no “me and mom are a team.” But its interesting to wonder where he picked that up from…

  5. mm Dan Kreiss says:

    Kyle,

    I am curious about the AG position. It seems that the theological position is egalitarian but are there any restrictions? Is it necessary for women to be married before they can be accepted into positions of leadership? I know that Colleen has had to deal with this type of gender based bias.

    I think your questions are sound regarding the differences between teaching adults who have some ability of discernment and teaching children who are more impressionable. Who is at greater risk of being led astray by ‘false teaching’? It seems that it is more that men would prefer to maintain control of what they perceive to be more prestigious than any meaningful theological or biblical position.

  6. Chris Pritchett says:

    Isn’t it true that women have been in leadership roles and certainly preaching in AG for decades? Or maybe not. I know many Pentecostal churches just can’t keep the Holy Spirit from calling women to ministry and they wouldn’t dare try. Is this true for AG?

  7. Shawn Hart says:

    Wow Kyle…are the Assemblies of God still a church…I thought they disbanded. LOL…Just kidding.

    Kyle, I think you hit on the primary problem with people relating the solution to this discussion; you wrote:

    Pt. 1:”we still insist on man’s dominion over women”
    Pt. 2: “to prohibit a woman from having the same dignity and opportunity”
    Pt. 3: “The question should not be what authority do women have, but what ministry do women have”

    Perspective can be everything! If men view this as a threat to their losing authority…they are wrong anyway!
    If women view this only about getting authority…they are wrong too.
    Why aren’t we all more focused on the ministry and the unity factor? Because we have a history of aggression, regardless what side we are on. However, you did say something I disagree with: you said, “Jesus was never about authority.” Actually, Jesus was all about authority; His very ministry was established in the fact that He was the prophesied ONE. Matthew 28:18-20 begins with “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth…” That’s my point! This issue should not be about authority…that belongs to Christ. It should be about obedience and love; because that is the ministry that Christ established for His church.

  8. Greg says:

    Kyle.
    Thanks of these thoughts. I love that idea of redemption and the brokenness of the fall….we are always living with those and our own choices.
    I love your walk through what Paul might have said today. I do think we get so focused on our own tradition’s view of this topic we have a hard time truly seeing from another side. I am at fault with this as well.

    You speak more directly that I do. I love last point as we live in a place that has “church” and “teaching” in homes with 4-10 people. This is done with both men and women, lead by both men and women. When did we “sanctify” the pulpit or the platform as create a place where some could lead some couldn’t. Thanks brother.

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