The question of what role women can or should take in leadership within the church has been a hot topic for many years. I believe, and I hope, that we are coming to a point of greater consensus on this matter; a consensus that exegetes the scriptures with an appropriately global and historical perspective that reaches beyond our personal preferences, pat answers, and the comfort of our traditionally accepted (and unquestioned) stances. Here is an overview of the position I have come to through much research, prayer, and seeking wise counsel.
The Whole of Scripture
I believe that when the whole of scripture is taken into account, together with an understanding of the culture and the people to whom it was written, the Bible supports the unrestricted ministry of women today (other than the restrictions that would be applied equally to men) and, therefore, I believe women should be allowed to be pastors and worship leaders and even elders.
Klyne Snodgrass, in his article A Case For The Unrestricted Ministry of Women (http://www.covchurch.org/resources), points out the importance of understanding there are a variety of positions on this issue, including “that women should not speak at all, not teach men and boys, not teach from behind a pulpit, not teach authoritatively, not teach except under emergency conditions (as on the mission field or when no qualified male is present), not teach except under the authority of a male senior pastor. Apart from the first two, none of these positions fits a literal reading of 1 Corinthians 14:33-38 and 1 Timothy 2:9-15. Everyone is making hermeneutical moves to deal with these texts, even if they do not admit it.”
The recent restrictions that the COVID-19 stay at home orders have imposed on churches has led church staffs to rethink not only how we “do church,” but what elements are truly essential. We must think creatively about how to perform traditional worship service elements such as singing and taking communion. Shared communion cups have always been a little awkward, but now they’re out of the question, and even passing a bowl for people to reach into and extract a wafer with their bare hands is dangerous.
The most frustrating order for some (e.g. worship leaders) was the order from California Governor Gavin Newsome that churches “discontinue singing” while gathered for worship services. This resulted in an uproar from many Christians. How can we hold a worship service without worshiping? How can the government dictate whether we praise God or not? Didn’t Jesus say that we must sing? Luke 19:40 says, “If they keep silent, the very stones will cry out!” (NET Bible) Our God must be praised!
This is true, of course. But did Governor Newsom’s order actually prohibit worship? Continue reading →
The Online Service Host is a relatively new role that churches are developing, especially now that COVID-19 has forced churches in America to shut their doors and move to an online-only format. The future of church as we know it is uncertain, but online worship services are becoming the new norm. Even when churches are able to meet on campus and in person again a significant portion of the congregation is likely to remain at home. So it is imperative that we establish procedures that will make an online worship service feel more like the real thing and provide authentic worship experience.
One of the most important elements in helping people feel connected is having a host (or two) to virtually “greet” people as they log in to your online worship service, a real person with a real name who can interact with them during the service, Continue reading →
I’ve been leading worship teams for over 20 years, and I’ve learned that the culture of the team determines the effectiveness of the team. A team that has a culture of camaraderie and connectedness is going to be much more effective at working together and leading others in worship. The quality of the relationships among the people on stage has an impact on the environment in the room. If the band is privately quarreling offstage, their presence on stage will reflect that. If the band is a group of best friends, that will translate to the rest of the room when they’re leading worship.
The best way to create a culture of camaraderie and connectedness is to Continue reading →
Here is my sermon from September 1, 2019. The final message in a series answering the question: “What is the purpose of the church?” The Answer: To glorify God by living out the gospel through discipleship, evangelism, and worship. In this message, we look at how to live out the gospel through a lifestyle of worship.
My name is Jathan Good, I’m the worship pastor here, and I’m excited to get to preach this morning! I try to preach every Sunday, but outside of the lyrics of the songs, I’m generally limited to about 30-seconds at a time, so to have 30 minutes to share with you is really special for me. And I get to talk about my life’s passion this morning, but I want to start off with a confession. Can I be vulnerable with you? Is this a safe place? You guys are family, and you love me even with my shortcomings, right?