I’ll never forget a sermon I once heard a young preacher deliver. He was speaking on the differing roles of men and women in worship. He very capably noted that men have a leadership role in the church, and touched on a variety of jobs they can do such as be elders, deacons, preachers, and lead in worship. But then he turned his attention to the role of women. He said, “While they cannot have authority over the men, they still have a work to do. He hesitated as if to think for a minute, and then said, “They can pick up trash after church!”
Wow! Can you believe that? I was surprised that instead of picking up trash, they weren’t picking up stones to throw at him!
Of course a woman can pick up trash, (and men can too), but are menial tasks the sole opportunities for women in the church? Is this all I can aspire to as I seek to serve God? Is picking up trash in the church building where we find our fulfillment?
While Scripture is clear that men have leadership roles in the church and home, and women have submissive roles (1 Timothy 2:11-15, Ephesians 5:22-24, 1 Peter 3:1-5), men and women share many of the same responsibilities.
- Men and women are to serve others – (Matthew 20:26-28).
- Men and women are to be teachers – (Acts 18:26; Titus 2:3).
- Men and women are to spread the gospel to the lost – (Mark 16:15-16).
- Men and women are to edify others – (Ephesians 4:16).
- Men and women are to do good to others – (Galatians 6:9).
And there is so much more!
So while there are gender-based role distinctions, men and women share many of the same responsibilities. So then, what’s a woman to do? Far more than pick up trash in a church building. She’s to get busy serving, teaching, encouraging others for the Lord!