Tag Archives: women

L.A.D.I.E.S. Brunch Conference 2017 – Saturday, October 7 feat. Kelly Parker!

It’s almost time for Saturday brunch with Kelly Parker!  Won’t you join us?

Ladies, join us for our third annual L.A.D.I.E.S. Brunch Conference (Living as Devoted in Every Sense)! Saturday, October 7, 2017 will be a great morning of inspiration and encouragement with our special guest speaker, Ms. Kelly Parker.

About Ms. Parker:

Kelly Parker is a Bible teacher, speaker and blogger. Her desire is to see women embrace the victory and freedom that come from a life wholly submitted to Christ. She finds great joy in conveying biblical truths in a straightforward way to help women apply God’s Word to their everyday lives.

Kelly is the founder of When the Gals Gather, a movement focused on empowering women with tools and resources for authentic biblical living. Kelly is a native of Cleveland, Ohio and a graduate of Kent State University. She holds a degree in Marketing and Public Relations and has more than 10 years of professional marketing experience.

In her spare time, Kelly enjoys writing, reading and calligraphy. She is married to Luvirt Parker, Lead Pastor of Christ Community Church in University Heights, Ohio.  They have three children, Gabrielle, Marcus and Nia, and reside in Shaker Heights, Ohio.

Ms. Parker is a wonderful, dynamic speaker who has a message for ladies of all ages!  Feel free to invite your daughters, neighbors and friends to this event!

Along with a delicious brunch, admission is FREE for this “can’t miss” event, and there will be door prizes, too!  If you or a group are interested in attending, let us know as soon as possible (we need a head count!).  Please call our church office at 330.376.4654 or call Melvin Gaines at 234.206.0345 or 234.221.8125.

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L.A.D.I.E.S. Brunch Conference 2017 – Saturday, October 7 feat. Kelly Parker!

Save the Date: Saturday, October 7, 2017 at 10:00 AM (We’re just under two weeks away!)

Ladies, join us for our third annual L.A.D.I.E.S. Brunch Conference (Living as Devoted in Every Sense)!  Saturday, October 7, 2017 will be a great morning of inspiration and encouragement with our special guest speaker, Ms. Kelly Parker.

About Ms. Parker:

Kelly Parker is a Bible teacher, speaker and blogger. Her desire is to see women embrace the victory and freedom that come from a life wholly submitted to Christ. She finds great joy in conveying biblical truths in a straightforward way to help women apply God’s Word to their everyday lives.

Kelly is the founder of When the Gals Gather, a movement focused on empowering women with tools and resources for authentic biblical living. Kelly is a native of Cleveland, Ohio and a graduate of Kent State University. She holds a degree in Marketing and Public Relations and has more than 10 years of professional marketing experience.

In her spare time, Kelly enjoys writing, reading and calligraphy. She is married to Luvirt Parker, Lead Pastor of Christ Community Church in University Heights, Ohio.  They have three children, Gabrielle, Marcus and Nia, and reside in Shaker Heights, Ohio.

Ms. Parker is a wonderful, dynamic speaker who has a message for ladies of all ages!  Feel free to invite your daughters, neighbors and friends to this event!

Along with a delicious brunch, admission is FREE for this “can’t miss” event, and there will be door prizes, too!  If you or a group are interested in attending, let us know as soon as possible (we need a head count!).  Please call our church office at 330.376.4654 or call Melvin Gaines at 234.206.0345 or 234.221.8125.


L.A.D.I.E.S. Brunch Conference 2017 – Saturday, October 7 feat. Kelly Parker!

Save the Date: Saturday, October 7, 2017 at 10:00 AM (We’re one month away!)

Ladies, join us for our third annual L.A.D.I.E.S. Brunch Conference (Living as Devoted in Every Sense)!  Saturday, October 7, 2017 will be a great morning of inspiration and encouragement with our special guest speaker, Ms. Kelly Parker.

About Ms. Parker:

Kelly Parker is a Bible teacher, speaker and blogger. Her desire is to see women embrace the victory and freedom that come from a life wholly submitted to Christ. She finds great joy in conveying biblical truths in a straightforward way to help women apply God’s Word to their everyday lives.

Kelly is the founder of When the Gals Gather, a movement focused on empowering women with tools and resources for authentic biblical living. Kelly is a native of Cleveland, Ohio and a graduate of Kent State University. She holds a degree in Marketing and Public Relations and has more than 10 years of professional marketing experience.

In her spare time, Kelly enjoys writing, reading and calligraphy. She is married to Luvirt Parker, Lead Pastor of Christ Community Church in University Heights, Ohio.  They have three children, Gabrielle, Marcus and Nia, and reside in Shaker Heights, Ohio.

Ms. Parker is a wonderful, dynamic speaker who has a message for ladies of all ages!  Feel free to invite your daughters, neighbors and friends to this event!

Along with a delicious brunch, admission is FREE for this “can’t miss” event, and there will be door prizes, too!  If you or a group are interested in attending, let us know as soon as possible (we need a head count!).  Please call our church office at 330.376.4654 or call Melvin Gaines at 234.206.0345 or 234.221.8125.


L.A.D.I.E.S. Brunch Conference 2017 – Saturday, October 7 feat. Kelly Parker!

Save the Date: Saturday, October 7, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Ladies, join us for our third annual L.A.D.I.E.S. Brunch Conference (Living as Devoted in Every Sense)!  Saturday, October 7, 2017 will be a great morning of inspiration and encouragement with our special guest speaker, Kelly D. Parker.

About Ms. Parker:

Kelly Parker is a Bible teacher, speaker and blogger. Her desire is to see women embrace the victory and freedom that come from a life wholly submitted to Christ. She finds great joy in conveying biblical truths in a straightforward way to help women apply God’s Word to their everyday lives.

Kelly is the founder of When the Gals Gather, a movement focused on empowering women with tools and resources for authentic biblical living. Kelly is a native of Cleveland, Ohio and a graduate of Kent State University. She holds a degree in Marketing and Public Relations and has more than 10 years of professional marketing experience.

In her spare time, Kelly enjoys writing, reading and calligraphy. She is married to Luvirt Parker, Lead Pastor of Christ Community Church in University Heights, Ohio.  They have three children, Gabrielle, Marcus and Nia, and reside in Shaker Heights, Ohio.

Ms. Parker is a wonderful, dynamic speaker who has a message for ladies of all ages!  Feel free to invite your daughters, neighbors and friends to this event!

Along with a delicious brunch, admission is FREE for this “can’t miss” event, and there will be door prizes, too!  If you or a group are interested in attending, let us know as soon as possible (we need a head count!).  Please call our church office at 330.376.4654 or call Melvin Gaines at 234.206.0345 or 234.221.8125.


Mother’s Day: God’s Message of True Beauty

Happy Mother’s Day!

Today’s message text for Mother’s Day as presented by Lynn Gaines: 

When Pastor Gus asked me to speak for the Mother’s day service, I thought he meant a supplemental reading—then he said no—he meant the main message!  So I regrouped and asked the Lord what He wanted me to talk about, and He gave me this topic: “What is True Beauty?” …so here it goes…

The Webster’s (Dictionary) definition of beauty is:

  • A combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.
  • A combination of qualities that pleases the intellect or moral sense.

The definition of beautiful is:

  • Pleasing the senses or mind aesthetically
  • Of a very high standard; excellent.

Type in a Google search for “beautiful women” and a flood of images come up – women with unusual eyes, long hair (with a random shot of Halle Berry’s pixie cut tossed in), Angelina Jolie pouty lips and pleasing curves.  What’s interesting to me is that as I look around, most women I see don’t fit that definition!  I know a lot of women that I consider beautiful, but they don’t necessarily fit the world’s description… in fact when I think of beautiful women, some physical attributes come to mind, but usually for me it’s other “unseen” things that come to mind when I think of the word beautiful. For example, my mom is physically attractive but it’s her calmness, her elegance, her love and support of others that make her beautiful to me.

We see a lot today about how the world defines “beautiful people”–perfect hair, teeth, and skin (sometimes accompanied by large homes and a jet setting life)–but is that all there is to beauty?

What happens if you don’t fit the stereotype does that mean you’re ugly?

All of us as women are bombarded with constant imagery that only a few can live up to. From Toddlers in Tiaras to the Bachelorette to the Miss America pageants, we are constantly being inundated with all these images of what the media deems “beautiful”. The average American woman is a size 12-14 yet when we are shown supposedly “beautiful women,” they are usually a size 0-4–so is everyone else less beautiful? (Man, I sure hope not…)

There are reports now where girls as young as 12 are getting cosmetic surgery done, not because it’s necessary, but because they want a certain feature to look a certain way. In “Real Girls, Real Pressure: A National Report on the State of Self-Esteem,” a survey of more than 1,000 girls in the United States showed that 70 percent of girls ages 8 to 17 believed that they “are not good enough” or do not measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school, relationships with friends and family members and they are looking to plastic surgery to give them a mental boost and the confidence that they are beautiful.

When someone says,  “She is beautiful”, what is the first thing you think of? -what is on the outside or the inside? Sadly, in our culture today, one’s mind usually goes to the outside.

Magazines, TV, and books have all hijacked the definition of what beauty means and they are using it to promote a better bottom line for their products- buy this dress/perfume/hairstyle/book and voila, instant beauty!!  But I contend that there is more to beauty than what you see and it’s more than money can buy…

More encouraging, another study done by the Dove Campaign found that:

  • 77 percent of women strongly agree that beauty can be achieved through attitude, spirit, and other attributes that have nothing to do with physical appearance.
  • 89 percent strongly agree that a woman can be beautiful at any age.
  • 85 percent state that every woman has something about her that is beautiful.

The study also found that two-thirds of women strongly agree that physical attractiveness is about how one looks, whereas beauty includes much more of whom a person is. Women rate happiness, confidence, dignity, and humor as powerful components of beauty, along with the more traditional attributes of physical appearance, body weight and shape, and even a sense of style.

But the question still remains, what is true beauty? Well I believe that to find the best answer, we have to go to the Creator – So I investigated the scriptures to see what it said about beauty and interestingly enough, there was not a thing about pouty lips or an hourglass figure–Scripture lets you know that those things will go away (by the way, if you don’t believe this, you will).

It’s a woman’s reverence for God—how she carries herself because she knows the Lord—it’s THAT quality that makes her beautiful.  Physical beauty is fleeting, but true beauty (virtue) is timeless.

Moms, Grandmas, Grandpas, Dads, Uncles, Aunts—begin to affirm your daughters, nieces and granddaughters, the young women in your lives.  Tell them they are beautiful—not because of how they look but how they carry themselves as God’s creation.  (A side note to Fathers—it is the important men in a young woman’s life that inform her of what other men see as beautiful and if they don’t get the correct message from the good men in their lives, they will get an incorrect message from men in the world.)

Now, this is in no way meant to be an exhaustive list, but I want to look at 5 Scriptures that will give us a better idea of what God looks for in the “Beautiful” person:

Psalm 139:14

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

In Genesis 1:27 it says So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

So if we are created in His image, we can concluded that we are as beautiful as God is – and God makes no mistakes and He makes no junk!  Just like the snowflakes that He creates, no two people are alike either, but all are equally beautiful.  The Psalmist says he is fearfully and wonderfully made and that God’s works are wonderful–now, does that sound like the measuring stick for true beauty is based on physical attributes?

Consider this next scripture:

1 Samuel 16:7

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Again, it seems that our natural inclination as people is to look on the outward appearance and once again God stresses that He has a totally different point of view–He looks at the heart.

Now he says in Jeremiah 17:9 the heart is desperately wicked but He also says in Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. So there is hope for our wicked hearts, hope that they can truly be beautiful–that will happen as we submit them to a loving Father and let Him transform them.

Here’s a verse you may have heard a lot in reference to a woman’s beauty—

Proverbs 31:30

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

This verse is telling us that although physical beauty fades with age, it’s the beauty that come from being in awe of God that will really impress Him, that reverence for God that is true beauty to Him – and He is the only judge that truly matters. It’s comforting to know that we can become more beautiful to God simply by showing reverence for Him–or, to put it another way, it’s our love for Him that makes us more beautiful to Him. And His opinion is the one that counts.

1 Peter 3:3-4 says:

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.  Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 

Now before anyone goes too far in his or her thinking, this not a call to a legalistic dress code (although I am a champion for modesty) and this does NOT mean go around in a sack, with no make-up on and try to be as plain as possible.  It’s not wrong to make the most of what you have, but it is dangerous to rely on that alone to be the barometer for your beauty, because ladies and gentleman if you hadn’t noticed, things change–and not always for the better (!).  I don’t know about you, but I know there is more of me to love these days.

To give you the context of Peter’s remarks, in the culture of that day, some of the Egyptian women were spending hours and hours working on their hair, makeup, and finding the perfect outfit (sounds a lot like today actually–some things never change…) and Peter was exhorting the Christian woman to realize that true beauty was more about how she carried herself and where her focus was (on the Lord) rather than “who” she was wearing.

Finally 1 Timothy 4:8 says:

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

Now there is nothing wrong with physical training–it is, in fact, a good thing. In 1 Corinthians 6:19 Paul reminds us that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.  It is good to keep our “temples” together so we can better serve the Lord.  However, today we are sometimes overly fascinated with comparing ourselves to others and who’s got the most perfect body and getting our bodies to look “perfect” when a better use of some of our time might be spent on “spiritual” exercises (actually much easier on the back, and more beneficial).

Some folks who would never skip a weekly visit to the gym, will go weeks without lifting up their bibles and impress their hearts with the Word of God… no matter how perfect your physical body is (or isn’t)—the criteria for being “fit for heaven” is knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior (thank Goodness), the criteria for beauty is a spirit that is in awe of God.

So I want to leave you with these thoughts:

Ladies–recognize that true beauty is defined not by the world and man but by God and that TRUE beauty is an “inner” thing, not just an appearance thing.

Work with what God gave you physically, take care of God’s temple and focus your energy not on perfect physical features but a spirit that reveres God.  Now that’s beautiful!

Thank you!

Copyright © Lynn Gaines. All rights reserved.

Lynn is a Senior Designer/Illustrator with American Greetings Corporation.


Today’s Culture Must Adapt to Scripture

The service of ministry requires the person or persons in the body of Christ to be centered in a church that bases all of its instruction on God’s Word. This is very important in that today’s culture will, at times, dictate the direction of a church in a direction that may be contrary to or outside of God’s Word. These churches must remain true to scripture; otherwise, they are to be avoided in all circumstances.

We are all called by God to serve in ministry. Men and women are called to glorify God in our areas of service. in doing this, however, it is important to remain true to scripture. This is the challenge for both men and women today.

When we look at the social norms of the first century according to the Bible:

  • Husband leads, wife supports (Ephesians 5:22-23)
  • Parents lead, children under parents (Ephesians 6:1; Colossians 3:20)
  • Masters over slaves (Ephesians 6:5; Colossians 3:22; 1 Peter 2:18)

The husband is the protector and covering of the wife. The husband is the provider for the wife. In contrast, today’s society declares that men and women are equal. That equality is evident even in marriage, where a husband and wife will look at their relationship as a 50-50 proposition. Scripture indicates that the man still has the responsibility over his wife and the household, and, if necessary, can delegate responsibilities within the home, for the wife is to be the husband’s helpmate (Proverbs 31:10-31).

In the same way, parents are to be the covering of their children, and are to come under their authority. Today’s society has elevated children to have rights that are equal to, or even supersede, their parents. Some children question the authority of their parents in the spirit of wanting to exercise more of their own free will. The employer-employee relationship is much the same way today, which is the closest parallel to the master-slave relationship of the past. Employees that believe they have greater rights will challenge, or even ignore, the authority of their superiors. This is indicative of today’s society, where the belief that everything is relatively equal has even moved into the philosophical belief that this also applies in ministry. Scripture, however, has maintained that their is a structure and hierarchy relative to men and women and their roles in ministry.

Culture does not dictate scripture. Culture must always adapt to scripture.

That’s the problem that we encounter today. Serving in ministry has one goal–to accomplish God’s will in God’s way. For example, when it comes to women in ministry, many will point to Deborah in Judges 4 and 5 and infer that there is room to interpret that a woman could be a pastor. It should be pointed out that there was no church or temple referenced at that time, and Deborah was a prophetess (Deuteronomy 18:21-22), one who speaks for God, yet not a priest, leader of men, nor as a proclaimed leader of Israel.

If someone were to ask the question about the relative success of a woman or women who are pastors, note that this is not lost on God, and also be aware that it is still being accomplished even though it is outside of His intentions for the roles of service. God is in control and does accomplish what needs to be done according to His will.

“But Joseph said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result–the survival of many people'” (Genesis 50:19-20).

We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

God is at work in everyone’s lives, even when we don’t see it. In the life of the disobedient person, God is still working. His purpose is to bring good out of bad or questionable situations and circumstances. Even people who love the Lord still make mistakes. The goal is to get exactly where God wants you to be. It is in this effort that you can blossom in your ministry for God.

Deborah was a judge, She never describes herself as a priest or even as a leader of Israel. She was a “mother of Israel”–one who cares and nurtures
(Judges 5:7). All of Israel was not under her leadership; as a result, not all of Israel went into battle (Judges 5:13-18). Deborah was not a priest and did not lead her people into war, but God used her as a messenger of His Word to minister to Barak to lead men. Each person involved here had to fulfill their individual role in order to accomplish God’s will. God uses both men and women to fulfill his will.

Note that Deborah’s job was to communicate God’s message to Barak and be an encouragement. God gave the direction here that Barak was to lead (Judges 4:6). Note that Barak was given direction, yet he trusted the person (Deborah) more than God’s command. Note the response in Judges 4:9: “‘I will go with you,’ she said, ‘but you will receive no honor on the road you are about to take, because the Lord will sell Sisera into a woman’s hand.'” The servant, Deborah, in this case, was willing to put herself in harm’s way in order to accomplish God’s will. Here, Deborah still provided encouragement, and was not leading Barak. She gave him the encouragement that the Lord was still going before Barak (v. 14). Barak, in turn, needed to take the step of faith to lead and act according to God’s will (v. 15). Note that when God gives the command, you will never experience the power of God unless you obey and move according to His command (v. 15-16).

But since that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for you are all under a guardian, for you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:25-28). We are all equal when it comes to a need for salvation. There is equality for men and women when it comes to their need for Jesus Christ. The modern day argument with scripture in general is the use of the term “sons” from a gender perspective (v. 26).

From verse 28 comes three results that address this argument:

  • Condemn and dismiss the New Testament as exclusively chauvinistic and oppressive to women with its male dominant language. It is sometimes used improperly by men to justify what is often viewed as domineering behavior, which is not supported by scripture.
  • Mutual equality but functional subordination. This has been the traditional view throughout the history of the church. The NT teaches that both equality before God in status along with functional subordination in office. We see this in scripture where Christ is subordinate to God and in other areas of hierarchy. We are spiritually equal in Christ, but men and women are different because we were created differently and have different roles.
  • Evangelical and feminine liberation. It does not submit to scripture. It recognizes the cultural conditioning of the text and seeks to remove it in lieu of the world’s truth instead of God’s truth. The argument raised is that the text was written in a male-dominant society. This is predominantly used in an effort to justify the presence of gays and women in ministry leadership.

The moment we attempt to adapt scripture to our modern culture, we are effectively rewriting or changing scripture.

In today’s culture, we are all equal, yet there is still a value of submitting to others. There is a trust and a willingness to submit when one feels safe and secure coming under that person. While all are equal in God’s eyes, there is still a necessity for structure in order for society to function in an optimal manner.

There has been, over many years, the evolution and development has taken place over the centuries in social structures. Note that the attitudes of man have had to evolve with slavery and the Civil Rights Movement. When people view others with the proper godly perspective in treating others with respect, there is a great opportunity to show the love of Christ to those who are being respected as well as those who witness these behaviors.

We must compare the social world to our social world and, in particular, compare the role women had in ancient times to the role they have in their world. The modern world differs considerably.

Galatians 3:26-29 states that our social status is irrelevant in salvation. All have the same in Christ; therefore, we need to acknowledge what is truth in 1 Corinthians 11:3:

But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:3).

If Christ is subordinate to the Father and humbles Himself to carry out the will of the Father, is it not best for man to submit to Christ, and for his wife to submit to him as husband?

God, we pray that we will not be tossed to and fro with societal dictates but submit to Your Word, for you honor Your Word and act according to Your Word. We need to be a people that act on Your Word and trust in You. Our goal, we pray, Father, is to accomplish Your will and Your way, for we want to be obedient to You, and in this, You will be glorified. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Being Called For Ministry

We don’t need a title or a position to serve the Lord within the body of Christ…it only requires a willing heart. There is a clear role of ministry in place for each person involved in God’s work. God always operates with an order and purpose in how He desires for each of us to carry out His ministry. It is, ultimately, up to man to follow His direction, and man has, at times, deviated from God’s plan in the name of serving Him. While man’s involvement has attempted to redefine the roles that God had put in place, God has not changed.

In order to know how God operates, we can go back to the early Old Testament to see the consistency of His Word. He demonstrates this to affirm His purpose (Mark 10:2-7). Note that God will allow situations and circumstances to occur, but He always makes it clear what His intent is, and His intent for us has been consistent and it does not change.

A person called by God is considered to be a priest of God, just as Aaron was called to serve. In the same way, Jesus Christ, who is our High Priest, was also called to serve all of humanity for eternity. Those of us who are called to serve are part of a “priesthood of believers” (1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6, 5:10, 20:6)

All of us are chosen for ministry to serve others. The title of “believer in Jesus Christ” is not something to rest upon; instead, the Holy Spirit gives direction to work in a specific place or places within the body of Christ. This is part of His orderly function. The priesthood of believers, through our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, continues to serve Him in ministry and will reap the benefit of Christ’s eternal priesthood.

The Levites were the priests of God in the Old Testament. The priesthood of believers are those believers as described in the New Testament. Why? We know there were changes that took place within the Levite priesthood. Levites were found to have not been supported by the people. They did not follow God’s plan and purpose, and the Levites had to rely upon God to provide for them. When the non-support of the people was evident, they were forced to go back to their fields to make a living (Nehemiah 13:10). Note that God’s intent had not changed, but it was the hearts of the people who had changed, and it created a change within the Levites in their role as priests for the nation.

With the onset of Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry, we find a new priesthood that was set up by the Jewish authorities…the Sanhedrin, which was made up of the Sadducees (the righteous ones) and the Pharisees (the separate ones). This priesthood was not merged within God’s church. God’s emphasis was on the entire priesthood of believers. All who are saved are ministers of the priesthood of believers.

We also need to keep in mind what the words minister, preacher and priest stand for. All of us are called into ministry, and all of us are acting as mediators between the persons me minister to and God Himself (Acts 6:8-15, 7:1-56, 8:34-38). As ministers, we are to always be prepared to be a witness for Him. Stephen and Philip were both students of God, and they were prepared to speak up about God when given the opportunity. For example, baptism is not something that is to be done out of duty to the church–it is to be done when the heart of the person who wants to serve the Lord has the desire to live out his or her faith and demonstrate it to others.

A minister is one who serves another. A preacher is one who tells another person what God has declared. It is the oldest function within ministry (2 Peter 2:5).

All are called to preach and minister to others. We are to be priests to the lost of this world and to one another within the body of Christ.

I do not call you slaves anymore, because a slave doesn’t know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from My Father. You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I appointed you that you should go out and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. This is what I command you: love one another” (John 15:15-17).

Our calling comes from God according to His direction and purpose, which remains in line with God’s order and intent. God has a specific role for men in this order, and a specific role for women. While man may have desires to live a certain way, he still needs to remain obedient to God’s Word, which brings those desires under control. There is much to learn, of course, by the believer who is responding to God’s calling, just as Jesus Christ was learning and growing during His earthly service (Hebrews 5:7-10).

For those that look to women being pastors, some have pointed to Acts 12:12: “When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where many had assembled and were praying” (Acts 12:12). While ministry was occurring in the home, it does not mean that Mary was a pastor in her home.  Note another passage–Acts 16:14-15:  “A woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God, was listening. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was spoken by Paul. After she and her household were baptized, she urged us, ‘If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my house.’ And she persuaded us” (Acts 16:14-15). Lydia and her household were ministered to, and had the desire to be baptized and serve others. That does not mean that Lydia operated in a pastoral role. Chloe alerted Paul that there were problems within her home, and she was seeking help and direction (1 Corinthians 1:11). That did not mean that she was a pastor. Priscilla (a woman) and Aquila (a man, her husband) used their knowledge of God to provide assistance to a learned man (a man willing to learn) to instruct him with additional information (Acts 18:24-26). This is a great example of a team, as husband and wife, to share and minister within the body. Neither of them were pastors, yet they gave freely of themselves. Priscilla may have had more knowledge of the word than Aquila (as implied here by being mentioned first), but that does not mean that he was not willing to learn more about God.

God calls one into ministry, but His calling comes with guidelines that are not a burden for those who serve Him. His calling follows his plan, order, and purpose, and all of these are scripturally supported. Make sure that your service for Christ, in all aspects, is based in scripture.