(In 1986 the Vineyard magazine, First Fruits, published an article by John Wimber entitled RELEASING LAY LEADERS. This is such an important subject for the church, that I have decided to post most of the original article in four parts over a four week period in the hope that God would use it to bless the Vineyards in India. Click here to view PART 1 or here to view PART 2 or here to view
LIBERATING WOMEN FOR MINISTRY
Another key for releasing many to ministry is giving particular attention to releasing women to ministry. There are some foundational truths that serve as a plumb line for answering the question concerning women’s ministry in the church. Genesis 1:26-27 tells us that men and women were created in the image of God.
For God’s glory to be expressed in humanity, both the partnership of male and female and their community together are needed. God intended a complementary relationship between man and woman, one marked by equality of personhood and mutual submission. Keep in mind that since the fall of humankind there has always been the problem of people enslaving one another. Today when we deal with the biblical perspective of releasing and freeing people, we need to recognize that all men and women are enslaved at various levels of life, and we all need to be freed from the things that hold us back from being all that we can be.
Remember, God created Eve as a suitable helper, one corresponding to Adam. The relationship implied is best expressed by the word complementarity. But their harmonious relationship was undercut by the fall in which man became a ruler over the woman. Jesus’ victory at the cross has overcome the results of the fall. As a result, the principle for all relationships in the body of Christ is mutual submission and service, that is, to sho preference toward one another.
“There is neither Jew Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)
The clearest proclamation of the position of women is given by Paul in Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in christ Jesus.” The context of this passages that both men and women have free access to eternal life and the Kingdom of God. With the coming of Christ, we see women being related to in a whole new way. They no longer were treated as property. Jesus elevated their position. Women should be operating shoulder to shoulder with men, no with female dominance, nor male dominance, but Christ dominance.