Women's Study Resources

Dear Glenwood Church Family:


On September 18, we launched our congregational study on women’s roles in the worship assembly. The Task Force, Bible Study Team, and Prayer Team have engaged in much thought, conversation, planning and prayer around this component of our congregational discernment process. This is an intentional, structured, prayerful, and co-discerning process that focuses on the question of permitting women a wider role in our Sunday morning assembly. The study portion of this process will examine the various positions, biblical texts and interpretations that must be considered when discerning our congregational response to this important and often sensitive subject.


We invite you to commit now to engage the study with a prayerful, listening, and loving presence. Our continued prayer is that we will love one another, encourage each other, and learn how to seek God’s will for us as a community of His people.


The following resources are offered to you as an aid in your personal study of this topic. They represent a variety of perspectives, and we hope they will provide you with more clarity as to why Christ-followers often approach this subject differently from one another.


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TIMELINE FOR OUR STUDY

FEBRUARY SCHEDULE


There will be one more Discussion Group, Wednesday, February 1 at 6:30 p.m. in the Gathering Place.


Focus Groups:


Glenwood members are encouraged to sign up to attend one Focus Group during the month of February: 

  • Sunday, February 5, 1:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, February 8, 6:30 p.m. (Childcare provided)
  • Sunday, February 12, 1:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, February 15, 6:30 p.m. (Childcare provided)

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR A FOCUS GROUP


Focus Groups will be small group discussions of 10–12 people led by two shepherds per group. Multiple Focus Groups will meet during each of the four sessions. Focus Groups are designed so that we can listen to each other, share what we've learned throughout the process, and let the Shepherds hear from the members.


PAST PRESENTATIONS


September 18: "God Is Faithful," Glenwood Shepherds—a one-day combined adult class in the Worship Center (Watch the presentation.)


October 9: "What's a Woman to Do? A Dialogue on the Public Roles of Women in the Church," Jeff Childers, via video presentation—a combined adult class in the Worship Center (Watch the presentation.)


November 4–6: "How to Study Women’s Roles in the Church," Ken Cukrowski—a weekend seminar (Download: Handouts 1–4, Handouts 5–7; Watch: Session 1, Session 2, Session 3, Session 4)


January 8: "Various Views of Women's Roles in the Church," John Mark Hicks—a combined adult class in the Worship Center (Listen to the presentation.) Study Guide


January 15: "Women in the Old Testament," Mark Hamilton—a combined adult class in the Worship Center (Watch the presentation.) Study Guide


January 22: "Jesus and Women in the Gospels," John York—a combined adult class in the Worship Center (Watch the presentation.) Study Guide


January 29: "The Role of Women in the Letters of Paul," James Thompson—a combined adult class in the Worship Center Study Guide

BIBLICAL TEXTS

Biblical Texts Often Cited in the Study of Women's Roles


This list is not exhaustive, yet should assist one's personal study of the topic.


OLD TESTAMENT

The Creation/Fall Narrative

  • Genesis 1–3 (especially 1:26–27; 2:18–24; 3:16)

Women Prophets

  • Exodus 15:20 (see 4:13–16; 7:1–2; cf. Micah 6:4)
  • Judges 4:4
  • Isaiah 8:3
  • II Kings 22:8–20
  • II Chronicles 34:14–28
  • Joel 2:28–29

Women Musicians

  • Exodus 15:20–21
  • Judges 5
  • I Samuel 2:1–10; 18:6–7; 21:11; 29:5
  • II Samuel 1:24
  • II Chronicles 35:25
  • Jeremiah 9:17–22
  • Lamentations 1:4
  • Ezekiel 32:16
  • Ezra 2:65
  • Nehemiah 7:67

NEW TESTAMENT


Women Prophets

  • Luke 2:36
  • Acts 2:17–18 (Joel 2:28–29)
  • Acts 21:9
  • I Corinthians 11:5

Women Disciples

  • Luke 8:1–3; 10:38–42
  • John 4:1–42

Women as the First Gospel Proclaimers

  • Matthew 28:1–10
  • Mark 16:1–11
  • Luke 24:1–10

​Men and Women as One in Christ

  • Galatians 3:28

Women Deacons

  • Romans 16:1–2 (cf. I Timothy 3:11: "wives of deacons" or "female deacons"?)

Women Teachers

  • Acts 18:24–28

Household Codes

  • Ephesians 5:21–6:9
  • Colossians 3:12–4:6
  • I Peter 2:11–3:22

Women Praying and Prophesying

  • I Corinthians 11:2–16

Paul's Instructions to the Corinthian Church

  • I Corinthians 14:26–40

Paul's Instructions to Timothy

  • I Timothy 2:8–15

Description of Terms

Patriarchal (extreme): Men are required to rule over women in personal life, home, marriage, religious institutions, and society.


Patriarchal (moderate)*: Subordination of women to men is considered voluntary rather than required. Leadership, not rulership, is the preferred terminology. There are strong similarities between moderate patriarchy and hierarchical complementarian.


Complementarian (hierarchical)*: This term stresses the complementary "difference" or "distinction" between genders and affirms male hierarchy. The complementary "role" of women is to be in subjection to, under the final authority of, and led by men in the home and in the church.


Complementarian (non-hierarchical)**: There are complementary "differences" between the genders, yet without an emphasis on male hierarchy (chain of command). This term avoids seeing the genders as identical, interchangeable, or basically the same.


Egalitarian**: This term stresses the "biblical equality" between genders without referring to an essential sameness or interchangeability of male and female. It suggests that the Bible does not teach a stereotyped gender "role" in which women are subordinate to men.


Feminist (moderate)**: In moderate feminism there is equal worth, justice, privilege, standing, opportunity for service, and leadership of women in all spheres of life: home, marriage, church, and social structures. However, this view maintains significant gender distinctions.


Feminist (extreme): In extreme feminism, gender distinctions are blurred and female hierarchy is often assumed.


* There are strong similarities between moderate patriarchalism and hierarchical complementarianism.


** There are similarities between non-hierarchical complementarianism and egalitarianism, and perhaps moderate feminism as well.

ARTICLES & PAPERS

FROM A TRADITIONAL PERSPECTIVE


Ferguson, Everett. Two papers delivered at the 2012 ACU Summit.

Lewis, C. S. A tract published in 1948.

Lewis, Jack P. A paper delivered in Malibu, California in 1992.

Lightfoot, Neil R. A paper delivered in 1993.

Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood


FROM A GENDER-INCLUSIVE PERSPECTIVE


Boyd, Greg.

Leaven: A Journal of Christian Ministry

Pauls, Dale. Published by Stamford Church of Christ in 1998.

Pulley, Kathy J. An article in Leaven, Spring 1996.

Viola, Frank

Wright, N. T. A paper presented at a 2004 conference in Durham, England.


MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES


Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood


If you would like a printed copy of any the above resources, please contact the church office.

FROM THE ELDERS

As part of the ongoing communication from the elders to the congregation, these documents answer some of the questions being asked regarding Glenwood’s study of the role of women in worship. These responses express the general sense of the elders and are intended to help you learn more about these issues and to encourage input from you.


MARCH: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

APRIL: FORMATION OF TASK FORCE

MAY: TASK FORCE IS AT WORK

JUNE: JOURNEY OF FAITH

JULY: TASK FORCE IS AT WORK

JULY: UPDATE FROM THE TASK FORCE

AUGUST: TIMELINE FOR OUR STUDY

SEPTEMBER: TIMELINE FOR OUR STUDY

OCTOBER: OUR STUDY HAS BEGUN

NOVEMBER: FAQs—LISTENING GROUP ONE

DECEMBER: WOMEN'S STUDY TIMELINE

JANUARY: JANUARY SCHEDULE