Esther E. Adagbonyin
Copyright 2017. Esther E. Adagbonyin
All scripture quotations in this book are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible except where stated otherwise.
All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the author.
To women ministers the world all over.
Without the friendship, commitment and encouragement of our Mother Rt. Rev. Dr. Margaret Benson Idahosa the Archbishop, Church of God Mission International, my husband, Rev. M.E. Adagbonyin, our children, and some friends – Rev. Prof. Omoregie, Rev. Prof. M. Aisien, Mrs Joy Ogiemwonyi, Rev. Festus & Julie Akhimien, Bishop & Rev. Curtis Fianu among others – the message of this book would not have found its way to life.
I am grateful to the Most High God, who gave the vision of Christian Women Fellowship International (C.W.F.I) to our mother Archbishop Margaret Benson Idahosa.
Great is the company of those who are publishing it. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Amen.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE ROLE OF ORDAINED WOMEN IN MINISTRY
The woman who is the female part of God has her place in the evolving modern society.
In the traditional society and before Jesus began his ministry, she had no specific or definite role in religion and society. In the home her role was limited. She was to bear children, rear them and support the husband dependently, quietly, humbly and reverently in an insecure home environment. She was always threatened by the gods and enslaved to other women who are older in the family either as wives or in-laws – female gate keepers.
As the African society evolved with the coming of missionaries, education and contemporary civilization, the woman at best was made a wine for entertainment in occasion. Since the late 19th century, till now there has been numerous and positive development as to the role the woman should play in the home, church and society.
The debate that makes a woman appear as if she is a controversial creature of God is painful, I can hear the Lord Jesus answering the high and exalted clergymen, the honourable political office holders and the chiefs, the rulers and nobles of the families “in the beginning it was not so” however, in this book, I am going to look at women in general and in particular the Christian woman who have gone a step ahead of others and are coming forth for ordination into the ministry of Jesus Christ Gen. 5:1-2.
“This is the book of the generation of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and Female created he them; and blessed them and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created”.
Ministry from Greek Word “Diakenia” is Service rendered by a servant “diakonos”. In this context, the ministry in focus is that of Jesus Christ. Let a man so account of us as the ministers of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. (1 Corinth 4:1) The ministry of Jesus is holistic in purpose, scope and approach. It therefore covers all aspects of life. This has an implication for the woman.
The Ordained Woman And Her Home
A Malay proverb states that “the higher the monkey climbs, the more expose its backside is. The higher the position a leader assumes, the more vulnerable he is to the danger of failing”.
Therefore, the first duty of a leader in the home is to herself.
John Locke, a foremost philosopher said, the actions of a man are the best interpreter of his thought. The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves and they keep.
Matthew 23: 25 “woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites for you make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess”.
The first duty of the ordained woman is therefore to herself.
1 Corinthians 9:27: “But I keep under my body and bring it into subjection lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway”. Once saved, is not ever saved, as salvation is fundamental and is in danger in ministry as:
Your schedules may bring you into relationships that drain your emotions
The nature of your work may bring you into opposition.
You can be called into public office that puts you constantly in public scrutiny.
Concern for public life may lead to double life.
This can lead to neglect of self, i.e. discharging your duties at the expense of yourself or your soul.
This result to fantasies, compromise and incredibility, among others.
Constant private prayer and study of the word, with the mind to know God, love and obey Him.
Maintaining your integrity.
A close fellowship with the Holy Ghost for fresh oil and fire for the ministry.
Determination not to be defiled, Matthew 5:20, Luke 12:1-2
The greatness of a leader is measured by her humility before God and not her eloquence before man.
BUILDING YOUR BASE CAMP; SUBMISSION AND REVERENCE
(Proverbs 30:10 – 30, 1 Peter 3:1-6, Ephesians 5: 22 – 24, Ephesians 5:33) The Home is a base from which we serve the Lord and His people. Our maturity and qualification for service in addition to our salvation is measured by our family life. “If anyone does not know to manage his own family he cannot take care of God’s Church” (1Timothy 3:5) The duty or role of the Ordained woman in the home in respect of her husband therefore includes ministering to:
This takes different dimensions in homes depending on the spiritual state of the man. 1Peter 3:1 – 2. “…likewise, you wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives, while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear”. If your husband is saved, ensure perpetual stay in God as you do for yourself. 1 Corinthians 7:14.
In submission and reverence cover up the nakedness of your husband. Provide suitable support for his continuous growth. Recognize him and help him as the priest of the home. Do not join him in evil like Sapphire did with Ananias (Acts 5:1 – 5) or else both of you will be destroyed.
Colossians 3:18 “wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord”.
Proverbs 14:1, “Every wise woman build her house, but the foolish pluck it down with her hands”. Proverbs 31: 11 – 12, Being a help that is suitable, you should build his soul through your constant support in:
Stating his expectations clearly
Tactfully understand them
Kind expression of approval or disapproval
Being a good listener
Reminding him when he forgets without nagging
Take it kindly when he tends to be insensitive and when
He tends to be nomadic
Encourage communication, early conflict resolution and – help him fulfill his dreams.
His Body: Proverbs 31: 13 – 30; 1 Corinth 17:3 – 5,
Food should be carefully, skillfully and prayerfully prepared. It should be neatly served.
Distinguish between sex and love making. The sexual relationship is the “Soul of your marriage hence your transparency to each other is a measure of your faithfulness to God.
Jealously value and guard the above realm of your marriage. It is a most precious possession, which no one but the two of you share. Watch out for anything that threatens it.
Work for and ensure harmony in other areas of concern like: finance, in-laws and neighbors/maids, careers and job placement, family planning, retirement, will and death.
In playing your God given role, the bottom line is submission and reverence.
MINISTERING TO THE CHILDREN
The Lords Heritage – Psalm 127:3, “lo children are an heritage of the Lord and the fruit of the womb is his reward, as arrows are in hand of the mighty man so are children of the youth happy is the man that has his quiver full of them they shall not be ashamed but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate”.
Ephesians 6:1 – 4, Proverbs 31 -24, Psalm 128: 3 – 4
Godly children in the process of time will be a defense and support to procreation of man and the fulfillment of the plan of God for him to dominate the earth in righteousness. Now study this below and indicate the one that is closest to your home.
Your aim should be the home D as indicated below:
The spiritual and physical expectations from the minister’s children are very high in the home, church and in the society. Since all family relationships ought to be reciprocal Ephesians 5: 1 – 21, 6: 1 – 4, we have to support fully the children in all sense. We cannot claim right without fulfilling a corresponding responsibility.
How do we demonstrate support for our children? Gary Smelly and John in their book – The Blessing, 1986 – refers to the five elements of the family blessing based on example of the Jacob in Genesis 48: 9 – 15: “…and Joseph said unto his father, they are my sons whom God hath given me in this place. And he said bring them I pray thee unto me and I will bless them, now the eyes of Israel were dim for age so that he could not see. And he brought them near unto him and he kissed them and embraced them, and Israel said unto Joseph I had not thought to see thy face and lo, God hat shewed me also thy seed. And Joseph brought them out from between his knees and he bowed himself with his face to the earth and joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel’s left hand and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel’s right hand and laid it upon Ephraim’s head who was the younger and his left and upon Manasseh head guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn. And he blessed Joseph and said God before whom my father’s Abraham and Isaac did walk the God which fed me all my life long unto this day”.
Jesus blessed the children by touching them and he took the children in his arms. Put his hands on them and blessed them. Mark 10:16 “and he took them up in his arms put his hands upon them and blessed them”. The ordained woman’s duty to her children is to demonstrate her affection for children and express same in tangible ways.
Spoken Word: Genesis 48: 15 – 16, 20
This can be the former word spoken in an informal manner. In all situations, you should minister grace and life through the spoken word to the children at home, it could be words of correction, rebuke or praise.
Accord high value to the children as God’s own property under your care, from birth, i.e envisages a special future for them as father Jacob did. Do not impose your ambition on them but affirm and draw out the potentials in them.
All the above would amount to little if there is no commitment to the children in an unconditional way. As an ordained woman, you cannot accomplish height in the service of God unless you build a strong camp. Your strong base is your home.
This involves intercessory prayer for the children and warfare prayer against the devil and its agents of corruption.
What means more to you? (a)Your job, (b)Your hobby ©Your family
My assignment in the church is for: (a)Myself only (b)Myself and the children only ©Myself and husband only (d)Myself and the family
Think of the worst case scenario for your family (husband and the children) and decide why. Write out your decision.
List some concrete steps you should take to ensure that the above does not happen in your family.
Write a short prayer asking God to help you to be the type of woman, wife and mother God wants you to be.
THE ORDAINED WOMAN AND HER CHURCH
(Romans 16: 1 – 2, Matthew 20:26, John 20:11, Matthew 28: 8 – 10)
The role of a woman in the ministry of Jesus has its roots in the fall of man and God’s divine plans of redemption. Genesis 3: 15 “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed; he shall bruise thy head, and thou shall bruise his heel”.
In Genesis 3: 15 God promised that the seed of the woman will bruise the head of the serpent and the serpent would bruise his heel. In fulfilling this promise God excluded the man (the male). The promised seed came by God through the woman. The fact that the man was excluded from this plan gave a woman a unique, prominent, unquestionable position and duty in the church which is the body of her son, Jesus Christ.
Religion, theology and tradition for a very long time and up till now in some quarters have located the role of the woman in ministry (church) in the Charity/welfare Department; to them this was to regulate the woman so that she will not usurp authority.
This they refer to Deaconess Phoebe in Romans 16: 1 – 2. “I commend unto you Phoebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: that ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also”.
This however was done in ignorance because in the Christian perspective, charity is regarded as one of the three theological Virtues: namely, faith, hope and love (1 Corinthians 13: 13). This means that charity must always be understood in relation to the other virtues (faith and hope). This is very vital because charity without faith and hope in God is but a shame. Jesus Christ himself is the charity of God to man (John 3: 16). In Matthew 25: 34, Jesus presented charity as the defining parameter of Christianity. Consequently, the woman cannot be said to be limited to charity and not the main stream of the church, which according to Apostle Peter is fasting, prayer and the ministering of the word. Act 6: 4. “But we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word”.
Deaconess Phoebe like the other Deacons in Acts 6 was a servant of the church who was a support to all including the Apostles. Dake in his comments opined that Phoebe was a teacher in addition to her other functions in the church.
The scope of women’s role in the church is wider than the hospitality or charity department, it includes that of a:
Life Saver: The woman even before Jesus was born has this role in the Old Testament church. In Exodus 2, Jochebed the mother of Moses saved the life of the baby Moses who was born to deliver Israel. One is not surprised when the angel in Matthew 1: 21 announcing the birth of Jesus told the world that she, the life saver will bring forth a son who will be called Jesus the Savior.
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1: 21
The Gospel Messengers: The woman by the well, played her role of life saving in Jesus ministry when she carried the gospel message to her town and many were saved.
Mary saved the life of her family by being a friend to Jesus. Lazarus was raised from the dead. She preached the gospel to her people.
She was assigned by Jesus Christ himself to become the first official gospel messenger of the early church, in John 20: 11 – 13, she was told to go and tell the good news of resurrection and the completion of the redemption work.
“But Mary stood without at the sepulcher weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down and looked into the sepulcher, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, because they have taken away my LORD, and I know not where they have laid him.”
The Christian Women Fellowship International (CWFI) was born out of the desire to obey the Lord Jesus as women in the church i.e. to become the gospel messenger. Lifesaving is the primary goal, therefore as a leader, you have to use this greatest opportunity offered by CWFI in your area to carry the gospel message to all the nooks and crannies of your Jerusalem and beyond. The Christian Women Fellowship represent the women wing your church no matter the name it bears.
Good Work or Charity: This life saving effort was initiated by Jesus and followed by the early church;
“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” Act 10: 38, Act 6: 1 – 6 the church is ever willing to encourage and initiate ways and means of being in solidarity with the poor since its mission places highest premium on seeking the “lost sheep of Israel”. Those lost in the race of life like sheep without shepherd Matthew 9: 36 “but when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Jesus could not send them away hungry.” According to the fathers of the second Vatican council at the beginning of the document devoted to pastoral intervention in church in a modern world (tandem of spies) “the joy and hope, the grief and anguish of the men of our time especially of those who are poor or afflicted in any way are the joy of the hope, the grief and anguish of the followers of Christ as well as, nothing that is genuinely human fails to fine an echo in their hearts”. This is the role of the woman in the church.
Mary Magdalene, Susanna, Salome Dorcas, Phoebe and Lydia among others in the early church performed this role until their names were written by the Holy Ghost in God’s Holy word – the Bible.
This is why one of the various objectives of charity works of Christian Women Fellowship International (CWFI) is developmental. It involves establishment of schools, skill acquisition centers and counseling center, material upliftment of the poor and the marginalized in the church. As an ordained leader uphold this dearly.
Talent and Abilities:
“As every man hath received the gift even so minister the same one to another, as good steward of the manifold grace of God” 1Peter 4: 10. (Matthew 35:14 – 30) “the gifts and the abilities of the Holy Ghost in woman is for the profiting of all. Therefore, the woman has the role to put maximum use of her talents and abilities to enhance the ministry of Jesus and fulfill the mission of the church”.
A woman can prophesy,
A woman can speak in tongue and interpret counselling
A woman can heal the sick
A woman can receive revelations in word of wisdom, knowledge and discernment
A woman can be a teacher
A woman can work miracle
A woman can be a pastor
A woman can be an apostle
A woman can be an evangelist
A woman can be and administrator among others.
“Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together and running over shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” (Luke 6: 38). Our time and all we have are the Lord’s. This is inclusive of a woman. The role of the woman in church includes financing of church project which are geared towards lifesaving directly or indirectly. Matthew 6:19 – 20. The woman should go beyond the petty cash and miserable offering level and join the paying army of Christ.
Serving in Prayers and Fasting (Acts 12:12)
In the early church the prayer that released Apostle Peter from the prison was held in the house of a woman called the mother of John Mark. Peter has to go there because it was their custom to pray there whenever there was trouble. The woman Anna served God in fasting and prayer in the temple as recorded in the dedication of Jesus. Luke 2:36 – 37. The woman who has been with Jesus from cradle to death, in ministry and in agony before the glorious resurrection, has no option but to be like him and one way of being like him is to stay in his presence in fellowship, intercession and for instruction. This is a major role of the ordained woman in church.
List ten duties of the women leaders in your local church.
List ten duties of the men leaders in your church
What are the differences between (a) and (b) above? Support your answers with necessary scripture.
SOME OF TODAY’S PROBLEMS OF CHURCH LEADERSHIP
Inactive and pretentious leaders
Leadership is higher than the led
The absent of servant leaders
The basic point of entering is not specific
Lack of delegation
Inordinate affection – ends justify the means
Failure to honour superiors
Poor time management
General resistance to supervision
Lack of self-control
Lack of boldness to witness to close relations
Money gospel: “when the belly becomes a god”
P ursuit of short- cut to fame and prosperity
Lack of unction to function
D ouble life style- one for the church and the other for the home
Lack of integrity
You can list more as it is in your zone, area and local assembly
Divorce and remarriage
Preaching and accepting wrong doctrines
Partnering with false prophet
Seeking for promotion and recognition through bribery and other corrupt practices.
Some Areas of Compromise
Wealth and self-promotion
Solving life problem that look permanent e.g. delayed childbirth in marriage
Burial, birthday and anniversary celebrations
Giving and accepting of Greek gifts
Tribalism and maintaining of status quo.
Acts of Integrity
Have something to die for
Insistence on God’s rules of standard
Personal conviction to do what is right in love
Open door policy
A taste for excellence
Add others you been taught.
Special Attributes That Make You a Christian Leader
Credibility of position
The bottom line is performance
THE ROLE OF THE ORDAINED WOMAN IN THE SOCIETY
The family is the building block of the church and the society. Having discussed the role of the woman in the family and the church very little to be discussed under the society. Importantly are business career and politics.
“ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? But to be cast out and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13 – 16)
The Leader and Her Business
The business world in Nigeria is clouded by uneven competitions, corruptions, hazards, enforced taxes, duties and regulations, smuggling fake products among others. One is almost tempted to think that the juicy government contract and other opportunities in government are now exclusively reserved to unbeliever because of the method of securing them. In this dark world of business, Jesus expected that the Christian woman should shine as light and add taste like salt to preserve a holy property, which is the desire of God for man.
For the Christian woman to shine as light and add taste to the business world, she has to keep up, with the following Christian business ethics:
Diligence – Proverbs 21:5, 13 :4. The thought of the diligent tend only to the plenteousness but of every one that is hasty only to want.
Honesty – Luke 6:10, Proverbs 11:1
Punctuality – Ecclesiastes 3: 17
Hard work – Proverbs 10:4, Romans 12:11
Integrity – Psalm 25:21, 26:1, 1:1 – 6
Knowledge – Hosea 4:6, 2Peter 1:5
Patience – Romans 5:3, 4:6 2 Peter 1: 5
Innovation – Isaiah 48:7
The woman leader in the society should serve as the light and salt in the business world and also be examples of God’s kind of prosperity i.e. ‘a state of material and spiritual bountifulness. (NSE Bible Concordance) there are still many areas of business calling for the Christmas e.g. club relaxation for youths, hotels, hostels accommodation complexes, nursery, day care centers, oil and gas sectors, mining, environmental health among others.
THE LEADER AND POLITICS
Romans 13:1, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”
What is Politics? A dictionary definition of politics is the “science of government.” Government on the other hand is the authoritative direction and administration of the affairs of men in a nation, state or city among others.
Thomas Dye contributes that politics is an attempt to share the scarce and limited resources and the government is the “rule” that does the sharing. For many years, the partisan politics (i.e. sectional or party politics) too many Christians and their leaders were not involved because they thought that it was an “unholy” venture.
This was as a result of the stingingly corrupt and morally bankrupt society which breeds partisan politics of its kind. This attitude has changed a great deal in the twenty first century.
The role of Christians should be to correct the distorted view of politics and see it as opportunity to influence the organized activity concerned with winning governmental power and exercise the same, such an influence is possible when Christians register a political party, participate in community-based development, voting and contesting for political seats or positions. Proverbs 29:9, Romans 13: 1.
The woman has enough encouragement right now to come into politics. The partisan politics in our country is in dire need of the light and salt which you are.
Christian In Politics As A Call (2Peter 1:3 – 11)
“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue and to virtue knowledge and to knowledge temperance and to temperance patience and to patience godliness and to godliness brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that you shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lack this things is blind and cannot see afar off and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren give diligence to make your calling and election sure for if you do these things you shall never fall. For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ”.
This is a divine call like that of a pastor. The only difference is the work and service environment. In fact, whatever ministry gift or office, the Christian politician has can be carried into the political arena of our kin’s men were Joseph, Moses, David and women like Deborah and Esther are good and godly examples, Christians with the sense of call in politics should answer so that they may preserve lives like Joseph and promote the evangelization of their world more resourcefully, such a one should bear this in mind.
Love for God and the needy masses
Consistent prayer life like Daniel
Abiding in the word
Faithfulness and many more
“Women who are ill and poorly educated are very likely to remain on the bottom rung of job and income ladders and have little power in their private lives or public domain.” (Development and Peace, Canada 1999)
Therefore, as a Christian leader your role in the society will be limited when you are ill and poorly educated, strive for diligence, strive for excellence. The Christians are the only people to solve the political socio-economic and cultural problems in the world today. Be challenge, be involved.
The Leader and Her Career
Women in career have been known for their testing impact resulting from the role they played in service. Today Christian women are found in civil service career, Nursing, Medicine, Engineering, and Information Technology, Teaching among others. The role of the woman in business is the same as in career.
Your occupation is your ministry and opportunity to evangelize
“Your world” in addition to all discussed in business above, bear in mind that you are to show:
Tolerance in judging others
And love for fellow men in career, service you are lifted to lift other. Your promotion carries the benefit of others.
Politics is in today’s church. Yes or No
Politics is ungodly. Yes or No
Partisan politics will destroy the church. Yes or No
You are a politician in church. Yes or No
A Christian can make a difference in partisan politics. Yes / No or I don’t think so
What does your nation need in politics? You can make a great list.
THE WOMAN GOD USES
The woman is the most precious being created by God for His purpose. She was created with many parts to become virtuous, a vessel of honour purified and prepared for the master’s use. 2 Timothy 20 – 21, therefore, the converted concerned and ordained woman that God will use has the enlarged expectation from God and man to have distinct character, blameless conduct and unbeatable commitment to God and His worshipers. Such a woman triumphs over the gates of Hell at home, in church, in career/business, in ministry and in the society.
Character: this is the way someone thinks, feels and behaves, someone’s personality. It is a set of qualities that makes a thing or person different from others.
Conduct: this is the way a person behaves in a particular place or a particular situation. The way something is managed or directed. To plan or do or direct, guided or lead.
A Priest and Prophetess
Living as a priest and a prophetess for God. (Romans 12: 1 – 2, 1 Corinthians 6:19 – 20 and Galatians 2:20)
Her body is presented as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, not conformed to this world, but transformed with a renewed mind in a body that is the temple of the Holy Spirit, glorifying God in her body and spirit, which are God’s. No longer living for self but Christ living through her. She has presented to God to live the way God asked her and walk as a living temple of God, as a consecrated priest of God, as a living sacrifice and as a bondservant of the Lord. Titus 2:3. Romans 12:1 – 2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice holy acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Not A Slanderer, But with A Guarded Tongue
Paul turns the spotlight on the hardest member of the body to control according to James 3: 1 – 13.
The tongue twice in his epistles Paul targets a woman hard on her speech saying it is a spiritual qualifier or disqualifier 1 Timothy 3: 11 “Even so must their wives be brave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things”.
James 3: 2 – 6 tells us that a tongue out of control indicates a life out of control. James goes on to note that the source of all wickedness, especially of an uncontrolled tongue is hell and it is Satan who is at the root of all gossips, all harmful talk and all slanders. If you are damaging the reputation of the ministry of others with your tongue you are a tool of the devil.
Slanderer is the very Satan’s Name. In scripture slander is used 34 times to refer to Satan. Satan has been a false accuser and so each time he incites some believes to do so, they are doing Satan’s work. Satan is the ultimate source of all evils and the root of all wrong behavior. Satan is always at hand to use the tongue to do great evil.
The woman God uses and prompted by the Holy Ghost is to make sure that, what she says is absolutely honest all the time, just pure, lovely, and of a good report before she says it, lest she discredit her ministry’s effectiveness.
One common talk that hurts is gossips and these come in many forms. The woman God uses should avoid these malicious talk, rationalized gossip/talk and innocent gossip. This usually starts with proper motives and desires but get off course with unwise sharing of sensitive information, then curiosity sets in and soon the conversation is far beyond the problem and the solution it wil now have becomes malicious, slanderous and harmful gossip.
To change from harmful Gossips.
Think first: Before starting to say something, pause a few seconds and ask, are these words true or false, exaggerated or accurate, healing or cutting, grateful or complaining. Talk less, plan, prepare, concentrate and enrich each opportunity to speak, make each time to speak as 1 Peter 4: 11.
“If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracle of God”.
Start now: get braces on the tongue do not waste your tool.
Titus 2: 3 “the aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness not false accusers not given to much wine teachers of good things”.
Paul the Apostle, in listing the characteristics of the woman God uses focuses on the weak aspect of the woman, for God to use a woman therefore, she must have to deal with this aspect of her innate tendencies and bear the spiritual fruit of self-control. Godly woman is spirit filled in every part of her life, she resists excesses in any part of her daily life, she is not a slave to any substance, amusement, any fashion or any attitude that does not please her master in heaven.
Most of us that are ordained ministers today were formally pagans. Excesses e.g. drunkenness, tobacco, eating of a lot food or glutton, excessive fashion were always to ease off hopelessness and slavery to pagan men who looked upon us as convenience that bore legitimate children and enhanced their reputation in the community Ephesians 2: 12 – 13 “That at that time you were without Christ, been aliens from the common wealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenant of promise having no hope and without God in the world: but now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” But now we have hope because coming to Christ has changed everything.
The woman God uses must not relapse to old slavery habits. Lack of physical control of any appetite points to spiritual immaturity and God will not use the immature. Both Timothy and Titus were told to beware of a woman returning to her old habits of excesses.
Today, excesses are in many forms in the church of the living God. Women inclusive abuse, drugs, varieties of food, clothes, jewelries, hairdo, beautiful varieties of fashionable clothing that change with every season. Proverbs 23: 19 – 21. “Hear thou my son and be wise and guide thine heart in the way. Be not among winebibbers among riotous eaters of flesh. For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags”.
The woman God uses must be conscious of any hindrance and not give in to too much of anything. Be it the use of money, enjoyment of leisure, establishment of house to live in, and the elevated fashion among others.
What a godly and spirit controlled woman eat and drink are to the glory of God.
1 Corinth 10:31 “Whether therefore you eat or drink or whatsoever you do all to the glory of God”. Therefore, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Teacher of Good Things (Titus 2:3)
“The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things”
The bible points to another character of the godly woman or the woman that God uses. She has a spiritual and physical integrity. The woman God uses lives what she teaches, her works and walk are louder than her voice. The woman God uses develops a teaching and preaching ministry of what she has already known and lived that brought great glory to God. 1 Timothy 4: 6, she teaches by her lifestyle what is good in the sight of God and men, she carefully chooses the better part as Mary did in contrast to Martha. Her life is an open book that should and does teach Christ gracious Lordship at home, church, business and in the society. She possesses and demonstrates visible integrity.
Earnest Mentor of The Younger Generation (TITUS 2:4) “that they may teach the young women to be sober to love their husbands to love their children”. The woman God uses is an earnest mentor of the young ones in chosen areas like marriage and family life, prayers, careers, business, ministry and many other spheres of life. In teaching and admonitions trains and reproduces herself in others. I have constantly been blessed by such women God is using in ministry as mentors like Mama Idahosa and Mama Akioya among others, therefore the woman who God uses has to:
Behave like a holy prophetess of the Almighty God
Showing restraint and discipline of appetite and words
Living what she teaches so that the younger generation will learn from her, how to live and please God in their lives, homes, in the church, business, career, in ministry and in the larger society.
Lover of God and His Worshipers (1 CORINTHIANS 13: 1 – 13)
The woman God uses must be an ardent lover of God and His people portraying the characteristics of love as discussed in the above scriptures. Her love is tested in service, when there is an offense. Jesus said that the only way His disciples will be identified.
Her Family Life
This is a common knowledge; her home is her operational base camp and it is the first vineyard of God for the woman God uses. Therefore, she has the character of the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31.
The woman God uses is a watcher at the tower of God in prayer and fasting. This character makes her sensitive to Gods guidance for her life and ministry.
Focus and Generous
The woman that God uses is focused and generous with her resources. This character makes her attractive to all even her distractors.
Conduct – the way a person behaves in a particular place or a particular situation. The way something is managed or directed. To plan or do or direct, guided or lead.
The woman God uses conducts her affairs with her intimate family with the word of God. Matthew 4: 4.
Calm and quiet spirit in times of pressure and difficulties or trials 1 Peter 3:4, has inner peace of the Holy Ghost to comfort, guide and teach her when everything seems to be out of control
Grounded in courage and strength. John 1:9, Romans 8:28. She does not allow fear invade her thoughts or feelings by constantly reminding herself of God promises that never fail.
In relentless prayers and intercessions for all men and in all things. 1Thessalonians 5:17. She does not allow circumstances dictate the final outcome. She does not give up in praying for the strongest heart, deepest needs or the highest mountain tops.
Within her limit. Psalm 38:18. The woman God uses knows her weakness and therefore her limits, she confesses her faults. She is humble.
Exercise light-heartedness and good humor. Proverbs 17:22, no outburst of anger in conducting her affairs especially in ministry rather she brings to all her inescapable joy.
Very thorough in completing her task. Ecclesiastes 9:10. Finishes a task to the best of her ability. This is the same at home, church, career and ministry.
In forgiveness and forbearance, she conducts her affairs, she is people-centered and therefore cannot be vengeful or malicious. She too asks for forgiveness when she errs.
Commitment is the state of being willing to give a lot of time, work, energy, money and influence among others to something somebody or some place.
The woman God uses does not need to wear the historical symbols to mark her identity as a believer, more importantly and more definitive than all the pins, stickers and buttons are her internal spiritual signs of a true believer. In John 13: 31 – 38, Jesus gave three distinguishing marks of a committed disciple who is willing to serve in the ministry.
The woman God uses is committed to:
An unending preoccupation with the glory of God, the very purpose for which she exists is to bring glory to God. She is concerned only with living to do Gods work with the motive of giving glory to God. She is not concerned about herself, she is not preoccupied with her own glory, she is not worried about what brings honour to her, she is not on a popularity roll, she is not trying to climb the ladder of service to get something bigger and better for herself as it were but like Jesus, God is glorified in her.
An unfailing love for the children of God. The woman God uses is not only preoccupied with her Lord’s glory but also filled with His Love. Perhaps this distinguishing mark of the committed woman is the most significant of all her commitment in terms of practical living. Romans 5:5 gives her an enlarged capacity to love.
An unswerving loyalty to God and Godly leadership. The woman God uses is loyal to God; her loyalty to God is demonstrated in her loyalty to godly leadership. She is not far from God and is not easily offended.
To sum up, this chapter attempted to briefly present the woman God uses – her character is patterned after that of a priest and a prophet. Her conducts which is calm, courageous, focused and full of love for God and man kind. Her commitment is marked with big intense desire to glorify God. She is inspired by great love and is loyal to God and his appointed leaders. It is interesting to know that you are this woman if you fit into the above description. Remain on top.
PASTOR’S WIFE, FEMALE MINISTERS AND THEIR ETHICS
TEXT: GENESIS 2:24, 1Timothy 3:4, Galatians 3:28
The Pastor’s Wife: this is a spouse, helper and a team mate of the pastor who are yoked together to do God’s work.
She is not only helper at home but also in ministry. Too few recognize the reality of this and want to put the pastor’s wife in a box and relegate her to keeping the home fire burning and prayer support for her husband. That certainly is her responsibility but quite often the pastor’s wife has gift that can be used in the ministry of the Lord Jesus.
There are three (3) categories of pastor’s wife;
Passive Pastor’s wife. Submissive, but nonchalant to the ministry in her thinking the ministry is “his”. They show no much concerns or commitment to the work of God.
The Supporting Pastor’s wife. This has no personal calling. This category is submissive and facilitates the husband call without any obvious personal call or ministry ability.
The Active and Outgoing Pastor’s wife. This is a female minister in her own right; she is a valuable asset to any church of today’s climate of competition and quest for the talented ones in ministry. This category has its advantages and disadvantages; this depends on the personality of the pastor, the denomination and the local assembly. This female minister requires a lot a grace to create a balance with the goal of bringing glory to God in all things.
A Spiritual Partner to the Pastor.
She is a team mate and a partner to her husband, she does this in submission. Submission is putting of oneself under the authority of another, it is an act of humility. She is not a competitor. Christ Submitted to the Father yet He is equal to the father in worth and essence, therefore, submission is about order, not value. She is an example to other women in submission.
Spiritual Mother of the Local Assembly. Titus 2.
To understand this, you will need to list what a physical mother does at home:
She reproduces her kind as a witness of Christ (soul winner)
She feeds the assembly as disciplined teacher of the word in actions and reactions
Provides clean spiritual environment without rancor, fighting, division, tribalism, class murmuring, favoritism among others.
Intercedes for the local assembly with the passion and pains of a mother,
Rebuke the erring in Love. She does not quench the smoking reed or kill the wounded, she binds the broken hearted and set at liberty those who are bruised,
She is a comforter to those that mourn, eyes to the blind, feet to the lame and ears to the deaf,
She is a mediator to the aggrieved,
A perfect example of a builder and not a destroyer of relationship,
She is a counselor to all.
The role of the Pastor’s wife in a local assembly is to be a godly motivator to all the ministry workers and ministry gifts.
Her zeal and zest are contagious. She uses all that God and her husband has endowed her with to stir up the gifts of others in achieving God’s Purpose.
Defender of the Truth
The church is the body of Christ; she defends the truth so that the body of Christ will not see corruption. (John 20: 1-4)
The woman even before Jesus was born has this role in the Old Testament church. In Exodus 2, Jochebed the mother of Moses saved the life of the baby Moses who was born to deliver Israel. One is not surprised when the angel in Matthew 1:21 announcing the birth of Jesus told the world that she; the life saver will bring forth a son who will be called Jesus the savior.
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shall call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins” Matthew 1:21. The pastor’s wife saves lives that are doomed.
Ethics of Pastor’s Wife as A Female Minister
Ethics: A set of rules of behavior based on ideas about what is morally good and bad. It is the principles of conduct that governs an individual or a group. It is a guiding philosophy.
Ministerial Ethics for Pastor’s wife: According to divine design, the church is supposed to be led by one shepherd; the Lord Jesus. John 10:16. Although a local assembly may have more than a pastor serving in the place, only one person can be the head and the wife also the head of other wives. So others must be brought along and respected too.
Let us outline some principles guiding the services of a Pastor’s wife in a local assembly.
The minister of God is expected to be honest and fair. A godly woman is complete or whole in all spheres of life. Her moral values are high and not in doubt.
Self-control: never you lose your temper in the public.
Never lose control over what God has assigned to you. Do not allow anyone despise your youth or look down on you. Take charge. The worst situation is where Pastor’s wife cannot correct things that are out of line.
A Visionary: make the vision of the ministry clear to your team for example women group leaders, Associate Pastor’s wives among others.
Delegation: let everyone in the team know what the other members are supposed to do and let everyone know what is expected of them. There must be specific area for which everyone is accountable. Team members should be told what is expected of them.
Amicable: easily accessible, quiet, cheerful, a listener who is ready to praise team members in public and rebuke or correct assistants in the private. Treat team members as friends (John 15:15)
Responsible : Accept 100% for anything that goes wrong, no shifting of blame. Do not give an order you cannot obey.
A Model of Righteousness: other members of the church should be able to follow you manner of life 2Timothy 3:10, obey those who are above, do not crave for the pity of church members and never you discuss your husband issues with them. Make mention of your husband (the Pastor) genuinely, admire him and praise him often before members.
Dress Code: Dress properly and modestly. Not in competition with wealthy members.
Marriage and family life: Peaceful with disciplined children.
Financial Intelligence: not guilty of filthy lucre (dirty money).
Time Management: punctuality is the sole of ministry business. Arrive on time and keep to the assigned time for meetings and programs.
Prayerful and watchful: As the lioness watch over the cubs. Finally, the principles guiding your services require that you pray about everything, in everything and for everything. 1Peter 5:8
SOME CHALLENGES OF THE PASTOR’S WIFE
The Pastor’s wife has so many challenges.
Her husband: is her Pastor at home and in the church. He is her friend, husband, father of her children and breadwinner. Therefore, she tends to forget that the Pastor is just a man and not God.
Her personality: she has to work hard else she will lose her personality and become men pleaser. A politician’s wife canvassing vote for her husband.
The Glass house syndrome: this is the consciousness that all eyes are on the Pastor’s family. Sometimes, the Pastor’s wife and her family are controlled by what the members are expecting from them.
Criticism and Critics: it is hard to take negative opinions and experiences especially from those who ought to understand. This becomes hard to take when it is against the husband. She may harbor feelings of resentment, this not healthy for ministry.
Mean people in the church: there is the temptation to give too much attention to the mean people in church. This will normally bring the Pastor’s wife down.
The Husband Builder and Defender: she needs to be a cheer leader, respecting the husband more and more in the mist of opposition; the husband can sometimes err and attract opposition, yet she must be strong and stand in his trial.
Changing Schedules: the husband is busy she has to come alongside with him in the areas of transfer, increased responsibility, promotions, organization and time management.
A very brief attempt has been made above to discuss the role of the Christian woman leader; in the home church and the society. The home is the base camp where she owns herself, her husband and her children a physical, spiritual, social economic duty. These duties she performs in submission and reverence to God and her children. She shows concern and harmony to her in-law in particular and her neighbors in general.
Her role in church is that of being a servant to God and His people using her
God-given talent to achieve goals of the Kingdom.
Finally, the society is becoming godless in Business, career and politics. The Christian woman leader therefore must through steadfast love, faith integrity, hard work among others shine as light in the society; she being the salt must preserve live with a definite taste.
I wish you a successful career in Ministry. God bless you.
The pastor’s wife and her ethics is so important today. This require close attention of this all important female minister and a mother in Israel, I wish you successful career in ministry in Jesus name.
THE ORDAINED WOMAN IN MINISTRY, Esther Eseosa Adagbonyin taps into the concerns and issues that trouble women in ministry most. She provides encouragement and tools to help resolve problems in the areas of ministerial life women struggle with most--including confidence, self image, and relationships. It is easy to get caught up in what the coming weeks, months, or years might hold and forget to slow down and live in the present but this powerful book will help women on their journey towards a confident life filled with love, laughter, and God's acceptance, one day at time. In this book you'll discover the role of the ordained woman in ministry - the home, the church and the society. The book addresses the conduct, commitment and the Ethics of the Pastor's wife as a female minister. Her wealth of experience and knowledge as a leader in God's vineyard coupled with her interest in contemporary researches in church Administration are summarized in this book. This is for you as a leader and all who are in love with pure knowledge.