I remember hearing Derek Prince talking about women teachers some years ago, and he made an excellent point. He said that if there was no one to teach a woman should do it, but as soon as a suitable man comes along, she should raise him up to take that role. I agree with that position.
I’m aware that the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few, and so I want to share some perspectives on women teaching and/or pastoring which will help you see why it might not be the best thing, even if we have no choice at times.
- Within the Jewish Karaite (Torah only) movement they have nothing against women teaching. But a woman who is menstruating does not attend synagogue – how can a woman pastor a flock when she is unclean for seven days a month? Who would have sheep and leave them for the wolves for seven days at a time? A woman can share a teaching, but to pastor takes a full time commitment.
- Women’s voices are harder for men to listen to than a man’s voice. This might not be something you’ve heard, but I remember reading an article where a transgender man (a former woman) said that he could no longer listen to his female friends voices for long periods of time, and struggled to take in what they said because of the hormones he was receiving. Women’s voices are higher pitched, generally, and so there’s a possibility that a man will really struggle to take in her message purely because he is biologically male. This is a new understanding which science needs to examine. If I can find a link to the article, I’ll share it – there were a number of interesting points which are worth reading.
- Iron sharpens iron. But a woman is the weaker vessel – what does this mean for women teachers? Men can argue and debate with a cool head – their emotions are rarely ruffled by such encounters. I would guess it’s rare for a man to be emotionally upset by arguing with another man – he may be irritated or annoyed, but not tearful or exhausted. But for a woman her emotions are intrinsically connected to everything she says, believes and teaches. She could be right or wrong, but the act of confronting and arguing can feel emotionally bruising for a woman. This may also cause her to remain silent rather than confront when confrontation would be the right thing to do – purely because she knows it will be a hurtful encounter.
Women are needed in teaching roles because there are not enough men doing it. We have a different perspective and many of us carry a lot of wisdom. So how can we manage the issues raised above? I have a few ideas.
- Share teachings from ministries which you know are established and trustworthy – it’s no longer necessary to direct a person to a physical ministry or write your own material – there are excellent ministries online and when you find a good teaching, share it. We can all be spiritually fed for free these days because of generous ministries who share their teachings online. You don’t have to agree with everything a ministry says to share one of their teachings.
- If you are asked to give a teaching or message as I was recently, do so on an as-is basis. Don’t get into debates about it afterwards. If the LORD is calling you to teach or say something, pray about it, and then do it to the best of your ability. Then leave the rest of it to God. The people in the comments section are not your flock!
- Minister within the gifts you have. Offer help to those who cross your path and enjoy the process, whoever they are. If they can’t be helped, direct them to other ministries with more or different expertise.
- Stay humble! You are not the one who matters – it’s God we exalt!
I hope this article helps to give you a few different perspectives on women teaching and pastoring within a Torah Observant model. Many churches within Christianity are raising up women to teach – perhaps too many given that this may be a detriment to men learning and hearing their messages. It’s certainly something to ponder!
God Bless you