Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Women Worship Leaders - Just a Few Thoughts
The answer to such a question should be obvious, but unfortunately the church has been influenced by the world and consequently the answer to what should be an easy question is no longer obvious to so many Christians.
Worship is often led by women even in churches that believe only men may be elders. Such a worship practice if consistent with the unique teaching role of elders presupposes that worship is not to be accompanied by biblical instruction. In other words, if women may lead worship yet not teach the congregation, then worship may be void of biblical instruction. Yet then how can women lead God’s people in biblical worship that engages the emotions through the mind? Is to lead worship simply a matter of hitting the right note? No, and women “worship leaders” appreciate that much, which is why they so often step out of their God-given comfort zone in order to exhort in their leading. Accordingly, when women lead in worship any adherence to the unique teaching role given to men is undermined.
The elders, if they do their job, will protect the congregation, including their women, from such an unnatural, demeaning practice. Yes, demeaning. It’s demeaning for a woman to do man’s calling, just like it would be demeaning for a man to submit to his wife in all things. Gender confusion is always ugly.
It is the pastor, in the representative service of the Lord, who is ultimately responsible for leading congregational worship on earth. The pastor who operates in the name of Christ is the worship leader. It's an indicative. It comes with the job. A worship leader should be prepared to exegete hymns and Psalms for the congregation, which a woman simply may not do even if she can. A great worship leader can be tone deaf but that is because he is not merely to lead the music but rather is to direct the hearts and minds of the congregants to the triune God who receives congregational worship in Christ.
The answer to the question should be obvious. Women may not lead worship because women may not lead God’s people. Let's be loving to our sisters in Christ and in humble obedience lead them out of such roles.