A Covenantal Approach to Women in the Church
“Woman” was created to be a helper (Genesis 2:18) and is called to be a life-giver (Genesis 3:20) and supporting pillar (Psalm 144:12). In the covenant community, one generation of women is to teach the next generation about biblical womanhood (Titus 2:3-5). These are covenantal concepts that have pervasive and practical implications for the women’s ministry of the church.
Community and compassion characterize our helper design and are characteristic of the covenant of grace. They give focus and definition to women’s ministry as helpers in God’s church, to bring a deeper sense of community and compassion to the church family. A women’s ministry should be a life-giving, supportive ministry of the church, with core covenantal values such as:
biblical purpose — challenging women to glorify God in all areas of life and recognizing God’s Word as the authority for faith and life
biblical perspective — viewing the church as God’s covenant family
submissive — under the authority of the elders
integrated — consistent with and supportive of the doctrine and ministry of the church
corporate helpers — supporting and enhancing other ministries in the church rather than duplicating or competing
spiritual mothering — women teaching women about biblical womanhood through relationships and instruction
community — providing opportunities for women to cultivate edifying relationships with one another
equipping — preparing women to serve as helpers and live-givers in the home, church, and community
compassion — providing opportunities for women to extend practical compassion and love within and outside the body
welcoming — outward-focused, always seeking to extend the boundaries of the covenant to enfold women within and outside the church.
When women’s ministry is life-giving and supportive, the church will rise up and call these women blessed. Their works shall praise them in the gates (Proverbs 31:28, 31).
Adapted from The Legacy of Biblical Womanhood, by Susan Hunt and Barbara Thompson.