This transcript is taken from a Stand in the Gap Today program originally aired on 7/11/23.  To listen to the program, please click HERE.

Jamie Mitchell:                 Hi friends, and welcome to the Tuesday edition of Stand In the Gap today. I’m your host, Jamie Mitchell, director of Church Culture for the American Pastors Network. And today, we hope is going to be both an insightful broadcast, but also has the potential to be an incendiary program.

I’m not sure if you’ve heard any of the news coming out of the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting about a month ago, but center stage during the week-long gathering, was a major dust-up over the issue of the churches that acknowledge women in the role of pastors.

Now, historically, the Southern Baptists have held the position that the office and role of pastor in the church is reserved for men only. A year prior the Southern Baptist Convention voted to remove the very significant Saddleback Church led by Rick Warren from their fellowship.

Saddleback had ordained three ladies on their staff and giving them the title, pastor. Interestingly, Saddleback is not the only Southern Baptist Church who have women clergy and so other churches began to wonder about their future.

Well, this year, Warren in the Southern California Church who claims to have over 25,000 in their congregation made an appeal to the convention and lost the appeal.

Needless to say, it has caused many to start asking the question like, well, why can’t women be called pastors? And why is a church so male-controlled? And there are obviously women who have amazing leadership gifts and abilities. Why is a church being so limited?

And even more important, what does the Bible weigh in on the subject?

Well, if you thought Saddleback is the only church pushing the envelope about women in leadership roles, you would be surprised to discover many churches have moved in this direction.

And even more confusing, many churches that from a conservative traditional, what we would call Evangelically Orthodox Church has opened the door for their church to have women pastors or elders.

What is happening and how should we respond?

Well, to help me navigate this very weighty conversation and what we believe is a serious theological issue, is two of my fellow Stand in the Gap hosts to join me on what I like to call a host panel discussion: Dave Kistler and Gary Dull.

Brothers, welcome to Stand in the Gap, but I don’t know why I’m welcoming you. You’re here usually in this seat doing what I’m doing. Dave, welcome. Gary, welcome.

Dave Kistler:                      Well, thank you Brother Jamie, delight to be in the co-host chair and delight to have you and the host chair and looking forward to a discussion on a vitally important topic.

Gary Dull:                           Likewise, Jamie, delighted to have you there in the host chair and it’s a delight to be with you and to be led along. And I’m glad you have put together this agenda instead of me, but it is an agenda for today and I’m glad we can deal with it.

Jamie Mitchell:                 Well Dave, let me start with you. As an evangelist, you move around to a lot of churches, you’re in and out of congregations, you get to interact with a lot of pastors. Is this issue pushing towards women in leadership roles and significant pastoral positions, is it really a thing? And what are you seeing out there in the landscape of churches?

Dave Kistler:                      Well, Jamie, it obviously is a thing, but the churches that I’m in right now are some of the best I’ve ever been in about 37, 38 years of ministry. I’m with some great pastors, Southern Baptist pastors, pastors that are Bible church pastors. So in one sense, I’m not facing this myself directly, but as I talk to them and talk to those that are in the Convention and they see it, obviously then it’s something I’m very much aware of. So it is an issue. It’s just not an issue in the churches where I’m honored and privileged to minister currently.

Jamie Mitchell:                 Gary, we used to think that it was the quote-unquote, liberal church that’s the problem. I mentioned just offline before we started this. I was in my church that I had grown up in yesterday, and it’s a conservative church. And I was back visiting it yesterday and unbeknownst to me after the time of worship, it’s a time for the preaching and they introduced the pastor to preach and it was a woman preaching.

The fact is mainline denominations have been ordaining women for years, but it seems like conservative churches are now beginning to crack. Why do you think this is happening and what might be some of the reasons for this seat change?

Gary Dull:                           Well, it’s interesting and I think it goes back to what we talk about often here on our program, Jamie, and that is the biblical worldview. As I observe this, I see where churches are getting away from biblical authority.

When you read the word of God, particularly what Paul says to Timothy in 1 Timothy 2, and 1 Timothy 3, we find that those who are in the pastoral leadership of the local church are to be men, not women.

And of course that doesn’t mean that the women do not have a place to play in the local church. I’ll tell you women are very, very important in the local church. But I think what is happening is that we have many churches that are really putting the Bible out of the picture as it were, as it relates to being their authority. And they are doing that which is convenient or perhaps what they have to do because in some cases there may not be the men stepping forward and taking on the leadership role in the local churches as they should.

The Bible tells us in 1 Timothy 2:11-12, “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection, but I suffer not a woman to teach nor to assert authority over the man but to be in silence.”

And then in 1 Timothy 3:2, it says, “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife.” And so to have a wife, you’ve got to be a man. And so the word of God clearly teaches us, I think, that the male has the position in the pastorate and yet the churches could not get along without good solid women who love the Lord and serve the Lord therein.

Jamie Mitchell:                 Dave, the word that is afflicting the church today is the word, relevant. I always hear this, “People, we need to be relevant, we need to be relevant.” But I’ve always believed the Bible is relevant. Do you think that that may be one of the reasons why this door is now opening on women in leadership?

Dave Kistler:                      Jamie, I do. I think it is. I think you’ve hit the nail squarely on the head. We don’t have to make the Bible relevant, the Bible is relevant. Somebody said it this way, “You don’t have to defend the scriptures any more than you have to defend a lion. You just open the cage door and the lion will do its own defending.”

The Bible will do its own defense as well. And Gary said it well, as well, earlier on he said, “We believe in a biblical worldview. We believe the word of God to be what it is, the word of God.”

And so those that want to make the Bible relevant to the culture, or abandoning the clear teachings I believe, of scripture and opting for something that is… no other way to say it than… is contrary to the word of God and disobedience to scripture. But our loyalty has got to be to the Bible because it’s God’s word.

Jamie Mitchell:                 Amen. Ladies and gentlemen, you might be in a church that you’re not facing this issue, but I can just about guarantee that your kids, your grandkids and maybe even the church that you’re fellowshipping with right now will face this issue.

Now we’re going to take a break and when we get back we want to understand what is behind this push. What are the beliefs of those who support women in pastoral leadership positions?

We’re not afraid of the controversial things here at Stand in the Gap, that’s why we’re here. We stand in the gap for truth. So join us back here as we unravel this difficult decision and issue today.


Jamie Mitchell:                 Well, welcome back. My guests today are the very familiar Dave Kistler and Gary Dull, and we are tackling the issue of the feminization of the clergy. Why the push for women in leadership in the church?

And throughout the evangelical church there is a shift in thinking and position and more and more churches are opening up their once male-only roles of pastor and elders to women.

Dave, in debate class, it is always important that you understand what your opponent’s position is before you try to convince them that you were right. Now, I’m not suggesting some of these churches and fellow leaders are opponents or enemies, but there is another side of this theological debate.

Can you maybe outline a few differences on how those who hold what traditionally would be known as the egalitarian theological position, what position do they hold? What are some of the things they say to lead them to believe that women should be pastors and elders?

Dave Kistler:                      Well, great question, Jamie. And let me just define a couple of terms as I try to answer that. Egalitarianism is the view that women and men are equal in the eyes of Christ and therefore God intends that there be really no distinction in their roles. Egalitarians also believe that there’s no gender-based restrictions on ministry in the church, or actually in the home or in the household. So simply put, men and women have equal and interchangeable roles. Now, that is the egalitarian position.

We would probably fall more realistically under what’s called a complementarian position, which is the view that gender roles are distinct and purposeful and it’s ordained by God that men and women should complement one another, hence the term complementarianism.

And we would believe that God restricts women from serving in certain leadership roles in the church, instead calls them to be… They’re important. Women are vitally… as Gary already said… important, but their roles are different. Equal in value, men and women are, but not equal in the roles they fulfill.

So maybe that’ll help explain a little bit of it. But the egalitarians believe there is no difference in the function of the roles of men and women in the church. And we believe, of course the scripture is quite clear that there is a difference in that function.

Jamie Mitchell:                 Gary, you heard what Dave just said. As you have had to preach or teach on these issue all these years, are there some additional biblical differences that you’ve encountered with the pro-woman position-holder?

Gary Dull:                           Well, I must say Jamie, that I’ve not really had to deal with the situation too much in the church that I pastor as well as in the circles that I run. But I realize that those differences are out there and of course, it’s a matter of discussion by many.

But I think again, we get back to what does the Bible say? And I appreciate Dave’s description there, of the way that he brought out, particularly in the complementarian situation because we do complement each other and that’s how the Lord put the church together.

There are certain things within the body of the local church that a man cannot do, a woman must do, particularly as it relates to caring for other women. I know what the church that I pastor, we have put together what we call the Barnabas Group. And the Barnabas Group is made up mainly of women who have the privilege, I might say, as well as the responsibility of caring for other ladies that the deacons or the pastors cannot do. And in doing so, they complement each other. And there is great value in doing that.

There is great value, for instance, to have a man in the pulpit preaching and teaching the word of God, because we believe that that fellow who is the pastor, the bishop, the elder should be… Well, that person who is the pastor, bishop or elder should be a man. There’s great value in that.

But there’s also great value in women who can reach out to women and care for them in such ways that a man could not even do. I mean here, three of us together, it would be good to have a woman perhaps on our program discussing today. Because the both of us realize that we cannot understand a woman like another woman can understand a woman.

And so there comes a time whether we are talking about dealing with some physical situation that another lady has, or some emotional or spiritual situation another lady has, well, it’s the lady who can minister to that lady in a much better way than the man can do. And consequently we are complementing each other and that’s how God has put the local church together.

Jamie Mitchell:                 You know, fellas, the two things that I have seen facing this issue in over the years is one, a wrong perspective of the roles of husband and wife as from the Genesis account, claiming that this whole idea of a subservient role to men come because as the consequence of the fall. And egalitarian position would be, well, once we’ve come to Christ and that is forgiven, then some of the results of the consequences of the fall begin to be reversed and therefore complete community oneness, equality can happen now in Christ.

But that’s just not true because the role of headship and having authority over Eve was prior to the fall. And the second, is this whole issue of household order, that God has given order, have given particular genders certain leadership roles.

Dave, have you encountered those problems? Have you seen those issues? Am I stating that theologically correct?

Dave Kistler:                      Jamie, I think you are. And I think it goes back to something Gary alluded to earlier, and that is the failure on the part of men to step up and exercise the role in the home, or as you called it, the household order, as they should.

And just because the man is to be the head of the home and men, we believe, the scripture teaches very clearly… And I know we’re going to get into this in the next segment a little more deeply… Because we believe men are to be the leaders, both from a pastoral and elder perspective, it doesn’t mean men are superior to, better than women.

I say this a lot because it’s true, there’s not a single meeting or event I’ve ever been a part of, but what was made better by the presence of women or would’ve been made better by the presence of more women.

That doesn’t mean men are superior to women, better than women. It just means God has assigned the roles in the home, in the church, in government and certain things, he expects men to be involved with, other things, women to be involved with.

And so we are, as Gary said, and as we’ve been talking, to complement one another, but to a large degree, yes, Jamie, I’m seeing some egregious misunderstanding of what the scripture says is to be the role of husbands and wives, men and women, with respect to the home.

And so if there’s confusion there, it makes perfect sense that there’s going to be some confusion within the church as well.

Jamie Mitchell:                 Gary, the issue of the fall and original sin and God, quote-unquote, punishing women by making them subservient to men, as Eve would be subservient to Adam, that’s just not the case, is it?

Gary Dull:                           Well, that’s not the case at all. And again, what we see there is God was very directly putting together the role of the husband and the wife. I mean, one of the greatest things that elevates the women in God’s program is the fact that she is the one who brings children into the world. A man can’t do that.

I realize that in the woke culture in which we are living today, there are those who say, well, maybe that’s a possibility and they are trying to work toward that, but it’s not going to happen because God has not made the body in that way.

I believe personally, that women were never punished by God as a gender simply because of Eve’s sin. But she has been elevated because of the fact that she is the one who has been designated by God to bring children into this world. So to use the word punishment, I would never do that, Jamie

Jamie Mitchell:                 And Dave, it really comes down to, again, as I have spoke to and even debated those who hold the egalitarian position, it comes down to hermeneutic. How we handle the Bible, how we study the Bible, how we interpret the Bible. And so it really comes down to the hermeneutic being the issue, really is the issue, when it comes to prophecy, when it comes to the church, it is always our hermeneutic, isn’t it?

Dave Kistler:                      You know, Jamie, it is. And of course the word hermeneutic means a method of biblical interpretation for those who may not be familiar with the term. But yes, absolutely, how we interpret the scriptures is vitally, vitally important. And we believe that we ought to interpret the scriptures literally, unless there is a clear indication to interpret otherwise.

And I know in the next segment we’re going to talk more about some specific passages. But boy, when you look at those passages in their context and you look at the clear wording of sacred scripture with respect to the roles of men and women in the church, it could not be more clear that there are certain things that God allows and calls and designates men to do, like pastor, elder and so on, and that women are not to occupy those specific roles. And so it does, it does come down very clearly, Jamie, to how we interpret scripture.

Jamie Mitchell:                 Well, the best way to combat error is with truth, and properly handling the word of truth. As we look at this issue of complementarianism, which is what we would hold to here and egalitarianism, it comes down to how the scriptures are being interpreted.

Now, when we come back, we want to look at the Bible, we want to look at this issue of church leadership. What does the Bible say? Why do we come to this conclusion that men should be pastors and elders in churches? Join us back here in just a few moments for more of Stand in the Gap.


Jamie Mitchell:                 Well, welcome back. We’re attempting to unravel a very serious and complex issue within our hour, and I would not want to attempt this task without some capable help. So I’m glad to have my fellow hosts, Gary Dull and Dave Kistler, join me as we try to understand why there is such a push in churches regarding women in leadership, and in specifically pastoral roles.

Men, I don’t know if I shared this story with you, but just a few months back, a church was discussing with me that they were looking for a pastor. And I spoke with a church ministry headhunter, and I shared with him that I had some concerns and he assured me that the concerns I had would not be an issue with the church.

And then he said, “But I have a bigger concern.” And I asked him, well, what was his concern? And he said, “Well, do you have a problem with women being elders or pastors?” And I told him, “Well, absolutely. Biblically, I have a problem with that.”

And within two seconds the conversation tone changed. He thanked me and said, “Well, that’s a deal breaker,” and I haven’t heard back from him. And I was shocked, but again, I wasn’t completely surprised.

And Gary, in this segment we want to outline why I said, no, and what we believe from the Bible.

Can you just take a few minutes and give some key, what I might call linchpins or foundational principles, when it comes to a conservative evangelical theology about church leaders?

Gary Dull:                           Well, I think that I can do that, and I think it’s very important that we do do that simply because of the fact that what we’re finding today in many churches that would call themselves evangelical, is getting away from the absolute truth of the word of God.

And when it comes down to talking about who’s to be in the leadership position of the church, we realize that Paul dealt with this very clearly in the epistles.

We often refer to the epistles as the proclamation of New Testament Church truth, not that the Old Testament is not applicable to us today, it’s applicable. Everything from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 is applicable to us. But in the New Testament epistles, we find New Testament church truth is being portrayed.

Within that context, you go to 1 Timothy 3 and the Book of Titus 1, and we find that the Lord, through the Apostle Paul, lays out his plan for leadership in the church.

And in those two passages you find words like bishop, elders and pastor. And primarily speaking, they would relate to the same individual. The bishop would be one who is an overseer. The elders would be those who yes, might be more spiritually mature, but they were also the spiritual mature leaders in the church being synonymous with bishops.

And then of course, you’ve got the pastor, and that’s really brought out in the Book of 1 Peter, and the pastor is the one who is the shepherd of the flock.

So in reality, the individual who is to lead the church is the pastor, elder, bishop, one and the same, equal, having the responsibilities for the spiritual oversight of the church.

Well, when you look at 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1, we have there the outline as to what are the qualifications for the pastor, the bishop or the elder.

And it’s very, very clear. I don’t know that we want to take the time to go down through the entire litany of responsibilities that’s in that job description, but that needs to be the guide in the local church, and any church right now that is looking for a pastor.

And I’ll tell you, there are many churches out there right now looking for pastors. Those of you who might be on the pastoral search committee, you need… in the 1 Timothy 3:1-7, as well as Titus 1:5-9, I believe it is, to get a clear understanding as to what the word of God has to say about the pastor, the bishop, the elder, the one who’s going to fill that position. Because if there’s ever a time when we need strong men of God in the pulpit, it’s today, and those men need to uphold that biblical responsibility.

Jamie Mitchell:                 And Gary and Dave, just in a moment to respond, but that passage is so clear and it says in there that one of the qualifications of a pastor or elder is to be the husband of one wife. I mean, I can’t see how it can be any clearer.

He says it again in Titus 1, “The husband of one wife.” He even makes mention that this pastor, elder, bishop, he must manage his own household well, bringing back that household order.

Dave, if you were speaking to a pastor and he was struggling with this issue, what passages of the scriptures might you share with him? What might you point to him to bolster up his position bringing it forth from the scriptures?

Dave Kistler:                      Well, Jamie, the first passage I would go to obviously is 1 Timothy 2, beginning at verse 11 where the scripture says this, “Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness.”

And then Paul is crystal clear. He says, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man, rather she is to remain quiet for Adam was born first and then Eve, and Adam was not deceived but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.”

So in other words, it is crystal clear in 1 Timothy, which was obviously a pastoral epistle, Paul was communicating to Timothy a pastoral truth and he makes it crystal clear that women are not to teach or exercise authority in the church over men.

And then I would go to 1 Corinthians 14:33-34, where the scripture again reiterates this, “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace as in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches for they are not permitted to speak but should be in submission as the law also says.”

So again, you’re having an underscoring of the fact that there is a prohibition, Jamie, and this is not my opinion, this is not your opinion, this is not Gary’s opinion, this is God speaking through the Apostle Paul, very, very clearly that men are to exercise the position of leadership when it comes to those three terms that Gary mentioned, pastor, Bishop, shepherd, that’s the responsibility. So to me it is about as clear as it can possibly be.

Jamie Mitchell:                 But guys here’s the other thing that’s really important, is that spiritual giftedness is not limited to one gender. So there may be women who have teaching abilities, and we’re not saying that they can’t teach and they can’t lead in the church. We’re just saying that there is one particular role that they can’t have. Isn’t that the case, Gary?

Gary Dull:                           Oh, yeah. And that’s the case. And I think that I brought out earlier in one of the previous segments that I fully believe that the church would not be able to function apart from women in various roles and responsibilities.

The Bible teaches us that when we come to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, that the spirit of God gives us spiritual gifts. And what are those spiritual gifts? Those spiritual gifts are God-given abilities for Christian service and he gives those gifts equally to both men and women.

The word of God clearly teaches us, I believe, that even before we were saved, God had predetermined what we would do, what our ministry, what our service would be, after we came to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. I think Ephesians 2:10 is one passage of scripture that supports that.

And so when a person makes a decision for the Lord Jesus Christ, whether it be a male or female, God has already determined what that person would do in and through the local church.

And we need to keep in mind that in this dispensation of grace in which we live, it is the local church that is God’s program for right now. So valid ministry needs to be done either through the local church, or connected with the local church in one way, shape or form.

So having taken that in that context, what we see is that God also equips women to do very important responsibilities in the local church. And without them functioning according to their gifts in the local church, I’ll tell you, the ministry of the local church would not be going forward.

We are having daily Vacation Bible school here at our church this week as we speak, and each night at six o’clock it begins. Throughout the course of the day, do you know most of the people here, getting ready for daily Vacation Bible School, is women. If it would not be for the women doing what God has given them the privilege of doing, this Bible school would not be functioning, I’ll guarantee you.

Jamie Mitchell:                 I hope… I hope that everybody is listening to us carefully and that is, that women are valued, women, God has used throughout the generations. A matter of fact, throughout the New Testament Church, we see that both expansion and growth of the New Testament Church, women were important. They were important to Paul, they were important to the original apostles.

And we’re not saying that they’re limited in doing no ministry. Matter of fact, Paul makes it clear in Titus 2, that older men should teach younger men and older women were to teach and to disciple and train up younger women. The growth, the maturity, the health of the church, needs to have both men and women.

However, the Bible is extremely clear that women can have all kinds of role, but they cannot be pastors or elders.

Let me challenge every pastor, every layperson listening, you cannot take this important theological issue for granted or spend little time studying it.

When we come back for our last segment, we want to wrap up this conversation with some practical steps forward on how to hold the line, but also open up opportunities of ministry. We’ve discussed a few already. Come back and join us for our last segment of Stand in the Gap.


Jamie Mitchell:                 Well, thank you for giving us an hour of your day to allow us to traverse some important subjects, especially this one today on church leadership. And specifically what’s happening throughout the Evangelical Church with the rise of women being in clergy and pastoral roles.

We have not focused on the more liberal churches, but about our fellow conservative pastors and churches that have opened the door for this.

Now we’re going to get to some final questions, but with me today, Gary Dull and Dave Kistler.

And fellas, we’re going to be together in a couple of venues here soon. Gary, you have the Central PA Bible Conference coming the beginning of August. I think Mr. Kistler or Dr. Kistler is going to be there, I’m going to be there. That’s going to be exciting week of ministry.

Gary Dull:                           Well, it is. That is July the 30th through August the 4th, here in Altoona, Pennsylvania, a good part of Central Pennsylvania. And we would invite each and every one of you to come on out and participate.

Our theme this year is, Earnestly Contending for the Faith, taken from the Book of Jude 3. And the Conference is… Well, this will be the 103rd session of the Central Pennsylvania Bible Conference.

And just for clarification, Jamie, I did not found the Bible Conference back in 1920, but the Lord has given it to our ministry to carry out these days and we’re looking forward to another session.

Jamie Mitchell:                 And Dave hasn’t been speaking at all 130-some odd years. But Dave, I know we’ve heard it on here, we have a chance, I’m hoping that all of us will be together in November, on November 14th at the American Pastors Network, 10th Anniversary. That will be fun if we can get all the hosts together, and we could all be together one night for a great celebration. And you fellas have been there since the beginning, isn’t that right?

Dave Kistler:                      Well, we have Brother Jamie and it’s delight to have you aboard now. And yeah, the November 14 event is going to be absolutely amazing. Folks are going to begin hearing a lot more announcements about that. I just want to encourage everybody to absolutely clear your calendar, clear the deck, make plans to be there. All of us, Lord willing, barring anything really crazy happening, we’re all going to be there, going to have some special guests. And it is going to be one incredibly dynamic and special evening.

Jamie Mitchell:                 And Dave, we will be able to interact with our listening audience. And I’m gathering that somewhere in that night, somebody’s going to come up and say to us, “You guys did that program on the feminization of the clergy and it’s now happening in my church.”

Dave, if a pastor or a lay leader finds themself in the middle of this controversy, maybe the congregation is pushing for it, maybe they have a new pastor in the church who is pushing for it, what advice would you give them on how to address this issue?

Dave Kistler:                      Well, Jamie, what I’m going to say is this: From the pastor standpoint, you’re going to have to go to the scripture as a pastor and determine what you believe. And as we’ve tried to lay out, I think we’ve done a reasonable job doing it today, is the scriptural is crystal clear with respect to who can serve as a pastor, bishop, shepherd. And those three terms are used synonymous. That position and that rule of leadership is reserved only for men.

And the pastor’s going to have to decide that from the scripture and then stand on that and not budge. And people in the congregation are going to have to come to the conclusions that they come to, based on what the word of God has to say.

If I could cite one example that’s been hot in the news, this entire OceanGate story with Stockton Rush, the CEO and owner of OceanGate, that had the catastrophic implosion on its way down to survey the Titanic, there were some things that he violated that cost him because he was on board the OceanGate, and for paying passengers, their lives.

And he was known to live by this phrase, “You’re known for the rules you break.” And if you break certain rules when it comes to that type of involvement and activity with those ocean depths and the pressures there in the ocean, it’s going to cost you your life.

And right now, Jamie, the whole reason you’re doing this program is because there are some people that we believe are violating certain rules and principles that are found in God’s word with respect to pastoral leadership. And to violate those are going to have dire… In fact already are, but we’ll continue to have even more dire consequences. So we have to live by the rules God establishes rather than trying to circumvent those or bypass them.

Jamie Mitchell:                 Oh man, that is a great word, Dave. And if a church, if you are right now, as Gary even mentioned a little while ago, there are many churches looking for pastors, just as you would ask that pastor about an assortment of issues, I want to tell you, I would be asking right away, what’s your position on leadership? What is your position on the role of women there? Do you have any intention to try to push on our church, opening the door for women to be elders or pastors in our church?

But Gary, I guess you would also want to ask a pastor, tell us again some positive ways that you would encourage women in leadership. You mentioned one already of an encouragement team that you have in your church, women who are teaching in Vacation Bible school. But part of it, Gary, is having a winsome and encouraging and opening spirit for women in our churches to participate in ministry. How have you done that over the years?

Gary Dull:                           Well, I think it’s very, very important for women to participate in ministry. Before I go any further into that though, I realize that there are many churches out there looking for pastors. And one of the things that you need to ask your pastor is does he believe the whole counsel of God’s word? Paul said in the Book of Acts 20:27, as he was speaking to the Ephesian elders, he says, “I’ve not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.”

And so make certain when you’re looking for a pastor, that you look for one who believes the Bible from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21, and that he interprets it literally according to the context of the passage. And that’s very, very important.

I think it’s important that we do, in our teaching, from the biblical perspective lay out very clearly the role of the man and the woman in the church as well as in the family.

When the man and the woman are working together according to God’s standard, then there is going to be a very, very perfect team working together.

In a baseball game, there’s one man on the pitchers mound, pitching, and there’s one man behind the plate, catching. And the same person cannot do both, but both have a great responsibility to perform in order to get the teamwork done.

And that’s how God has put together the family, the husband being the head of the wife, and the wife having great responsibilities in aiding the husband and bringing up the children and the things of the Lord.

And the same is in the case of the church. And I am so thankful for those ladies who have different spiritual gifts and that they are willing to use those gifts in the functioning of the local church. Because as I said before, without their ministry, the local church would not function.

We need the women doing what God has called them to do, what God’s gifted them to do. And we need the men doing what God has called them to do and has gifted them to do. And then the church will function according to the will of God.

Jamie Mitchell:                 Amen. In my pastoral ministry, I have a group in our church, we called them the Leading Ladies. That’s what Paul even described them as. They were all the ladies who had qualified as a deacon or deaconess, they were leaders in all sorts of ministries. They were the wives of the elders and pastors. And the pastoral staff, we met with them on a regular basis, both encouraging them, teaching them, training them, giving them assignments and hearing from them. We need them.

Look, you need to be consistent. You need to have clarity. You need to have courage. That’s why we do what we do here.

Thank you, Gary. Thank you, Dave. Brothers, for helping on this complex issue. And we do this every day for an hour, for one reason, one reason alone. We want the church to be strong. We want Christians to have clarity about what the Bible teaches.

So this is Jamie Mitchell from the American Pastors Network, hoping that you will live and lead with courage. Come back and join us 23 hours from now.