Scott Drive Church's position on the role of women in church life
As a member of the FIEC, Scott Drive Church aligns itself with the position taken by this association of independent churches in its understanding of the complementarian roles of men & women in church life. The theological principles governing this can be found in the Women in Ministry Ethos Statement on the FIEC website.
We not only align ourselves with the FIEC’s theological position, but also with the emphasis in the above ethos statement, which recognises the absolute equality of men and women in creation and redemption, which values the unique gifts that women can bring to church life, and which is committed to seeing women flourish in the ministry God has given to them in the local church. We envisage men & women working together in church life as brothers & sisters in the cause of Christ’s glorious gospel.
Therefore, we also wish to dissociate ourselves from any version of complementarianism that claims either gender has been given or is entitled to greater dignity in society, the home, the church or the kingdom of God. Similarly, we reject any version of complementarianism or any theological position that leads to the subjugation, abuse or neglect of any man or woman. We emphatically reject any distorted view of Scripture that contributes to the belief that biblical manhood or womanhood includes or permits practices such as marginalization, subjugation, intimidation, neglect or any form of abuse. We specifically reject the view that all women are subject to the leadership & authority of all men, as also the view that single men possess any authority over single women.
In terms of working this out in day-to-day church life, we have adopted the following guidelines for our practices:
- We believe that the office of elder is restricted to suitably-qualified men only.
- We believe that the ministry of preaching & teaching in a whole-church context is reserved for suitably-qualified men only.
- We believe that women can also possess the gift of teaching, and that this should be exercised in appropriate contexts. For instance, it is appropriate for older women to instruct younger ones (Titus 2:4), and for women to be involved in teaching in children’s & youth ministry.
- We believe that the office of deacon (and therefore also of Treasurer & Administrator) is open to suitably-qualified women, based on our understanding of Rom 16:1-2 & 1 Tim. 3:11.
- We believe women should be able to assist at the communion table, though officiating at the act of communion should be reserved for a suitably-qualified man. Similarly, we believe women may assist at a baptism, though officiating should be restricted to a suitably-qualified man.
- We believe that women who are suitably gifted, trained or equipped should be able to read the Scriptures in our public services, to offer testimony, and to address meetings on subjects relevant to faith (e.g. abortion, persecution etc).
- We believe that women should be encouraged to pray audibly in our prayer meetings, and where appropriate to lead prayers in our main church services.
- We believe that suitably-qualified women may serve in evangelism under the direction of the local church.
- We believe men & women may share the responsibility of leading/teaching in a home-group environment, much as we see in Acts 18:26, where it appears that Priscilla & Aquila were both involved in instructing Apollos.