The Christian Post reported that Bethlehem Baptist Church pastor John Piper hosted a debate in his church this past weekend at his annual Desiring God Conference, and one of the topics was the role of single women in global missions. Piper took the first shot at the topic, saying single women are appropriate in global missions as long as they do not participate in the capacity of an elder. “I don’t think it’s inappropriate for her to fill all kinds of missionary roles that don’t involve her in the role of an elder. I don’t think that would exclude evangelism, sharing her faith and hundreds of other kinds of support roles.” said Piper. “Historically, the women who have, as singles especially, entered the mission force have been complementarians. They would have happily affirmed that when a church is formed here a man in this culture should take over, not a woman…demeanor and disposition and theological orientation at that moment will make a big difference in whether she crosses the line into doing something that the Bible would find disobedient.”
Guest Michael Oh, president and founder of Christ Bible Seminary in Nagoya, Japan, responded with an opposing view: “We can complain about what you may see as something that’s biblically wrong in terms of the role of women in missions but if you believe so strongly in that, you go … you fill that pulpit, you stand up, you act on that conviction and you go…I think there are men and pastors and seminary-trained guys who need to step it up before you complain about a woman doing something else.” He pointed out that the most effective missionary he knows is a single female, and the largest church in Nagoya was until recently led by a female pastor.
What are your thoughts on single women in global missions? What do you see as the biblical requirements for global missions work? Give your views in the Comment section below.