How Are Women Uniquely Equipped to Serve the Church?

Lisa Loraine Baker

Author of Someplace to Be Somebody
Updated Feb 16, 2024
How Are Women Uniquely Equipped to Serve the Church?

If we all take a good look at what is happening within our churches, we’ll most likely hear, read about, and see groups of women focused on numerous tasks. Both women’s and men’s activities within the church are important, but why are so many women involved in the church? What are today's churches doing well in connecting with women, and how can women use their unique talents and abilities to reach more for the Kingdom?

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A man and woman talking in the park

The Roles of Both Men and Women

First, we should address men’s roles in the church. Men are involved in various functions and responsibilities, but many are “behind-the-scenes” in leadership or support involvement. These important roles provide the focus and impetus for all the ministry efforts which take place within the church, including that which involves Christian women. It seems the visibility of active women in the church, though, is heightened of late.

The question of women’s prodigious participation in church events (such as outreach events or ministries, in-house service such as meals, worship, Bible studies, etc.) is truly a look at how God created females. Women are similar to men as created in God’s image and in their responsibilities as ambassadors for Christ (evangelism, servants, etc.) but are unique in their capacity to complement men (most markedly their husbands) as equal but different, making their roles complementary. As author Alyssa Roat states, "men and women have separate but equal roles in marriage, family life, the church, and elsewhere.”

Author and women’s studies teacher at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Mary Kassian, says, “Complementarians believe that God created male and female as complementary expressions of the image of God — male and female are counterparts in reflecting his glory. Having two sexes expands the view. Though both sexes bear God’s image fully on their own, each does so in a unique and distinct way. Male and female in relationship reflects truths about Jesus that aren’t reflected by male alone or female alone.”

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woman reading Bible, thinking about it

How Are Women Uniquely Created to Build Up the Church?

9Marks shares encouraging news for women regarding their roles within the church, “The role of women in the church is anchored in the unique role of women as determined by God in creation. Genesis 2 says, ‘Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper for him as his complement’ (Gen. 2:18). This helper role isn’t about subservience to men or being less-than. The word for helper, Ezer, is used throughout the Old Testament about God himself as he helps his people; for example, ‘Israel, trust in the LORD! He is their help and shield. House of Aaron, trust in the Lord! He is their help and shield. You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD!’ (Ps. 115:9-11). Women reflect the character of God’s powerful help to his people when they support and build up the church.”

Women are often more gregarious than men, therefore they speak more to others about the goings-on in their churches and in their personal ministries.

A Focus on the Family article tells us this about women, “They think differently, they process emotions differently, they make decisions differently and they learn differently. Men are problem-solvers by nature and look at things as like boxes. Fix one box and then move on. Though some jump from completed boxes faster than others, they communicate looking at the bottom line and focus on that.”

The same article indicates women are driven to connect, and this is a major plus for kingdom connections.

Another change agent to consider is how things have altered socially since the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. Society was literally locked down for a period of time. People worked from home, and this changed the dynamics of the work environment both in places of employment and at home. We’ve slowly gained a new normal, with some businesses fully engaged in work at the office, and some remaining fully remote. But many Christian women who chose to work outside their homes have also chosen to engage more in serving with their local church.

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two women looking at townscape from pasture

How Did Women Serve the Lord Jesus?

The Gospels and the book of Acts both mention women who came alongside and ministered to Jesus and to His Apostles.

Luke 8:1-3 records as Jesus went through Israel “proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God,” that His twelve Apostles were with Him, “and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means.”

Those women followed, learned, and provided.

A few women named Mary followed Jesus (other than His mother). Author Hope Bollinger tells us, “The first, Mary, was the mother of one of Jesus’ disciples: James (Matthew 27:55-61). She provided for Jesus’ ministry via financial means, and two of her sons seemed to follow from Galilee to Jerusalem alongside her. She witnessed Jesus’ death and, likely, His resurrection (Mark 16:8).”

Faithful women were mentioned by the Apostle Paul in Romans 16:1-2 (Phoebe), Prisca (Priscilla) in vv. 3-5 (also mentioned in Acts 18), and Junia (Romans 16:7). According to Paul Carter, “Jesus welcomed women into his inner circle. He encouraged them to learn, he spoke to them directly and he insisted that they be treated kindly and with respect. Women played key roles in the planting of churches and the expansion of the Kingdom of God throughout the Roman world.”

Photo credit: Unsplash/Kura Tregenza

Silhouette of a church building at sunset

What Are Some Churches Today Doing Right in Connecting with Women?

Many astute church leaders have answered these women’s desires to serve the church by expanding the ministry offerings, effectively communicating the church’s needs, and/or creating new avenues where women can serve. A few stalwart examples include:

1. The 9Marks Ministry states, “At 9Marks, we help pastors, future pastors, and church members see what a biblical church looks like, and to take practical steps for becoming one.” A number of their women’s roles are outlined in the above link.

2. A quick look at Shadow Mountain’s Women’s Ministry website page displays seven Bible studies offered at various times during the week. It’s obvious this church body is focused on growing women deep into God’s Word. In addition, they have other ministries geared to help women serve in the church.

3. Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis says of their women’s ministry, “We aim to glorify God and enjoy him together through:

- Prayer
- Study and application of the Word
- Fellowship

4. Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Tx. has four main outlets through which women can grow in their faith and serve the church: Bible studies, small groups, resources to help with their walk with Christ, and service opportunities, which includes twenty-three different choices.

Each organization listed above is a larger body of believers, but their ministry opportunities for women can easily be copied for use in a church of any size.

Outreach Magazine has a list which spells out four ways church leaders can support ministry to women. It’s a great place to start if you feel your church isn’t doing enough.

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Two friends (women) laughing over coffee.

12 Ways Women Can Effectively Serve the Church and Reach More People in the Community

The following list is not in order of importance, excepting number one, which is a non-negotiable starting point.

1. Believers Must Be Constant and Fervent Students of God’s Word

This is the non-negotiable basis for all efforts made by women to reach within and outside of our churches. A woman must be a believer to have any eternal effect or impact for Christ. If we are to share the good news of Jesus Christ, we must be centered on Him and the truth of his Word. The Bible tells us to share the truth in love, and we will be well equipped as we immerse ourselves in Scripture, learn from biblically solid pastors and Sunday school teachers, and pray for the Lord to give us wisdom as we go forth.

2. Women’s Conferences

Hosted by solidly biblical organizations, women’s conferences can serve to equip women to better serve the church as they grow in biblical knowledge and grace, and fellowship with other women who seek to serve the Lord to the best of their abilities (Colossians 3:23-24).

3. Writing

Women who write articles (such as these), fiction and nonfiction books, blogs, posts, and even bulletin announcements are furthering knowledge of the kingdom to both believers and non-believers.

4. Women’s Ministry/Bible Studies

These are huge for women who long to serve the Lord. Both teaching and participating brings glory to the Lord because each role involves immersion into God’s Word. It may seem simple to be a student or a teacher of a small group, but God brings the increase to everything we do to serve Him.

5. Worship Participants

Women can take part in choir and worship teams on Sunday mornings and also during fellowship time or before an event staged by their church. The Bible tells us we are to be, “addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart” (Ephesians 5:19).

6. Meals Ministry

Many women enjoy serving others with the foods they are able to make. Whether it’s for an event at the church or meals made for homebound members or the community, everyone enjoys a good homemade meal.

7. Prayer

Prayer precedes and succeeds Bible study. It also anchors our focus on the Lord and His kingdom. It’s a daily routine we ought to love.

8. Supporting Our Husbands with Prayer, Accountability, and Respect

For those ladies who are married, Ephesians 5 and Proverbs 31 tell us much about a wife’s role as her husband’s helpmate. Submission may be a hard concept for some women, but ultimately, when we submit to a godly husband, we are submitting to Christ.

9. Hospitality

Providing a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere in our homes is a great way to serve others.

10. International Mission Focused Ministry

Many churches have opportunities to support international ministries. These can be through ESL classes, different organizations, and letter-writing ministries to foreign missionaries.

11. Local Outreach Visionaries and Implementers

There are many ways to reach our communities through the list provided here and as communicated through Outreach magazine. These can include disaster support, dire needs of community families, etc.

12. Communications

Whether it’s through the church newsletters, bulletins, or social media, it’s always good to let our communities know what’s happening in our church. God may draw people in because of what we share.

The ways women can be involved in their local church is enhanced by how God is moving in their area. It’s hindered only by spiritual attacks and/or laziness. Pray and see how the Lord would have you serve Him through your church. And don’t forget to put on your spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:10-20)!

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Jason Doiy

Lisa Baker 1200x1200Lisa Loraine Baker is the multiple award-winning author of Someplace to be Somebody. She writes fiction and nonfiction. In addition to writing for the Salem Web Network, Lisa serves as a Word Weavers’ mentor and is part of a critique group. She also is a member of BRRC. Lisa and her husband, Stephen, a pastor, live in a small Ohio village with their crazy cat, Lewis. 

Originally published Thursday, 15 February 2024.