Romans 16 is a letter of recommendation, the earliest letter of recommendation for a Christian minister, and it's written for a woman, Phoebe, who is, in the beginning of the chapter, said to have been a deacon, not a deaconess--but a deacon in the sense of a preacher, a minister--because Paul uses the same word for himself. He calls himself, in a number of instances, a deacon of the new covenant in 2 Corinthians. -HELMUT KOESTER
One of the common arguments against women in ministry is that the word deaconess is used when referencing women in the New Testament with regard to calling and gifts. This point of view defines deaconess as one who helps only, not one who leads. If women are always denoted as deaconesses and not deacons in the Scripture, then clearly they are not meant to be lead pastors or shepherds. However, this quote is from an article that refutes the idea that women cannot be preachers/ministers. The author makes the argument that translators have commonly interpreted the same word as deaconess for women and deacon for men.

So, it looks like Phoebe could and should be a role model for women. She is our foremother. By the way, my computer didn't recognize the word foremother. But it did recognize deaconess.



I am neither

I am neither a man nor a woman but an author. -Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855)

Do you ever wish that you were not defined as a woman but rather as a minister?


The Woman Who Forgot to Live

The Woman Who Forgot to Live
First, I was dying to finish high school and start college.
And then I was dying to finish college and start working.
And then I was dying to marry and have children.
And then I was dying for my children to grow up and get out of the house.
And then I was dying to retire.
And now, I am dying…and suddenly I realize I forgot to live.
This is a reminder that we need to live now. We need to do what we need to do...now. Whether you are 28 or 82 it is time! As a woman in ministry, a woman considering ministry, a woman doing ministry, a woman considering doing ministry, a woman raising children, a woman going to school, a woman about to retire...it is time to do it now. Don't put it off. Don't wait until everything is perfect. Don't make excuses. Otherwise you will one day be dying and may realize you have missed your opportunity.

However, with this call to action, I must balance the above sense of urgency with a quote from the book I am reading for my last ordination course. Author Sherwood Lingenfelter quoting William McConnell in his book Ministering Cross-Culturing reminds us that time is a "gift from God, and that his priorities can always be fulfilled in the amount of time we have been given...God is lavish with his gifts, so that there is always enough time to do what Jesus calls us to do."

So, perhaps the thing to remember then is to not miss the opportunity given to us to do what Jesus calls us to do. He gives the time and the gifts. We just need to use God's gift of time while we are living.

I don't want to look back and realize I did not honor God's gift of time He gave to me.