Servanthood, not authority


Servanthood, not authority

Firstly, a look at each of the individual aspects of this topic separately.
A The call to be ordained is between God and each person irrespective of gender.
B Each seminary (or other tertiary institution) decides what courses they wish to offer.
C The LCA sets the membership requirements for;
(a) individuals
(b) groups eg congregations/parishes/institutions
(c) its office bearers
(d) its pastors
D Each congregation/parish/institution decides who they call, appoint or elect to serve them.
Some comments:
1) I see no problem in women being ordained. We have no right to restrict who God calls? God created males and females in His own image ( Genesis 1:27).
2) Each institution can decide what courses they offer and what their entrance requirements are.
3) Individual LCA membership is granted when a person is confirmed in an LCA congregation. Voting rights are granted to those who are 18+ and who take at least 2 communions per year.
4) Group membership of the LCA requires the entity to have an LCA approved constitution. These constitutions don’t necessarily require the particular entity to have a pastor/s. However only LCA approved pastors can fill designated pastor positions be referred to as “pastor” and perform “pastoral roles”.
5) The position of “office bearer” within the LCA presents an interesting theological question. How seriously is the “authority over men” principle applied to the office-bearers in the LCA?
6) The “pastoral role” is not one of authority, whereas the “office-bearer role” is. The “pastoral role” is one of servanthood and uses Jesus as the role model. Congregations call pastors to serve them, they have office-bearers in positions of authority.
I think the discussion on ‘women’s ordination’ has presented a good time for the LCA and its congregations/parishes/institutions to have a look at their structures, especially with respect to the roles of ‘office-bearers’ and ‘pastors’.
Ordination of pastors gives congregations etc a very sound starting point for them in the call process.
I see no reason why women cannot be ordained and serve the LCA in its various institutions as pastors because the pastoral role is one of servanthood and not one of authority.
I believe that the current LCA practice of congregations/parishes/institutions being in charge of who they call, elect and appoint to their salaried positions is a very good one. The ordination of women would give a lot more flexibility to them with the potential of forming some really good leadership teams within the LCA.

Comments 2

  • Women may already be preaching, teaching. etc. but we always have to remember: Is it ‘This is what I think’ or ‘Is this what God says’ or even ‘This is what most are doing’? Where’s the call coming from? God is our Creator, and He clearly wants men to handle the nitty-gritty of explaining the faith. Looking as this simplistically (a bit tongue in cheek) most pastors have a good wife to back up his ministry, in many ways – getting the kids to sport, birthday parties etc while he can concentrate on the unexpected death, funeral, sermon preparation etc. If WO comes in, hopefully the lady preacher would have a good man to fix things at home so she can answer her call !!

  • I agree with topic A. Women are already Preaching, Teaching and giving Communion, which the LCA obviously approve of . I see this as double standards as to not allow those who are “called ” are unable to be ordained just because of their gender

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