What is the Role of Women in the Church? : A Conversation with Young Adults, Pt. 2

By Julie Roys

What is the role of women in the church? Can they be pastors? Should they be allowed to preach? What about teaching small group Bible studies or seminary classes?

These questions have divided the church for decades.  And how Christians answer them generally depends on the camp to which they belong. So-called “complementarians” and “egalitarians” both believe God created men and women equal in worth.  However, complementarians believe God created men and women to perform different, or complementary functions, while egalitarians believe men and women can perform the same functions.

Yet could it be that both these camps are missing the point?  I think they are. And in this clip taken from a recent Q&A session at a Chicago-area church, I explain why I subscribe to a third camp called “sacramentalism.”

Below is the full 38-minute video of the Q&A session recorded at Alpine Chapel in Lake Zurich, IL.

Other questions explored included: 

*How has the change in your views regarding womanhood impacted your relationships?

*How would you advise women in their twenties who are entering into leadership?

*What advise would you give to fathers on how to affirm their daughters?

*Can dads and moms reverse roles?

*How can single moms compensate for the lack of a father-figure in their children’s lives?

*How should Christians navigate the feminist movement and the #MeToo movement?

*What advice do you have for married couples on how to maintain a good marriage when reality doesn’t meet expectations?

*What does my adult daughter still need from me as a father?

*What’s the one mistake that churches are making regarding their treatment of women in the church, and how can they reverse it?



I discuss these issues further in “Redeeming the Feminine Soul: God’s Surprising Vision for Womanhood.” Order now! Still 1/3 off list  price!

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7 thoughts on “What is the Role of Women in the Church? : A Conversation with Young Adults, Pt. 2”

  1. Todd Hillary McCauley

    Julie, How in the world does Evangelical and Sacramentalist fit together? The term Sacramentalism carries a very specific denotation. Am I missing something?

  2. Todd Hillary McCauley

    sacramental +‎ -ist

    sacramentalist (plural sacramentalists)

    One who practices sacramentalism.

  3. I suppose using a term like “sacramentalist” requires some explanation. I am not a sacramentalist in the sense that I believe the sacraments are necessary for salvation. (I hink evangelicals tend to be reductionist when they say the sacraments are only symbols, but that’s another topic.) But I am a sacramentalist in the sense that I believe strongly in the importance of sacraments. And here I am not speaking narrowly about just the main sacraments of the church like baptism or communion. I am speaking more generally of a sacrament as something that reveals a mystery of God.

    Human marriage and the one-flesh union of husband and wife reveal both the mystery of Trinitarian life and love, as well as Christ’s relationship to His Church. This is the spiritual meaning of gender and sexuality that most evangelicals — complementarian and egalitarian alike — often miss, and it’s tragic. That’s a very short explanation for an extremely large topic. I unpack it in far more detail in my book.

  4. This is very interesting. I loved hearing about the Theology of the Body. I loved when you pointed out that there is a marriage at the beginning and one at the end. Very cool! I have your book and now I’m looking forward to reading it even more. I have never heard a label for the beliefs that I have about men and women. I think Scripture bears out exactly what you said about the Trinity and human marriage. I believe that my husband is over me as God is over Jesus. I don’t believe that applies in the church. (I’m puzzled why people always go totally one way or totally the other.) Because we are the priesthood of all believers now, I do not think that men are over women in the Church, I think we are equal. It says the priesthood of ALL believers. That’s me. I believe I am called to share the Gospel with everyone and to tell them what God’s word says. I think God calls some women to be pastors, not as many as men. I do think women are to raise their children and then God will give them their next calling. He called my pastor after her children were grown. She knows the Bible and lives it better than any of the other pastors in our town. She has discipled many people. God called me to teach my child and now that she is graduating, He is calling me to share the Good News. I don’t know how that is going to work yet because we live in a small town and I haven’t found a group to do that with yet. I know I can also share in my day to day life and I always have. We may be moving in a few years to Tacoma so I should be able to find a group there to witness with.Or I could be totally wrong. We have two aging mothers and I may shift from my daughter to caring for them. I’m in the transition time now. My daughter won’t graduate until May and I’d like to get a job in the Fall. I’m just stepping out in faith, thinking this is my calling, and I’ll see what God does in the next few years. After my daughter is done at the Community College here, we’d like to move to be closer to my other daughter and her family. Proverbs 16:9 Man makes his plans but the Lord directs his steps.

  5. I was touched by what you said about the men blessing the women in the church. Yes, we cry out for that. I didn’t get that from my dad or my husband now. It sounds like a very cool thing.

  6. God is full of Grace and truth. In Christ there is no male or female. He anoints and appoints whosoever He wills. I have never had a issue with women preachers or leaders. In fact, I have received some amazing truths from God’s Word that came from the lips of a female.
    I will say in the marriage covenant, God did ordain the husband as the head of the household according to Colossians and Ephesians. This is unpopular with the Radical left but let God be true and every man a liar.
    That said, what does the marriage covenant look like? A husband loving their wife as Christ loved the Church. So, laying down their life, always forgiving, being patient and kind, but also leading the way. The Wife is simply submitting to that love and leadership that God lays out for the family. The husband should be the spiritual example. He should be leading the way. I don’t think a wife should submit to the plans of her husband that are contrary to God.
    Again, God can use male or female to lead a flock. Those are personal gifting and callings.

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