Ordaining Women to Ministry

In recent years, as more and more women are able to fulfill their calling to ministry through ordination and pastoral ministry, more and more women are preaching. What does this mean for worship and spirituality? If Christian worshipers are hearing the Word preached by women, how does this change worship? Will preaching change as more and more women do it?

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Ordination and Worship Leadership in the Early Church

Ordination is rooted in the need for order within the Christian community. It tends both to reflect and to shape the church’s life and witness amid changing historical circumstances. An important development in the post–New Testament period was the emergence of a three-office structure for ordained ministry (bishop, presbyter, deacon) and the subsequent transformation of that structure into a more authoritarian one as the church came to assume a public role in a wider cultural context.

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Ordination in the New Testament

The specific terminology of ordination is not found in the New Testament, although several occasions are described on which people were set aside for special tasks of ministry. A fuller development of the theory of ordination took place in the post-New Testament church.

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