At our Annual General Meeting last year, the question was raised about women as Elders at First Alliance Church. To honour this request, we’re intentionally and prayerfully engaging in the conversation this fall about the roles of men and women in ministry – specifically, the possibility of nominating women for our Board of Elders.
The national office of our family of churches has given each local church the task of doing their own prayerful consideration and decision-making on this topic. It’s a subject we can feel strongly about as Christians, with different perspectives on what the Bible says.
When considering women in leadership in the church, there are 2 main perspectives – Complementarian and Egalitarian (also referred to as Mutuality), with variations within those frameworks.
Though some of us may differ individually in where we stand, our goal here at FAC is to forward an opportunity to listen to differing views in a respectful and prayerful conversation. Let’s engage in a way that honours God and each other.
What’s the Role of a Church Elder?
At First Alliance Church, Elders are volunteer laypeople who are first nominated and then voted onto the Board by those who hold membership in the congregation. The voting in of the nominating committee and Elders takes place at our Annual General Meetings held each fall.
Elders at FAC can serve up to 3 consecutive 2-year terms and must sit out at least 1 year before being eligible to be nominated again. The role of our Board of Elders is to prayerfully forward the vision and direction of FAC with our pastoral leadership and are committed to our mission of building lives that honour God.
Women as Elders: What Does the Bible Say?
We believe the Bible is our source of truth, so we need to look there first for guidance! Dig into what the Old and New Testament says about the roles of men and women in ministry by reading through this list of scripture passages. As we do this, let’s:
- Pray: Ask God to prepare our hearts and to speak to us as we read and learn.
- Make Notes: Write down any thoughts or questions that come to mind related to each Bible passage.
- Reflect: What resonates? What do we struggle with? What life experiences or context is causing us to feel a certain way?
Complementarian and Egalitarian?
These are big words! What do they actually mean? To better understand these terms and what they represent, we’ve put together some learning resources and broken them down into basic, medium, and in-depth levels of study, as well as a variety of additional resources in various media formats. A printed guide of the scripture passages listed above as well as these learning resources is also available at the Information Desk at the Deerfoot and Southwest Campuses.
Let’s Learn Together
Join us for a viewing of a recorded video interview with Canon Theologian, Reverend Doctor Scot McKnight (image source: ivpress.com) as he shares his understanding of this topic, with an in-person panel discussion and Q&A following:
Sunday, September 18, and Sunday, October 16
7:00-9:00 pm, Harvest Rooms
(No cost or registration)
Before we engage in any congregational decision-making on women as Elders at FAC, let’s make time individually and collectively to consider what the Bible says and ask the Holy Spirit to direct us in our understanding of this topic together as a church family.
The membership of FAC will be invited to vote on the motion of approving and including women to be able to serve as elders at a Congregational Meeting on Sunday, November 27, 2022, at 7:00 pm in the Deerfoot Campus auditorium.
If you have questions, we want to hear from you! Please feel free to reach out to Cathie Hall.