I just noticed that I didn’t get last week’s Sunday School lesson posted. I have a good excuse, though. It was my 21st anniversary, and my husband and I went out to dinner :0) Please excuse my tardiness in getting this posted.
These are my notes from my ladies’ Sunday School class this morning. I’ll be posting the notes from my class here each week. They will be in outline form, so if you have any questions or need more details, please feel free to leave a comment below.
Click here for last week’s lesson.
Godly Womanhood – God’s Role for Women in the Church Part 2- Opportunities to Serve
Last week, we talked last week about the “forbidden fruit” in the Garden of women’s service in the church. This week, we’re talking about all the other fruits God has lavished on us.
Titus- Background: Titus is a pastoral epistle written by Paul to Titus circa A.D. 62-64. Titus had worked with Paul at the church in Crete and was left there by Paul to continue pastoring that church. Paul instructs Titus on structure in the church (Ch. 1- qualifications for elders, Ch. 2- mentoring and teaching) and emphasizes the importance of Christians living godly lives. (Ch. 2-3) in order that God’s word may not be shamed and that it may attract people whom God wills to save.
1- Who is “you”? What does it mean to “teach what accords with sound doctrine”?
“You” refers to Titus specifically, and pastors in general, though it applies to everyone who teaches God’s word. (Of course, it would not make sense that pastors are to teach sound doctrine, but others can teach false doctrine!) “Sound doctrine” means biblical teaching that matches God’s word in context.
2-3- How are “older men/women” to conduct themselves?
“Likewise…reverent” refers back to the list of characteristics in v. 2. “Older” generally means those 60+ who no longer had (for women) child-rearing responsibilities. We are all older than someone and should be working towards this little by little as we age.
When have children still home, our primary mission/teaching field is those children. God does not want us neglecting our families in order to train/serve others. However, it is important for children to see a godly example of service to church/others. Children can even be included in some acts of service (making meals, visiting elderly, etc.). There has to be a balance with our families coming first (another important reason for men not to shirk leadership duties- women don’t have to do all the church work AND all the child rearing).
“Empty nesters” and single women have the blessing of being able to devote much more time and energy to serving the church.
Anna (Luke 2:36-38)- Anna was a good example of godly older single woman and how she served in the “church”. Contrast Anna’s “giving thanks to God and speaking of Him” to Titus 2:3′s “slanderers and slaves to much wine”
“Teach what is good”- “Good” goes back to v.1- sound doctrine. We are to teach younger women to fulfill the special roles only women are uniquely created/crafted/shaped by God to fill. These things are “good” and also necessary, or Paul would not have mentioned them. They are not to be scorned in favor of the forbidden fruit of instructing men.
4- Why do younger women need to be trained to love their husbands and children? (Luke 9:23, Matthew 22:39, Luke 10:25-37) Somehow, we have the misguided notion that love is a simply a feeling and that it comes naturally. But, we are to love like Christ. We are to deny ourselves and take up the cross daily, love neighbor (family) as self, and be a Good Samaritan to our nearest neighbors- our families. It is a huge responsibility and sphere of influence.
5- Self-control in all areas: anger, modesty lust, selfishness, etc. Purity in thoughts/deeds: self-righteousness, selfish motivations. Working at home: making a peaceful, gospel-centered home where Christ is honored. Hospitality to the lost, ministering to church/neighbors out of your home, mentoring younger women- showing them an example of a godly home, and more.
Why are we to teach/learn to be self-controlled, pure, etc.? That the word of God may not be reviled. The world is watching. Live in obedience to God’s word as living testimonies to its truth in all aspects, but especially the gospel. Uphold the beauty and truth of God’s word by living it.
Other ministry opportunities for women:
This is not an exhaustive list, just some things that class members have asked about, things suggested by Scripture, and common areas of church service that are not in conflict with God’s role for women’s service in the church as specified in 1 Timothy 2:12 and other Scriptures.
1. Raising up the next generation of godly men and women, and teaching children in the church (1 Timothy 2:15).
2. Correcting false or inaccurate Bible teaching (Acts 18:24-26) Notice: 1.) Priscilla does this in a support role to her husband, 2.) They take him off to the side, alone, not in front of others, or in a church service 3.) This is a temporary, needed at the moment, situation, not an ongoing office held by a woman. Ideally, a godly man will step up and handle situations like this, but in some cases a man is not available. Certainly women are to teach other women sound doctrine and to denounce false teachers, male or female.
3. Missions and evangelism (Matthew 28:18-20) The Great Commission is not limited to men. Women missionaries to women are needed, especially in Muslim countries in which women aren’t permitted to talk to men. Male missionaries to men are needed in these countries for the same reason. Married couple mission teams are also needed.
4. Hospitality and ministry support (Romans 16, Acts 16:15) Paul mentions several women he is thankful for who served in the church. Churches met in their homes (which was dangerous at that time), and they took in traveling missionaries/pastors (also risky). V. 13- Rufus’ mother was a “mother” to Paul (probably housed and fed him, did his laundry, etc.) Today, this could mean the same (taking in traveling minister) or serving your own pastor/his wife- type up the bulletin, babysit for pastor’s family, cook for them, etc.
5. Ministering to widows, orphans, the sick, the poor, and those in prison (Matthew 25:34-40) Food pantries/clothes closets or just giving of your abundance to those in need, working at orphanages/foster care, food/comfort for the bereaved, visiting in the hospital/housework while someone is sick, visiting at the women’s prison.
6. Financial support of others’ ministries (Luke 8:1-3, Acts 16:14)
7. Music (Ephesians 5:18-19)
8. Prayer (Acts 16:11-15) There were not 10 Jewish men (heads of household) in Philippi required to establish a synagogue, so the women were meeting out by the river to pray/worship.
9. Building and grounds upkeep.
10. Committee work and administration. As long as male leadership is not usurped, there are many committees women can serve on and some they can even chair.
11. Disaster relief
12. Special projects. Fundraising, dinners, collections for military care packages, outreach, VBS, etc.
Lots of areas of service in the church are biblically open to women, many of them needful of a woman’s special touch. Women’s service in the church is vital. It is not less important just because it does not include teaching and holding authority over men.