A healthy starting point for what ministry should look like biblically is to look at the women the Bible does tell us about. The vast majority of the Bible features men. This should come as no surprise to anyone – the same could be said of any literature from similar places and times. It was a patriarchal culture, so what is more surprising is that women are mentioned at all, much less in prominent roles or portrayed positively. Here’s just a sample of some of the feminine roles in the Bible
Deborah – lead the nation of Israel as judge and prophetess (Judges 4-5).
Esther – saved the people of Israel as Queen of Persia (book of Esther)
Huldah – a prophetess who’s wisdom is sought by King Josiah and the priests (2 Kings 22:14-20)
Hagaar – first person to give God a name (Genesis 16:7-14)
Women disciples – financially supported Jesus’ ministry (Luke 8:1-3)
Mary (Martha’s sister) – learned at Jesus’ feet (similar to attending seminary – unheard of for women at the time, and welcomed by Jesus) (Luke 10:38-42)
Women at the tomb – entrusted with the message of Jesus’ resurrection (Matthew 28:1-10)
Priscilla – (along with husband Aquilla) taught & corrected Apollos, a church leader (Acts 18:25-27)
Samaritan woman at the well – first evangelist to Samaria (John 4:28-30)
Junia – apostle (Romans 16:7)
Lydia – hosted a house church (Acts 16:40)
And so many more, many of whom we have the barest knowledge of: Martha, Hannah, Sarah, Rahab, Tamar, Junia, Mary, Silome, Mary Magdalene, Phoebe, Euodia, Eunice, and more.
So what did women do? The lead nations, prophesied to kings, were financial providers, students of the Bible and ministry, proclaimed the good news of Jesus, evangelized, taught, corrected and more.
Are we called to less?