Question:

Dear Sir:

I am writing to you because I need an answer from a mature christian. I have in the past read a great deal of the articles your congregation have posted online. I have also used several of them in our bulletins.

We are a fairly new congregation. We have no elders. We have only a few men and only two of them are able to teach. As a congregation, we agreed to have one of the women to  do the bookkeeping and to generate quarterly financial reports because she has that background. There are two men and the woman on the account. The account requires two signatures. Everything was fine and all in agreement until a few weeks ago. We have a gentlemen in our congregation who only participates sporadically decide that the congregation is unscriptural by allowing the lady to keep the books and generate financial reports. He says that women should have no input or say so as to how the church's funds are allocated. He says that we are violating I Corinthians 11:1-16 and I Timothy 2:9-15. He said that the congregation, which is mostly women, can't make decisions when it comes to running the church. Mind you, sir, he does not contribute anything financially to the church. There are other growing pains, but I think we can get past them.

  1. Is it or is it not okay to have congregational meetings to discuss and make decisions for the church (not decisions that are from scripture and ordained by God)? I understand that God is the head of Christ, Christ the head of man and man the head of the woman.
  2. Can a woman do the bookkeeping and generate financial reports for the church?

I believe he is trying to derail the congregation and he wants to have the say so as to how everything should be done.

I appreciate any help you can give. I am a woman and I hope that is not a problem. He has begun to cause so much confusion and and my heart is so heavy.


Answer:

Ideally the person taking care of the church's accounts would be a deacon, but you don't have an ideal situation.

Women can do service for a church. Doing service does not mean they are in a leadership role. "I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also" (Romans 16:1-2).

There are passages that mention that worship service is conducted with the whole church gathered together (I Corinthians 14:23). We understand that means men and women (Galatians 3:28). While women are to keep silence in the worship assemblies (I Corinthians 14:34-37), command does not prevent women from joining in activities that are done by the whole church, such as singing (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16), hearing a report (Acts 14:26-28; 15:4, 30) ,or withdrawing from a sinning brother (I Corinthians 5:4-5). The only thing that is forbidden is taking a leadership role (I Timothy 2:12).

What is often overlooked is that the whole church was sometimes involved in making decisions.

"Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, namely, Judas who was also named Barsabas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren" (Acts 15:22).

"Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, "It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word." And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them" (Acts 6:1-6).

Somehow the women were indicating their agreement along with the men without taking on an authoritative role. This does not mean that women should run a meeting of the church or make demands of the church from the sidelines.

There is nothing wrong with a woman doing the bookkeeping for a church. If the church had no one capable and they hired out the chore, likely as not the person doing the work would be a woman anyway. It is a service, not a leadership role.