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Ministry & Services Of Church

 

"A WOMAN'S CONTRIBUTION TO THE LOCAL CONGREGATION"
 
INTRODUCTION
 
1. Attention is often given to the limitations placed on women in the
   assemblies of the church...
   a. Because of what is said in 1 Co 14:34-37
   b. Because of what is written in 1 Ti 2:11-12
   -- Such limitations notwithstanding, the early church benefited
      greatly by the contributions of many women
 
2. In just the church at Rome, we read of...
   a. The service of Phoebe, a helper of Paul and many others - Ro 16:
      1-2
   b. The help of Priscilla, even risking her life for Paul - Ro 16:3-4
   c. One named Mary, who bestowed "much labor" - Ro 16:6
   d. Twin sisters, Tryphena and Tryphosa - Ro 16:12
   e. The beloved Persis - Ro 16:12
   -- Even today, the growth of many churches is the result of "much 
      labor" by women
 
3. How can that be, if women are limited in what they can do in the
   public assemblies?
   a. Public assemblies are actually a small part of the overall work
      of a congregation
   b. There is much work outside the assembly that must be done, if a
      church is to grow
   -- Women are often in a position to provide much of this needed 
      work!
 
[What can a woman do?  How can she contribute to the growth and success
of a local church?  Let's answer such questions as we review the work
of a local church...]
 
I. A WOMAN'S CONTRIBUTION IN BENEVOLENCE
 
   A. BENEVOLENCE IS AN IMPORTANT WORK...
      1. It is a mark of pure and undefiled religion - Ja 1:27
      2. Ministering to brethren who are sick, poor, imprisoned, etc.,
         is a service rendered to the Lord Himself - Mt 25:34-40
      -- All Christians, women no less than men, are to be involved in
         this work - Ja 2:14-16; 1 Jn 3:17
 
   B. WOMEN ARE WELL-SUITED FOR BENEVOLENCE...
      1. They bring a grace and a beauty of which men are normally not
         capable
         a. The unique attributes of femininity lend themselves well to
            this work
         b. E.g., mercy and compassion are almost second-nature to
            women
         c. And mercy is one of the gifts the Lord has given to His
            church - Ro 12:6-8
      2. They often possess skills through which benevolence can be
         rendered
         a. E.g., making clothes, as Dorcas did for needy widows - Ac
            9:36-39
         b. E.g., cooking, baby-sitting, ministering to the sick,
            extending hospitality, etc.
      -- Indeed, women who might later be "taken into the number" were
         to be known or "well-reported" for the good works she had done
         in this area - 1 Ti 5:9-10
 
[Any work that a woman does in the area of benevolence is a powerful
contribution to the work and reputation of a local church!  Now let's
consider...]
 
II. A WOMAN'S CONTRIBUTION IN EDIFICATION
 
   A. EDIFICATION IS AN ESSENTIAL WORK...
      1. It involves building up the body of Christ, through the work
         of every member - Ep 4:15-16
      2. It entails following such instructions like:
         a. "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of
            Christ" - Ga 6:2
         b. "Comfort each other and edify one another" - 1 Th 5:11
         c. "Comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak" - 1 Th 5:14
      -- Some men were known for their work in this area; e.g., 
         Barnabas - Ac 4:36
 
   B. WOMEN CAN ALSO DO MUCH TO EDIFY THE CHURCH...
      1. Through formal teaching of others:
         a. Grandmothers and mothers can teach children, as Lois and 
            Eunice did Timothy - 2 Ti 1:5; 3:14-15
         b. Older women can and should teach younger women - Ti 2:3-5
         c. Especially where there are people who come into the church
            without the benefit of godly mothers and grandmothers, in
            which Christian women can be surrogates
      2. Through informal words of encouragement:
         a. It has been said that men are natural producers, women are
            natural nurturers
         b. With so many dysfunctional families and emotional problems
            today, the gift of encouragement and nurturing possessed by
            many women is essential
         c. Many teachers and preachers have been helped by godly women
            encouraging them in their work
      -- There is a special need for women to see themselves as 
         teachers of young people and other women, and as encouragers
         of men in their work of preaching the gospel
 
[Where women are involved in the work of edification, their
contribution to the work of the local church does not go unnoticed.
Finally, let's take a look at...]
 
III. A WOMAN'S CONTRIBUTION IN EVANGELISM
 
   A. EVANGELISM IS AN IMPERATIVE WORK...
      1. It is the "Great Commission" given by the Lord to His church 
         - Mt 28:19-20
      2. The gospel is God's power to save, so it must be shared with
         everyone - Ro 1:16; Mk 16:15-16
      -- This is a work that can be done by everyone - cf. Ac 8:1,4
 
   B. WOMEN CAN DO MUCH IN THE AREA OF EVANGELISM...
      1. They can help support those who preach the gospel
         a. As did Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna - Lk 8:1-3
         b. Providing much needed hospitality, as did Lydia - Ac 16:15
      2. They can tell others about Christ
         a. Consider the example of the Samaritan woman, who was 
            instrumental in converting many people to Christ - Jn 4:
            28-31,39-42
         b. Then there was Priscilla, who with her husband...
            1) Provided a place for Paul to stay during his ministry at
               Corinth - Ac 18:1-4
            2) Converted Apollos at Ephesus - Ac 18:24-26
            3) Hosted a church at Ephesus in their home - 1 Co 16:19
            4) Hosted a church at Rome in their home - Ro 16:3-5
         c. Even without a word, godly women can lead others to Christ,
            including unbelieving husbands - cf. 1 Pe 3:1-2
      -- Many souls have been saved, and churches started, through the
         evangelistic efforts of godly women!
 
CONCLUSION
 
1. There is certainly much that a woman can contribute to the work of
   the local church...
   a. The very act of praying, which is no small thing
   b. Beyond that, there is a wide range of activities women can engage
      in without going beyond the limitations placed on them in the 
      public assemblies
 
2. The true measure of a local church is not defined only by what 
   occurs in the assembly...
   a. It includes what the members do day by day, in the home, at work,
      in the world
   b. It involves what benevolence, edification, and evangelism takes
      place on a daily, personal basis
 
3. When godly women are active in the service of the Lord, using the
   unique talents and opportunities given to them...
   a. Souls are saved, they are strengthened in the Lord, and cared for
      in times of need
   b. The Lord's church is made stronger, and the kingdom of God is 
      expanded in the world
 
May there always be a surplus of women in the Lord's church like Mary
Magdalene, Dorcas, Lydia, Priscilla, Lois, Eunice, and of course, 
Phoebe...
 
   "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. (Ro 16:1-2)
 
May we never take for granted nor denigrate the valuable service
rendered by our sisters in Christ, but receive and encourage them in a
way worthy of the saints!

 

--《Executable Outlines