Girls Night In

the blog for single, over-40 women

Must One Be Married to Minister?

on July 11, 2015

This week I had the privilege of attending the international conference of a church that I knew little about, the Vineyard. It was wonderful! Thousands were  in attendance representing over 60 countries. The twice-daily worship sessions included extended periods of singing at the beginning and extended periods of prayer at the end. In between, men and women shared God’s word with humor and deep insight. There were meetings for scholars, missionaries, artists and many, many other interest groups. These side meetings connected people and affirmed the callings and gifts of those gathered together.

image courtesy of stock images/freedigitalimages.net

image courtesy of stock images/freedigitalphotos.net

Though I was new to this church and started off knowing only the friend who had invited me, I left the conference having connected on an honest and real level with a number of new friends. By the time I drove home after four full days, I was feeling drenched in the love of God and in awe of the ways He works.

It did appear at the conference, however, that all of the pastors and leaders I met and came across were married. There was ethnic diversity in leadership. There was economic diversity in leadership. There were women in leadership. But I did not see or meet any singles, either male or female, who were in leadership.

Our Savior was not married. Paul, who taught us who we were and how we ought to be as the church, was not married. John, the Revelator, the beloved disciple, was not married. Scripture tells us that, for the sake of serving the Lord, being single is better than being married. Without a doubt, we have every reason to believe one does not have to be married to be called and used by God.

How come, then, marriage seems to be a prerequisite for leadership in so many parts of the church?

I am curious to know whether you have experienced church communities where single women (and men) are welcome to lead.

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