THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN THE CHURCH: Church Growth
Many women in the New Testament made a difference and impacted the growth of the church. After Jesus’ ascension into heaven (Acts 1:9-11), the disciples returned to Jerusalem (Acts 1:12) and entered an upper room (Acts 1:13). This was a place of residence and not the temple as is indicated in Luke 22:11 and Luke 24:53. The eleven were in this room waiting for the promised of the Father. Boles mentions four classes of persons gathered there. (1)“The eleven apostles.” (2) “Certain devout women, including Mary the Mother of Jesus.” (3) “The brethren of Jesus: James, Joses (Joseph), Simon, and Judah (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3).” (4) “The other disciples of Jesus “(Boles 26). They were of “one accord” (Acts 1:14). There was a oneness of mind and of spirit. They had been told to wait for the promise of the Father, so they spent their time in prayer. What better thing could they have done?
This is the last mention we have of Mary, the mother of Jesus. The New Testament leaves her on her knees in prayer. There was a prayer meeting of men and “women” before the New Testament church was established (Acts 1:14).
Prayer continued to play a role in the development of the church throughout the book of Acts. There is a reference to prayer in almost every chapter of Acts. (Acts 1:15; 4:31-32; 2:42; 3:1; 6:4; 7:55-60; 8:24; 9:36-43; 12:1-11; 13:1-3; 14:23; 16:13; 16:25; 20:36; 21:5; 27:35; 28:8.) Here is a great lesson for the church today. We will never accomplish much without prayer. Most failures in life are prayer failures (James 4:2; Matthew 7:7-11).
Never underestimate the strength of Christian women on their knees. What preacher hasn’t had some godly woman tell him she prays for him every day? “The effectual, fervent prayer” (James 5:16) of a godly woman can penetrate the vault of heaven and shake the gates of hell. While her role is restricted in an assembly of the church (1 Timothy. 2:12), there is no limit to the number of prayers a good sister might pray privately.
Hannah was a woman of prayer (1 Samuel 1:10). She was without child, but her prayers entered heaven and God blessed her with Samuel (1 Samuel 1:11-20). Samuel became a great man of God (1 Samuel 9:6). If there were more women like Hannah, there might be more men like Samuel. With such a shortage of gospel preachers, may God give us godly women who will pray for sons that will become preachers of the Word (2 Timothy 4:2).
May the Lord bless you and keep you!
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