What is a Woman’s Role in Leading Worship in Song?

More than a few women have asked us how we should view a woman’s role in leading music on Sundays in light of Scriptures like 1 Corinthians 11:33-35 and 1 Timothy 2:11-15. We invited Jeff Purswell, dean of the Sovereign Grace Pastors College, to join us for a conversation on how we can think about this topic in a way that seeks to honor God’s Word as well as the significant role women play in our gatherings.

Suggested or Mentioned Resources:
Men and Women in the Church: A Short, Biblical, Practical Introduction by Kevin DeYoung
God’s Design for Man and Woman: A Biblical-theological Survey by Andreas Köstenberger and Margaret Elizabeth Köstenberger

Have a question about this episode? Send us an email at soundplusdoctrine@sovereigngrace.com

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David Zimmer: Welcome to Sound Plus Doctrine, the podcast of Sovereign Grace Music where we explore what the Bible has to say about music and worship in the church and encourage those who plan, lead, and participate in their Sunday gatherings each week.

DZ: Hello, welcome to the Sound Plus Doctrine podcast. My name is David Zimmer.

Bob Kauflin: My name is Bob Kauflin.

DZ: And we are rejoined by Jeff Purswell. A very special guest.

BK: He is great friend, dear friend of 26 years, I guess. I don’t know.

DZ: I think that’s right.

BK: I don’t wanna push it. Dean of the Sovereign Grace Pastors College, and pastor at Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville.

Jeff Purswell: I was in college. I think.

BK: When [laughter], Jeff always thinks of himself as a younger man, but what do you say.

JP: Younger than you.

BK: I was the age of your older brother. Is that… [laughter]

JP: And there’s a big difference.

BK: Yeah. I’m sure there was almost like two generations.

DZ: So good.

JP: Between us. You and me.

BK: All right. Jeff, sometimes we, well, a lot of times actually, we get emails from people.

JP: Good.

BK: Who listen to the podcast, and some of them are very encouraging. A lot of them just asking questions. And we encourage people, if you want to ask a question, just email SoundPlusDoctrine spelled out @sovereigngrace.com, and you can ask us anything and we try to get to a number of these podcast.

JP: Plus sign or the word plus.

BK: No, the word plus spelled out P-L-U-S. Thank you for clarifying.

DZ: Yep. No, we would love good questions.

JP: Spaces?

BK: No spaces, [laughter], it’s hard to have a URL with spaces.

DZ: Or people would be able to get to you.

DZ: Not these questions. They know, they know how to reach out.

JP: Oh okay, good.

BK: They’re a younger generation.

JP: I wanna know how to get hold of you too.

BK: I’m sure you do. This is a topic that we’ve been wanting to do for a while. And here’s the question. “Could you talk more in depth about what women’s roles are in leading worship? I’m a member of a small rural country church, and we have two options for musicians. I play guitar and sing, and another older lady plays piano. Neither myself, and this is a woman writing, nor the lady who plays piano are anywhere near professional musicians. So we are limited in our abilities, but strive to be better and learn more. Amen. Thank you for doing that. That said, we’re both women and though we believe that the word speaks against women teaching men, I’m wondering how this fits into leading music. If we lead, are we going against scripture? And if so what would you recommend our church does with no men able to musically lead?” Now I want to share with our listeners and viewers that we had actually started this podcast, [laughter], and were about five minutes in.

DZ: We did. Yeah.

BK: And we thought, you know what Jeff…

DZ: We need him on this topic?

BK: Yeah. On this topic. And we said, let’s have Jeff here for this one. It’s just. It’s a nuanced topic. I think we’re fighting against certainly a cultural trend outside the church, certainly, that’s seeking to abolish all distinctions between men and women. But then even in the church there is a leaning towards yeah. Is it really that different? And then you get down to this area of leading music where I think churches that agree with this woman that the word says that women shouldn’t teach men. There’s different ways of applying that. So Jeff, I thought it’d be great. We thought it’d be great to have you on the podcast just to talk through some of those issues and not so much to lay down a, this is what you must do. We can share our practice the way we think about it, but more how to think through it, because this is a legitimate question. So this woman would come from a church that would be Complementarian, and for our listeners, probably a lot of them would know what that means. But you’re on the council on the board of the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, which is a great organization. So just to start off how would you describe a Complementarian understanding of scripture and where would you place it in priorities in terms of how God’s word speaks to us?

JP: Yeah. Well.

BK: I mean, you could take the whole podcast on that, but…

JP: Well, you could.

BK: Briefly, we want go.

JP: Briefly, yes. Well, complementarian was a term that was coined back in the ’70s, I think by John Piper and Wayne Grudem to describe what they, what we, would see as a biblical vision of manhood and womanhood. In other words, the reality that male and female, man and woman are made both equally created in the image of God, both equally of equal value before God, equally important in God’s purposes, equally recipients of God’s salvation, equally important to God’s purposes, etcetera, etcetera. Complete equality in those ways. Yet they are complimentarily ordered. In other words, men and women have different roles to play in God’s purposes, in particular in the family and in the home.

BK: In the family and in the church?

JP: I’m sorry, in the family and in the church. Sorry.

BK: What’s the difference between the family and the home.

JP: The family and the home?

BK: I didn’t know there was a difference.

JP: So, yeah, exactly. And so therefore, there are certain roles in the family and in the church that men are called to. There are certain roles that women in the church and in the home are called to. And so that’s essentially what Complementarian is. Whereas the other view, just to kind of contrast it with what would typically be called an egalitarian view, which would essentially see that men and women are not only equal in value and worth, but also they can function equally. They can function in the same ways, they can function in the same roles in the home and in the church. Sort of their core verse would be Galatians 3:28, “In Christ there is neither male nor female.” And so whereas a complementarian would say, well, absolutely. And what that text is talking about is in terms of our worth before God and the availability of salvation. So in the economy of salvation, yes, there is no male or female, God’s salvation is for all Who he draws to himself, but yet that doesn’t erase the differences in male and female differences, constitutionally, but as well as differences in God’s purposes. And that there is, in the complementarian view, I’d wanna be quick to say it’s not about restriction. It’s not about what men and women can do. It’s a vision of life.

BK: Yes.

JP: A vision of complementarity. A vision that, promises flourishing for both men and women. When they appreciate each other and they appreciate the way God’s made them, and they appreciate the great callings that God has called each of them respectively to.

BK: So you’re not talking about men in the church or the home domineering over their wives or the women in the church and saying, “no, you can’t do this.”

JP: No.

BK: It’s more No, let’s figure out how God has called us to work together to display the glory of Christ by the power of his Spirit.

JP: Exactly.

DZ: Yeah.

BK: Because he’s designed us in a complimentary way.

JP: That that’s a distortion of male.

BK: Yes.

JP: What we refer to as male headship, men created to lead both in the family and in the church. But that male, but that headship is patterned on the headship of Christ. Which is…

DZ: Right.

JP: Anything but a dominating headship. It’s a leadership headship to be sure, but it’s a loving headship. It’s a self-sacrificing headship.

BK: Yes. Yes.

JP: It’s a serving headship.

BK: Yes.

JP: For the good of those that he’s serving. Another distortion of that would be the man who doesn’t lead at all.

BK: Yes. Yes.

JP: And that would be a distortion as well, because men are called to carry that burden of leadership, which is a burden, one that God gives us grace to carry. But…

BK: Yes.

JP: We are called to take initiative. We’re called to protect. We’re called, we’re called to lead. And a lot of times our own sinful, laziness, can war against that.

BK: Yes. Yes.

DZ: Well, and Bob, wouldn’t you say, a question like this, can also lead to sort of like an ambiguity of what is the song leader’s role?

BK: Absolutely. And that’s, I think that’s part of the — why it’s such a question, why this woman’s writing this question. It’s like, okay, 1 Timothy 2:11, “let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over men, rather she. is to remain quiet.” Does that, and I think, here’s your question. Does that mean that a woman can’t lead the music? And because we have examples, all different kinds of examples. You have the 60, 70-year-old lady playing the organ, playing the piano. Would you say she’s leading the music? Well, kind of. She’s just really accompanying the congregation, just playing the hymns, versus a woman who’s in front with the guitar, piano, whatever. Shouting out things, reading the scripture, directing the congregation those are two different models for what leading the music means. And obviously, and Jeff, I’d want your thoughts on this. When it says…

JP: And two different functions, I would say.

BK: Okay, fill that out.

JP: Yeah. Well, they, they’re functioning in different ways. Can I maybe take a step back?

BK: Absolutely.

DZ: Yeah.

JP: To sort of answer that question which I think at the root of it was, well, it’s a very humble question, let me say. Are we disobeying God? I’m so grateful.

DZ: While we’re trying to serve.

JP: Yeah. We’re trying to serve. That’s right and.

BK: And we’ve received a number of emails like this.

DZ: Yeah. True.

JP: I’m so grateful for the heart and the impulse and the humility, but just answering the, kind of the larger question, all right. So what role should a woman play in the worship of the church?

BK: Yeah.

JP: Or in leading music in the church to, I think to answer that, you gotta step back and ask other questions. And we actually talked about this on an earlier podcast about, about…

BK: Yes.

JP: What worship is. But you have to ask, there are preliminary questions to be asked. So what are we doing when we gather, what are we doing when we gather to worship? What is the person who’s upfront leading the singing doing? Okay. And then how does scripture speak to such things? Does scripture speak to such things? So in our, we’ll just use Sovereign Grace as an example in our setting, in Sovereign Grace. A few things combined to answer that question for us, I think. So one is, and this is often I think, neglected in many different kinds of conversations, but in ecclesiological consideration, in other words, the doctrine of the church. What is the church gathering? What’s happening? And so when we gather, as we’ve talked about, I think in that other podcast, we gather…

BK: Not Sound Plus Doctrine. This was another podcast entirely? Or was it?

JP: No, this was Sound Plus Doctrine.

BK: Oh. Oh, the Word of God podcast.

DZ: The first episode.

BK: Okay, great. Great. Yes.

JP: Glad it made such an impact…

DZ: I was listening Jeff.

JP: That you remember. Thank you, David.

BK: Sorry. Sorry.

JP: I’m grateful for that.

BK: That’s right.

JP: But we come to, you know, in the church, we, the gathered church, we come together as the people of God.

BK: Yes.

JP: To worship God informed by the Word of God.

BK: Yes.

JP: And we spoke about in that last podcast about what worship fundamentally is. It is a response to God’s, an appropriate response.

DZ: Yes.

BK: Yeah.

JP: A scripture led response.

BK: Yeah.

JP: To God as he has revealed himself preeminently in Christ and through the Gospel. And so our gatherings are informed by that. They’re to be shaped by that. They’re not about us. They’re not to, we’re not gathering for an experience. We’re not gathering to express ourselves. We’re gathering to draw near to God, to be addressed by God, and then to respond appropriately to him.

BK: Although both of those things take place. We do experience things. We do express ourselves, but that is not the primary function, primary goal of our gathering. We have to see Christ. We have to see God in Christ.

JP: Well, I would say those expression those experiences, biblically what they’re meant to be are experiences of, responsive experiences.

BK: Yes.

DZ: Yes.

BK: That’s what I mean…

DZ: Expressions. Yeah.

JP: To, to God’s revelation of himself.

BK: Yes.

JP: So, yes. When we are joyful in our worship, well, we’re not just worship leaders, musicians, we’re not just positioning people. Let’s get joy in them. Let’s get the right sounds…

BK: Crank up the drums.

JP: To get joy in them. No, we are beholding Christ. And by the work of the Holy Spirit. That’s another podcast. What is the Spirit doing in our gatherings.

BK: We’ll get you on for that no question.

JP: But, through the Spirit’s illuminating strengthening work, we are seeing Christ more clearly. We’re apprehending the truth of the gospel more vividly. And then what else do we do? We’re forgiven. We are reconciled with God.

BK: Yes. True.

JP: We’re given the promise of God’s presence.

BK: That’s correct.

JP: And the promise that all that is happening in our lives is ultimately governed by him and working for our good. What else is there than to respond in joy. Right. So all worship then must be informed by, governed by the truth of God’s word because, And so all worship is a revelation or a response to God’s revelation. So when we realize that, then you think, okay, well what is the person leading the worship doing. Well in our setting because the substance of worship, is the truth of God’s word. Hence our lyrics, which are informed with truth. They are…

BK: Biblical truth.

JP: They are musical and lyrical and artistic expressions of the truth of God’s word. And expressions of a biblical response to that truth. Right. What that means is that so the musical aspect is not something different than the rest of the meeting. In that gathering, the people leading the music are presenting in musical form the truth of God’s word. Which we’re meant to receive and to confess. So as we sing, we’re confessing the truth of God’s word and to lay hold of and to believe. These are the kinds of things that we spoke about. Therefore, the person leading, and this is the way we would view it in a Sovereign Grace setting, they’re leading us not, they’re not leading tunes. They’re ultimately leading us, in apprehending the revelation of God and in responding to the revelation of God. So there’s always we would see this. There’s a leadership component to our worship leaders. They are directing us.

BK: Yes. It’s an authoritative.

JP: Yes. They’re directing us.

BK: Role. Functionally.

JP: Sometimes exhorting us, sometimes teaching us with their comments and setting up a song or maybe pausing between songs and elucidating a truth that was in that song. So there’s a teaching component. Well, there’s a leadership component first and foremost, and then often there’s a teaching component. And I would even say too, there’s a pastoral component to that as well.

BK: Strong yeah.

JP: Therefore, if that’s true of a particular setting, if that’s true of what a worship leader, for lack of a better term, for what a worship leader is doing in a particular setting, if that’s how it’s designed, and that’s how ours are configured. Therefore, those are functions that scripture speaks to leading the gathered people of God, teaching the gathered people of God. And therefore those… And what scripture would say would that those would be functions that are reserved in scripture in the gathered church for men. And the key texts there is the one you just read 1 Timothy 2:12. Where Paul does not allow a woman to teach or to have authority over men. And the context there is the gathered church. And that’s not a cultural accommodation. That’s not because something bad was going on in Ephesus. The reasoning for that comes later in that verses 14-15. Paul roots that in the creation order. God has established a creative order with man created first.

BK: Adam was formed first, then Eve.

JP: Yes. And Adam given a headship role that is to express itself in the family. And that is also to express itself in the church because the church is designed on the family structure. So that’s why in Sovereign Grace, we don’t have women worship leaders. Because the way we understand that role and the way that role actually functions. It is leadership teaching functions. That we would see scripture as reserving for men. Now, there could be another setting. That’s why I would never say, and you’re alluding to this, I would never say to anyone that I’m not familiar with the context. Like, the lady who wrote in. Is what I’m doing wrong. And I would say, well, it really depends, at least from my perspective, it depends on what you’re doing. So you use the example of the lady leading or playing the organ who’s a song leader. If in that setting there’s not a leadership function, there’s not a meaning leading in the word of God. Now, if you’re play, opening chord, you’re leading, you’re getting people attuned to the song that’s coming. I don’t think that’s what scripture means. Because that word authentein is the verb. It means an exercise of authority over. So leading, starting off a song with certain chords is not exercising authority.

BK: I know some organists who would see it that way. [laughter]

JP: Maybe so. Hop to, but I wouldn’t see that as an exercise of authority over men that Paul would be speaking to there.

BK: Yes.

JP: So if someone is more of a song leader and a musical leader, then I would say, well, perhaps the way you’re functioning in that role is absolutely right, I do think now I don’t wanna speak for the kind lady who wrote, but I do think that what that reflects… What her question reflects is, is both not, not only a, a reverence for God’s word, and wanting to a desire to honor God. But also I think something in, I would say, because I, I think biblical teaching, we can obscure it, we can suppress it, but I think the biblical vision of manhood and womanhood in a redeemed heart finds an echo, and so I think when you, and, and I’ve talked.

BK: Can you just expand upon that…

JP: Finds an echo, meaning there’s a rightness to it.

BK: Okay.

JP: And so I have, and I have talked to ladies who are put in leadership roles or asked to serve in leadership roles.

BK: Yes, yes.

JP: And they find themselves uncomfortable. I’m not comfortable with this. So I think by putting…

BK: Yes, I’ve talked to many.

JP: A woman in such a role like that, whether that be a particular kind of deacon that’s, that’s another, yeah, that’s another big question. But I think a deacon, if, if there’s a women de… Some churches have women deacons, some complementarian churches do. Some complementarian churches do not. If you do, I think you have to ensure this is not what this podcast is about. But I think you have to ensure that.

BK: Wait, we’re talking about deacons.

JP: That that person is not exercising authority over men. Yeah. So back to the matter at hand, if a woman is functioning in a musical leadership role.

BK: Yes.

JP: And not doing those things, then I could see that as being…

BK: Yes.

JP: That being fine. What I would say though, is that to make sure that doesn’t happen and to protect her from that happening, the pastor, even though he may not be able to carry a note or play a note on an instrument, it needs to be clear that he is leading the worship because pastors are ultimately responsible for the worship.

BK: Yes.

JP: You don’t delegate that to a musician. We’ve said that before as well. And so…

DZ: When it can put unnecessary burdens on other people that they’re not needing to carry, like these ladies that are.

JP: Exactly. Yeah.

DZ: You know, when a pastor can step in and help and do that leadership role.

JP: A pastor or even a qualified man, maybe there’s a man in their church who can sing or he doesn’t even have to sing. He can have a dead mic while he is singing or no mic at all if it’s a small church. [laughter]

BK: I wonder if they’d do that with me sometimes.

JP: But I think it would serve these ladies who are playing to signal to the church.

BK: Yes.

JP: That what is happening here is a function of our worship. It’s therefore an expression of the church’s pastoral leadership.

BK: Yes.

JP: And so I would wanna protect them from false impressions as well as from functioning in that way that I think scripture would not call them to do.

BK: Well, especially in a culture, at least American culture, where there is so much pressure to break down any distinction.

JP: Mm-hmm.

BK: And even elevate things that are out of line with God’s design. And say, no, this is good. This is good. She goes on, or she asks, what would you recommend our church does with no men able to musical leads? Which I think you just covered. The… It doesn’t have to be a pastor doesn’t, but it could be a capable able man who is either there offering things to say, or even singing up front. I think we need to realize that leading congregational worship, worship song is a pastoral function before it’s a musical one.

JP: Mm-hmm.

BK: Which should free certain guys from thinking, oh, I can’t lead musically, ’cause No question. I mean I’ve seen churches where the musical gifting is squarely in the women’s camp. And [laughter] the guys are just not hacking it. And that’s okay. That is totally fine. God still gives responsibility for leadership, for direction, for pastoring to the guys, and that’s right. That’s beautiful. It brings fruitfulness. And I wanna, would want to add, and I’d love to, if you have anything to add to this, Jeff or David just, we serve in churches where the women, or I’ve been privileged to serve with women who are very gifted. Even to hear there’s a.

JP: Absolutely, yeah.

BK: There’s a college student, she’s graduated now, but, Ana, who, who’s very gifted pianist, and when I’m gone, she’s just, she is just fantastic.

JP: Mm-hmm.

BK: But she doesn’t feel any burden to kind of lead and you know, she’s just, she’s there to serve.

JP: Mm-hmm.

BK: So I think all the ways that women can serve would be things like, obviously singing, playing an instrument, serving as a model of expressiveness engagement.

JP: Mm-hmm.

BK: To the congregation solos. So I’ll distinguish between, when I’ll ask a woman to start a song, so, we’ll, we’ll sometimes start a song with a, a female vocalist, just her voice, just to, just to hear that. Just to have the congregation hear that, and then the congregation and the other members of the band joined in afterwards.

JP: Mm-hmm.

BK: After that. But I won’t say, I want you to lead this. Another guy would lead, or I would lead it. I’ll be exhorting, I’ll be encouraging, I’ll be giving direction, those kinds of things. But I want her voice.

JP: And you will have led us for 15 minutes before.

BK: Yes.

JP: Before that song.

BK: Exactly. Exactly. She’s not coming outta the gate saying, Hey, church, this, whatever. And then behind the scenes, I’ve had women serve, women have served in significant ways, you know, as musical directors, as choir directors, as where that’s not an authoritative, you know, doctrinally, theological kind of authority, exercise. It’s, it’s musical. And that’s great and praise God. I thank God, you know, sometimes we, well, it’ll end up I think a couple times we’ve had like an all guys band. I just feel this is weird. [laughter], You know, because it’s just not, it’s not the church.

DZ: Well not typical for what we do.

BK: Yeah. It’s not the church… But… I mean, do you guys have any thoughts about that? Just ways women have served to encourage and strengthen what we do congregationally.

JP: Yeah. Well, I think one way… I mean all the ways you mention, but I think one way is every time before we meet, we pray with one another.

BK: Yes. Yes.

DZ: That’s just a wonderful picture of how we compliment each other as we’re praying for one another and bringing our requests before the Lord. I feel encouraged and blessed every time, even before we enter a stage, interacting with that. But there are multiple ways. That we’re blessed.

JP: Yes, absolutely. And what you just said, I think it’s a good exercise, or an example in exercising discernment. So are these roles… So you’re proactive in seeking roles for women that are.

BK: Absolutely.

JP: Appropriate and not just proactive. We want to benefit from the gifts of these ladies in this case.

BK: Absolutely.

JP: Which is wonderful, but it’s just an exercise in discerning. Okay. Is this placing them in a position where they are… Where they would be contradicting scripture.

BK: Yeah.

JP: Where they would be teaching or exercising authority over men. That’s why it’s so important what we said at the beginning is we just can’t, we can’t draw distinction between our musical worship and then the rest of the service.

DZ: Yes.

JP: Whether we are in our call to worship, where scripture is read that is acknowledging and really embodying the fact that worship is not a self-generated response.

BK: Yes.

JP: Worship is not our idea. It’s not our initiative. God is the one who takes initiative in our salvation and thus in our worship.

JP: Yes.

JP: And so our worship, we are responding to God. God is the one who’s initiated our relationship with him and the covenant we have with him, etcetera. So we are responding to that. In the sermon we are… That is part of our worship, God’s word is being given to us.

BK: Amen.

JP: We are hearing God’s voice in his word so that we can respond in belief and in repentance or in faith.

DZ: In comfort.

JP: And in joy. All those kind of things. The benediction where we speak God’s word over the congregation and then we are leaving in faith, laying hold of those promises of God. Well, in the music we are singing words that derive from God’s truth from scripture. And then we are confessing that truth, and responding to that truth with joy and make a joyful noise to the Lord, “Come let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our God, our maker.” Yeah. That’s just wonderful. God is… He’s revealed himself as the Lord our maker. So what do we do? We respond in worship, and in kneeling and in reverence and in joy, all those kinds of things. So again, the music is just, it’s a piece of what we’re doing the entire meeting.

BK: Yeah.

JP: Which is being addressed by God through his truth and what he’s done, especially in Christ, and then responding as his people. So I think if you keep that straight, then you’re positioned to exercise discernment. Okay. So what’s appropriate in this part of the meeting for a man to do, or a woman to do, etcetera.

BK: It’s easier. So how would you respond to someone who says, “Yeah, but what about women writing worship songs that we’re all singing?” Is that… Does the Bible… Is that a woman teaching the church?

JP: No, I don’t think so. I wouldn’t view it that way at all.

BK: Yeah. How come? I mean, I don’t either but.

JP: Yeah well.

BK: I’d rather hear your response than mine.

JP: Sure. It’s… Well, there’s I think a few components of that. First of all, the way in which… We don’t… We do sing the truth of… When we’re singing scripturally rich songs, we are singing the truth of God’s word, but it’s a form that in a sense is impersonal. I’m not looking at the bottom of that. Okay, “Who wrote that? Uh oh, I can’t sing this song. It was a woman. Now we don’t do… We don’t engage with songs that way.”

DZ: Yeah.

JP: They are artistic compositions that employ the truth of God’s word.

DZ: Yeah.

JP: And that which enable us to understand God’s word, to confess God’s word to… So I just don’t… We don’t interact.

BK: That’s crazy.

JP: We don’t interact with that form in that way. That’s completely different than a person standing up, opening up God’s word and expounding God’s word, and speaking authoritatively. No author is speaking authoritatively. There are songs, we’ve joked about this, but there are songs when I sing a line and it’s kinda like, “That’s a ridiculous line.” I really… I don’t believe that line.

BK: Not songs that I’ve led.

JP: I don’t believe that line. In other words, that’s not how I… That’s not what happened to me when I was saved.

BK: Yes.

JP: I wasn’t just kind of, “Oh, yeah, I think I’ll choose God.” No, I was dead and God brought me to life and caused me to love him.

DZ: Yeah. That’s a good point though.

JP: So I’m not receiving these songs the way I would receive a teaching.

DZ: Yes. Yes.

BK: Yes.

JP: So I think the art, the… I wanna say the art form, but the form of that song is not the teaching of a person, even though a woman has used her gifts or poetic gifts.

BK: Yes, yes.

JP: And even in doctrinal understanding Scripture didn’t say that… In fact, that very text that you mentioned, maybe it was in another podcast. We were talking about 1 Timothy 2, and I talked about women learning. That’s actually kind of a countercultural statement. Women are being invited into a learning community instead of being on the sidelines and not able to learn. Just as Mary sat before Jesus and listened to Him and was in the posture of a disciple, et cetera. So for a woman to understand God’s Word and to be able to shape songs with God’s Word, I think that’s a wonderful gift. It’s not an exercise of authority.

BK: Yes. And if you… That is so good. And if you thought about this, in Colossians 3, it says, we are teaching and admonishing one another. Well, Paul’s not contradicting himself. The Word of God’s not contradicting itself. If we can teach at and in admonishing of one another as we sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, then Paul says, I do not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man. Well, obviously, those aren’t the same kinds of teaching.

DZ: Yeah.

JP: Exactly.

BK: And we would encourage, and I hope that you feel encouraged, if you’re a woman and you have a gift for writing congregational songs or wanting to develop that gift, please do.

JP: Please do.

BK: Please do. We have benefited from many songs written by women and hope to continue to do that. Jeff, thank you for helping us with this. Just a bottom line to wrap around, come around to the woman who’s leading in that church. Thank you for faithfully serving there. And if you find yourself in that position, maybe have them listen to this podcast. Maybe have your pastor listen to this podcast. But do all you can to encourage your leaders to lead and exercise authority and to teach and to lead the church and be happy to serve musically. Because there are certainly situations, small church, church plants, other countries, missionary plants where you just don’t have the musical resources that you’d have in another church. And you’re being faithful and seeking to serve the Lord. And God sees that and He honors that. And we are grateful for the women and men…

JP: Absolutely.

BK: Who joyfully serve their churches every week, leading the church and singing songs that enable the word of Christ to dwell in them richly.

JP: That’s right. And just one other thing I would say to that, not only encourage your leaders to do that, just ask.

BK: Yes, yes.

JP: If I’m in that situation, what I would be saying is, pastor, we need your leadership.

BK: Yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

JP: You’re the one responsible for this. You’re our pastor, you’re our shepherd, you’re the one responsible for leading us in the truth of God’s word. You’re choosing the songs or you’re approving the songs that we’ve sung. I really would ask that you would be a presence in this. You don’t have to lead. Maybe you’re getting up every second song or whatever that looks like. But I think a humble request for that kind of leadership. If I’m a pastor, I’m gonna be grateful for that.

BK: Yeah, amen.

JP: So…

BK: Amen. Great. Jeff, thank you so much for joining us for this topic.

DZ: Yes thank you Jeff.

BK: We plan to have you on the podcast for many other topics. We seem to bring, elevate the discussion. Actually, anytime we have someone else, it tends to elevate the discussion.

DZ: Yeah. We get really smart people on here.


BK: Anyway, thank you for joining us. We hope to see you again.

DZ: Thank you.

JP: Thanks.