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LESSON #2: GET THE MEN
You’re going to see a lot of principles from Jesus’ ministry that we incorporate at Mars Hill very gladly. It’s not that we don’t get the women, but we want to emphasize getting the men. In Christianity today, 60 percent of those who attend church are women. Eleven to thirteen million more women in church than men. Say, “Praise God,” the ladies love Jesus. Where are the men? What are they doing? Bad things, usually. And so what Jesus does, he goes after the men, he gets the men. He gets the men first. He looks across the hundreds, thousands who are following him in ministry, coming to hear him teach, part of the come-and-see ministry, and he chooses twelve, all men.
Senior leadership is reserved for men. Let me explain this, many of you will disagree with this. Read your Bible! 1 Timothy 2, 1 Timothy 3, Titus 1; it’s in On Church Leadership, it’s in the bookVintage Church. I write this stuff down, trying to make it clear, but Jesus is consistent with the Old Testament, where the highest spiritual authority were the priests. They were male descendants of Aaron, that was a requirement. Jesus comes along, picks senior leaders, twelve apostles, twelve men. Some say, “Oh, well, Jesus really wanted women in leadership, and he had women in his ministry.” He did have women in his ministry. He did have women who were friends of his. He did have women that he taught. He did have women that served alongside of him, but he didn’t appoint any of them to apostle. If he wanted to revolutionize things, that’s all he needed to do and he didn’t, and he didn’t make a mistake, because he spent the whole night in prayer. He did exactly what the Father wanted him to do, and then that sets up the precedent for the New Testament church where the elders or pastors (those words are used synonymously in places like 1 Peter 5 and Acts 20) are men. So Old Testament, New Testament, ministry of Jesus, beginning to end, senior leaders only, always men, authors of all books of the Bible, men. It doesn’t mean that women aren’t gifted in leadership, can’t teach and use their gifts, they just cannot do so in that office. The office of deacon, however, is open for men and women.
WHY ONLY MEN SHOULD BE PASTORS
Back to the story, Jesus picks twelve men. There are reasons that we have this position, and it’s not because we like all the criticism and controversy. It’s not like I woke up one day and I was like, “I would like to get whacked like a piñata. I know what will do it, male pastors, that will do it. That will ensure that I get criticized until I die. I’m going to go with that because it’s a shortcut to getting beat like a piñata.” I didn’t pick that position. God wrote that position in the Bible, so we hold to that position, and it’s a position that, quite frankly, is the position that Jesus operated by. He wasn’t scared of anyone. He didn’t mind breaking social taboos. He did increase great liberation for women, but he didn’t appoint any of them as apostles.My daughter recently asked me about this. She’s in junior high, smart gal, real sharp, good student, good theologian, good writer. She’s a great gal, love her, we’re real close. She said, “Dad, I don’t believe a woman should be a pastor, but some of the friends that I have in school do, and we were talking about that. And if you had to pick one section of the Bible to explain where it says that a woman can’t be a pastor, where would you go?” …