There’s no such thing as a female pastor in a New Testament Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. The pastoral office is limited to males in accordance with the prescriptions found in scripture.
“It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money.” 1 Timothy 3:1-3
“For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion.” Titus 1:5-6
It’s not surprising, then, that Bible-believing denominations such as the Southern Baptist Convention and the Presbyterian Church in America proscribe women from holding the pastoral office. According to the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, although women cannot serve as pastors, they are certainly fit for service in the church.
“While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.” Article IV, Baptist Faith and Message
Women can and should serve in church. But what about serving in positions of leadership? In his first epistle to Timothy, the Apostle Paul makes his position on female leadership in the local church clear. A female is not to have authority over a male.
“A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.” 1 Timothy 2:11-12
CrossPoint City Church, a Southern Baptist Congregation in Cartersville, Georgia, has disregarded the scriptural commands of the Apostle Paul. CrossPoint has on its staff, Suze Jordan, a female who serves as the organization’s Executive Director. One might argue that Jordan is technically not a “pastor” and does not hold authority over any men simply by virtue of being the “Executive Director”. The evidence, however, indicates otherwise.
CrossPoint is, first of all, playing games with words. Its website features a directory entitled “pastors and directors”. All the men listed in the directory are listed as “pastors”. The two women in the directory are listed as “directors”. There is no such biblical office as “director” and yet these “directors” are listed in the same section of CrossPoint’s website which lists “pastors”. What CrossPoint has, in its “directors” is a distinction without a difference. They are essentially functioning in the same way as the organization’s pastors. If a man was filling Suze Jordan’s role at CrossPoint, he would most likely hold the the title of “Executive Pastor”. The “Executive Pastor” title is quite common in modern churches. Since Jordan is a woman, she is being presented as a “director”. If anything, her title could be the most accurate of any at CrossPoint. Overall, CrossPoint comes off more like a corporation than a church. Directors, not pastors, manage corporations.
For those who are still unconvinced about the impropriety of Jordan’s leadership position, a 2015 advertisement CrossPoint placed with the Willow Creek Association for a “Next Generation Pastor” proves that the organization intended to place male under the authority of its Executive Director. According to the advertisement, the “Next Generation Pastor” reports to the Executive Director. In plain English, Suze Jordan is the youth pastor’s boss. Since the advertisement solicited for a “pastor” it is implicit that the role would be filled by a man. It is currently filled by a man. Suze Jordan has authority over a man, over a pastor (unless CrossPoint has since changed its reporting structure). To top things off, Suze Jordan sometimes fills the pulpit at CrossPoint on Sunday morning, teaching the women and men of the congregation.
Suze Jordan and the staff at CrossPoint City Church are in rebellion against the created order of God. They are blatantly disregarding the teaching of scripture. As such, no local Baptist Church should be in cooperation with them. CrossPoint City Church is not a biblical church. It is particularly disturbing that CrossPoint is one of the fastest growing churches in Bartow County. Its blue window decals are ubiquitous around town. 80% of Bartow County is unchurched. That is problem enough without hundreds flocking to the newest, hippest, coolest church in town. If you have friends or family who attend CrossPoint, please make it a point to speak to them about the matter. If you attend there, find another congregation. If you are serving there, leave and go serve the Lord at a church that respects his word.
Everything about CrossPoint screams “vision-casting seeker-senstive growth organization”. Almost nothing about it says “obedient church of the Lord Jesus Christ.” If CrossPoint disregards one part of scripture out of pragmatism, God only knows which part it may disregard next. Just think about it. In a county where 80% of the population is unchurched and other conservative churches are shrinking in membership, what makes sense? It makes sense that CrossPoint draws the world by operating by the world’s standards. CrossPoint arguably draws attendees from other churches because those people don’t like how those other churches operate. CrossPoint appeals to the very type of person who would be okay with what Suze Jordan is doing…rebelling against God. Flee it.
On a personal note, I know Suze Jordan. I’ve known her and her husband since I was a teenager. They used to teach youth Sunday School at First Baptist. Glenn chaperoned my friends and I at church camp. I’ve always liked both of them. They are nice people who have served in churches in the area for at least two decades. It doesn’t matter, with regard to subject of church leadership, that they are nice. They are wrong. Don’t let personalities get in the way of obeying scripture.
For more on the limitation of female church membership, see this article at Christian Apologetics Research Ministry.
You may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church of which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.
How do you account for the multiple Women leaders in the Early Church? Is it possible you are misinterpreting scripture in order to divide the body of Christ instead of unifying it? Is it possible that Paul was referring to specific women and did not intend a general ban on women in leadership positions?
Are you equivocating between a “leader” and a “pastor”?