How Women Served in the Early Church

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I think we could all agree that we have women in our lives who have played a prominent role in the formation of our character. They have left their footprint in our hearts and have made us better. They may be mothers, grandmothers, or wives. They could merely be Christians who served God to the best that they could while presenting to us an example worthy of emulation. Whatever the case, we are, in part, who we are because of their influence.

I fully believe that if it weren’t for the women of a local church that much would go undone. They provide for us a lasting beauty of what it means to serve God humbly and often without recognition for their contributions. If we are to remain as effective as we can be, they are vital to the work of the church.

Most of us likely grew up hearing sermons about what women aren’t supposed to do in the church—preach, teach, or pray in a worship assembly among other things. However, I can’t recall many lessons encouraging women as to what they can do in service to Christ. Therefore, beginning on Wednesday, April 18 in the Semper Fi class on Wednesday evenings, we’ll study how women served God in early Christianity looking primarily at the Scriptures and secondarily at early church history. Here is an outline of those lessons:

  1. Women in the life of Christ
  2. Women prophets
  3. Women teachers
  4. Workers for the gospel
  5. Virgins
  6. Widows
  7. Female patronage
  8. Deaconess
  9. Female martyrs
  10. Unorthodox behavior
  11. Female heretics
  12. Christianity’s influence on how women were regarded

This material is something I wrote about and published a couple of years ago in my book, Being Phoebe