Vineyard Restricts Elders to Men -- By: Anonymous
Vineyard Restricts Elders to Men
In a recent communication to the Association of Vineyard Churches leadership, John Wimber clearly expressed his convictions for the association concerning the office of elder and pastor in Vineyard churches. In his statements, Wimber extensively referred to Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and strongly recommended the text for those seeking biblical clarification on the issue.
In the March/April, 1994 edition of Vineyard Reflections, Wimber declared, “I believe God has established a gender-based eldership of the church. I endorse the traditional (and what I consider the scriptural) view of a unique leadership role for men in marriage, family, and in the church… Consequently I personally do not favor ordaining women as elders in the local church.”
Wimber goes on in the article to clarify his position in terms of the unique responsibilities given to men in their families and in the local church. He is careful to distinguish between male headship and dominance. He states that “the answer is not to reject the doctrine of godly male headship (which results in female fulfillment) but to clarify its biblical meaning, and to live it out in our families and in our churches.”
While Wimber restricts church governance to men, we must note that he does encourage women to participate in any ministry except that. He states, “A woman can preach, teach, evangelize, heal, prophesy, counsel, nurture, administrate, and build up the flock of God.” He advocates the freedom of women to so minister to men, but clearly indicates that such ministry must be under the authority of local church elders
While we may differ in some details, we nevertheless give thanks to God for this statement from John Wimber which clearly aligns the Association of Vineyard Churches with the convictions that CBMW has previously expressed in the Danvers Statement.
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