It is the desire of The Well Community Church to see everyone grow in their knowledge of God and serve according to their gifting (Colossians 1:28-29, Ephesians 2:10). We see the function and role of the local church as training and equipping believers to fully live out their divine design.
We believe women are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), are bestowed with spiritual gifts through the Holy Spirit upon conversion, and are called to use those gifts for the edification of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-13). Furthermore, men and women are made to flourish in ministry together and thus complement one another in their uniquenesses. At The Well Community Church, we want to admonish and encourage women to use their God given spiritual gifts in every area of our church.
The Scriptures, however, seem to differentiate between gifting and role. We believe Scripture communicates male headship within the church and the home (Ephesians 4 & 5). There are many women within the body gifted by God to teach. Women are also admonished to teach the younger women within the church (Titus 2:3-5). However, other passages seem to limit the environments in which a woman can teach or exercise biblical authority over a man (1 Timothy 2:12). The limitations do not seem to be referring to gifting, intelligence, or even capacity, but rather clarifying the divine design of male headship and therefore limiting the environments in which women can teach or exercise authority.
The structure and design of male headship is not a result of sin, as some argue. Rather, it is a clear expression of God’s created order pre-fall (1 Timothy 2:13). Therefore, The Well Community Church celebrates the gifting and abilities of the women in our body, with the following limitations:
- A woman would not be considered for appointment as an Elder (1 Timothy 1:1, 2, 4; Titus 1:6, 7).
- A woman would not be considered for the role of Teaching Pastor, and thus given the platform of the clear communication of basic doctrine and biblical education of the body in a church gathering (1 Timothy 2:12).
- Finally, a woman would not be considered for the role of Campus Pastor since this position functions as a direct extension of the pastoral role of the Elders (1 Peter 5:1-3).
However, we do see opportunities for women to use their teaching gift in the body in various environments, such as:
- Women teaching women
- Women facilitating discussions in small group environments
- Women teaching as perceived experts in a specified field, where they are using their personal stories and testimonies, infused with the Scriptures, to bring clarity to a concept outside of the church gatherings (i.e. Summer Equipping Classes, re:generation, re|engage, Merge etc.)
- Women can and do serve as Ministry Directors on our staff team
- In the context of our corporate gatherings, women lead worship, host gatherings, pray and read scripture from stage, and share testimonies among other things.
We wholeheartedly affirm complementarianism's tenants that men and women are equal, but different. We reject egalitarianism's claims that equal means the same and thus role-interchangeability. That said, we don't affirm the sinful practices of complementarianism which, at times, have led to the mistreatment of our sisters in Christ in a subservient, sometimes even abusive manner.
The intent of this statement is to affirm the incredible gifting of the body of Christ within The Well Community Church as a whole, while creating proper boundaries for the full expression of those gifts according to the Scriptures. These limitations do not devalue the women in our midst but rather highlight the biblical roles as given by God. Much like our triune God exists in equality, yet carries out various functions and roles within the Godhead, so also men and women serve with equality, yet fulfill their divinely designed function within the body.