The Spirit has been given equally.
On the day the church was born, the Spirit of God came with the sound of a mighty wind, and tongues of fire landed on the disciples. The Spirit was poured out on all believers. Peter stood up and quoted the prophet Joel to explain the events of that day:
“In the last days,” God says, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.”
Joel’s prediction had come true. With the dawning of the new day (“in the last days”), everyone in Christ received the Spirit and was included in God’s work. This apparently also included women and slaves, which was a revolutionary notion. In this new day, women were included in functions previously reserved for men. The social distinctions that once ruled service and leadership had been transformed at the cross. The rest of the New Testament shows the inclusion of women actively exercising their spiritual gifts in church ministry, demonstrating the timeless message of Acts 2 at work. And for the last 2000 years, the church has been trying to figure out exactly how this works.
In spring of 2016, this statement was formally made by Bent Tree's Board of Elders for the direction of our church:
After careful study, reflection, discussion, and prayer, we have unanimously come to the conclusion that God is calling us to be a community of faith committed to conservative theology and a community where women gifted by the Spirit experience no limits or restrictions on their service. We joyfully agree to invite women to share leadership as elders.
Whereas it is impossible to exhaustively address the discussion of women in leadership in a concise paper, the elders believe it is important to communicate the scriptural and hermeneutical support for our decision. It reflects the theological framework which leads us to open all levels of leadership to women, allowing them to preach, teach, pastor, and serve in the church as the Lord leads. The paper linked below will concisely explain our theological and biblical perspective.