I get a lot of questions surrounding women and ministry and resources for the Biblical standpoint of women being able to be all included in ministry, and then also about what women I have followed or looked up to in this journey. My journey has been hard at points, but always has circled back to one thing: the Bible. I know that sounds so cheesy, but before you discount this, hear me out: there is absolutely no substitution for the Word of God when it comes to matters of theology. You can read every writer that has ever written on a topic, listen to one million podcasts, and have great conversations and while they may all be helpful, none will decide your mind like the Word will. Why? Because the Word of God is living and active and so there is this real presence that occurs when you read the Word. Namely, the Holy Spirit is at work informing you, intriguing you and egging on your curiosities. This is a source of Joy for Him. He delights in taking you on a journey of His story and finding the twists and turns that any good narrative has. The Bible was never meant to read straight out and then leave it; it’s also been meant to engage all of our senses and to send us on travels all over the Bible in order to find the meaning of one verse. At the very least, the Bible serves to tell a story. But at it’s best, when we treat it like it’s written for, it’s a mirror that reflects our own lives, the current culture and how the Spirit is moving within these realms.
All that being said, I can’t give you a list of books that shake out the arguments for or against women in ministry because I dind’t read any. I know there are some out there, I just haven’t ready many (I have read one and that is listed below). Instead, I can point you in the direction of my favorite commentaries, books on how to study the Bible, and then a few contemporary writers that take the exegesis (fancy word for taking meaning out of the text) and put it into poetic words that make sense.
You do you, girl. Or man. I get that we don’t all learn the same way, so there is no fault in simply wanting to read books on the issue. But promise me this: when the writer references Scripture, go and look it up. Don’t leave it alone and don’t take the writer’s word for it. Test it, hold it up against the rest of Scirpture and find out if you agree. Pray on it and give room for the Spirit to work. Do this to your favorite writers, pastors, teachers, mentors and friends. Not only is it our job as disciples to form our own opinion, but when you open your Word and look it up and do some thinking on your own, you are inviting the Holy Spirit into your journey. And from my experience, reading can change your mind, but the Spirit can change your heart.
So without further ado, here are my favorite resources for the person who wants to learn about women in ministry (although many can be applied to any topic of interest):
There are so many commentaries our there, it’s hard to know what to read, however, there are a few sets that while I can’t say much for every author, I can say that overall the commentaries are great. These are expensive so pace yourself. If there is one passage you want to look up, or a chunk you want to study then just buy that one book. You don’t need to buy the full volume in order to find an answer. Here are my favorites:
I have not read the following, but they look intriguing. If you read them, let me know what you think!
Favorite Female Authors
This list is a mere starting place for those interested. As I find more resources that would be helpful for beginning stages, I will add them here. Feel free to comment and add books and authors or pastors that you have found helpful on your journey!