Can a Woman Be a Youth Minister?
The controversy of women in church leadership is long-standing and has seen many women denied the opportunity to lead in their churches. Some churches quote Scriptures which they claim show that women are not supposed to lead in the church. The only problem is that we see God calling women into ministry at the top level, and they do a great job at it. Many women have shied away from positions of leadership in their churches because they feel unworthy and that they may offend God.
A youth pastor is a leader in the church who is charged with the responsibility of taking care of the spiritual needs of the youth. Can a woman be a youth pastor? The simple answer is: yes!
The Great Commission is for Women Too
When Jesus gave the Great Commission to His disciples, it was not to them alone but to every believer. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20). He knew that there would be women disciples around the world and that He would give them positions of leading others in the church.
If God calls a woman to be a youth pastor, then the church cannot deny her the chance to answer God’s call upon her life. She has every right to be a pastor just like any man in the church. In Christ, we are one, there is no male or female. “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).
God Has Also Called Women to be Pastors
In Christ, we operate by the Spirit and not the flesh, and therefore God gives us assignments that can be done by both men and women. If God gives the pastoral gift to a woman, it means that He has a place for her in the church. That place can be the youth ministry where she pours into the lives of young men and women and molds them to be more like Christ. Some women are gifted in working with the youth and have a great impact when ministering to that generation.
As a female youth pastor, a woman will do the same work that a man would do. God is the one who gives pastors the messages they are to preach and He gives to each gender as He pleases. As God gives a woman the responsibility of being a youth pastor, it is because He knows what He wants her to do for the youth. He has a special assignment for her and leads her to a church where she will have a position in the youth ministry.
Women Leaders in the Bible
God gave Deborah the office of the prophet because He so desired (Judges 4:4). He gave her the responsibility of leading Israel during her time. “She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided” (Judges 4:5). Although a man could do this job, God chose Deborah to do it, and she excelled at it.
According to God, He can give women positions that others think should be done by men. What we need to remember is that we have positions according to the divine purpose God has given each of us. He wants us to do something specific in the world, and He gives us the platforms we need to do His work. Like Deborah had a senior leadership position in Israel, a woman can also have such a position in the church. It is God who decides and not people.
The Women in Jesus’ Ministry
The fact that Jesus had women serving in His ministry means that He has a place for them in the church today. We only know of the disciples following Jesus as He went from town to town, but we don’t seem to notice the women who were part of His entourage.
“ After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.” – Luke 8:1-3
The women who followed Jesus supported His ministry and played a big role in its success. This shows us that women are called to be leaders working for Jesus in the church and changing the lives of the youth. No woman should feel like they are desiring something wrong by wanting to be a youth pastor. God gives us desires according to His purpose for our lives and they lead us to where we are to serve Him in the church.
What to do if You are a Woman with the Call to Pastor the Youth
When God calls a believer to carry out an assignment in the church, He will also confirm it through other pastors and believers. A woman who knows that God has called her to be a youth pastor should talk to one of the lead pastors and let them know. They can pray and seek God together so that they are in agreement. If the pastors are following the leading of the Holy Spirit, they will have the conviction that such a woman is to pastor in the youth ministry of the church.
God will make a way for a woman to be a pastor and will lead her to the church where He wants her to minister.
Can a woman be a youth pastor?
If God Has placed his call upon a woman’s life, he will equip her for the job. God is able to use anyone He chooses.
Women are no less able than men to preach, teach and do the work of an evangelist (Romans 12:21). There is nothing in scripture that prohibits women from exercising any spiritual gift or holding any position within the church.
However, it is important to acknowledge the cultural context of the first-century church. In those days women were not as highly regarded as they are now and for a woman to have put herself forward would have been seen as an act of arrogance (Acts 18:26).
In Western culture today we see more equality between men and women in everyday life and this also needs to be reflected in the church.
In today’s culture, a woman can even take on the role of youth pastor as long as she is demonstrating godly character, wisdom, compassion, and understanding (Titus Two).
A male or female leader should always put honoring God first before acting according to their own personal preferences and cultural traditions.
The first-century church was a male-dominated society and had mostly married women who shared the gospel with their husbands at home, as well as some female disciples (Acts 18:26). It is likely that most of these were not public speakers but played an important supportive role within the local community where they lived.
It is not possible to be certain how many women were actually involved and what their role was as there is no specific mention of them in the first-century church.
However, we can look at more recent history where some very influential Christians have been female leaders such as Priscilla (Acts 18:26), Lydia (Acts 16:14), Nympha (Colossians), Anna (Luke), and Junia who were prominent apostles in the early church.
And we should not forget about Mary, Martha, and Sarah whose faith is commended by Jesus himself!
So there are a number of examples from history where women have been leaders within the body of Christ. This demonstrates how God can and does use women as leaders today.
The New Testament church is a pattern for the body of Christ today (Colossians) and this provides us with some helpful examples about how we should operate within our churches:
We are all one in the Lord (Galatians). There is neither male nor female, slave or free, Jew or Greek (Galatians).
There is mutual respect between different members of the body. There should be no division in Christ’s body based on gender but we are all one and work together as necessary for each other’s good (Romans 12:16-18).
Paul says that women can pray and prophesy in church gatherings (I Corinthians 11:13).
So we can see from scripture that God has no problem with women exercising their spiritual giftings in the body of Christ. We also read about powerful female leaders such as Priscilla, Junia, and Lydia who were not only prominent apostles but also encouraged other Christians to fulfill their role within the church.
Women are able to be youth pastors, as long as they have a heart for young people and know-how to nurture them in the faith (Titus Two), serving alongside their male co-workers within the church body.
If God has called you to His Ministry – He will work out the details.