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Joined: 2009/5/13
Posts: 74

 Should women open air preach?

This question has recently come up within the evangelism group that I'm a part of. We're comprised of people from several churches. We all agree that women should not be pastors/teachers/elders, nor have authority over men (according to 1 Timothy 2:11-15). However, when one of the ladies from our group wanted to get up on our soapbox and read a few verses from Scripture, this caused a little bit of a problem for a couple people. Their church teaches that reading the Bible and/or preaching the Gospel open air is still tantamount to teaching and having authority over men, and therefore this should be reserved for men alone. They're okay with a woman approaching a small group of people and witnessing to them all at once; it's just the act of getting on a box and preaching that becomes problematic for them.

Out of love and submission to my brothers we won't have women open-air preachers when we get together. But still, I don't quite find their arguments convincing.

Searching the Scriptures, I have found verses like 1 Cor. 11:5 that indicate that women may prophesy (declare a Holy Spirit-inspired truth) before a group of people, and pray...and I can see that in John 4 the Samaritan woman declared to the whole town that Jesus was the Messiah.

And is true that we don't see an example in the book of Acts of a woman getting up to preach the Gospel.

So I would like any input on the subject. I don't mean at all to start a debate, I would just like some honest thoughts, and Scriptures to go with them. And if there are any sermons that address this topic, that would be great too.

 2010/1/10 18:16Profile

 Re: Should women open air preach?

Generally, no, it should not be enouraged. However exceptions can be made once in awhile but the exceptions should not then become the rule.

 2010/1/10 18:34

Joined: 2006/6/10
Posts: 668
Northern Rockies, BC, Canada

 Re: Should women open air preach?

The Lord bless you greatly "nearthecross"

I believe that Mr. Keith Daniel shares a little about this in his audio sermon here on SI titled, "Caleb, Give Me This Mountain." Sorry, I don't have a URL for you; but, I hope that this helps in your endeavour to do the Lord's will; thereby, blessing others.
Shalom :o)


 2010/1/10 19:06Profile

Joined: 2009/5/29
Posts: 146

 Re: Should women open air preach?

hi.i agree with thingsabove.witness to somebody on the street is certainly no problem.But we see that all those whom Jesus sent to preach and proclaim the gospel publicly were men.I'm not saying women have nothing to do in an open air evangelism,no.they have their important part to do as well.but if it's an evangelism group and brothers are present they should do the Samaritan woman's case i think it was more of a personal witnessing than preaching.


 2010/1/10 19:10Profile

Joined: 2009/1/24
Posts: 454

 Re: Should women open air preach?

Paul did restrict the role of women in the church, but he did not specifically say they cannot preach to the lost. Romans 16 and Phil. 4;3 indicate that women played a larger role than silently accompanying their husbands.

Jessie Penn-Lewis makes her case in The Magna Carta of Woman. I can't post the hyperlink from my Blackberry so here is the address for the full text at Light House Library:||PENN-LEWIS,%20JESSIE||&type=&what=author

Wayne Kraus

 2010/1/10 20:37Profile

Joined: 2010/1/5
Posts: 2

 Re: Should women open air preach?

1Co. 11 does not say women "may" prophesy, it just says they did. Paul merely noted it, along with many other errors and sins that Church was guilty of, Paul did not overwelm the passage with more than one theme.He brings women back into his teaching in ch. 14 where he clearly commands womens silence (including prophesy). All who try to "get by" these prohibitions are guilty of despising apostolic rule.

 2010/1/10 22:49Profile

Joined: 2004/2/13
Posts: 58
Denton, Tx

 Re: Should women open air preach?

Four specific testimonies from people I personally know and women open air preaching:

1. a brother at the home church I attend first repented because the Lord used a woman who was open air preaching at a public park in the 70's to open his heart.

2. a Japanese girl who also attends home fellowship was moved by the Lord to preach openly at the University of North Texas. She would on some occasions put on a kimono and cowboy boots - use a megaphone and preach the gospel. It was a powerful testimony just to see someone from a culture where women are not typically outspoken to boldly preach Christ alone. (She was a former zin buddist / ancestor worshiper) her visa ended last year and she is now back in Japan - but Hallelujia!

3. Another girl from home fellowship preached "REPENT!" so loud on the same university campus and Texas Women's university that the Japanese girl mentioned above said that unsaved Japanese students who lived on campus could hear her two blocks away (she had friendships with several of these students). This sister preaching repentance was not Japanese - American - the Lord gave her mind back to her after being on drugs and insane. She clearly proclaims Christ and Him crucified.

4. Another women at our home church was moved to stand outside on the busiest street in our city and wear various signs that said "Jesus is God", "I repented" , "Surrender to Jesus" - when she was turned into the police for asking for money (she wasn't - it was a false accusation) she changed the sign to "I don't want your money, God wants your heart."

Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom....

the brothers I know are bold as a lion as well.

Ruth Westbrook

 2010/1/10 22:54Profile

Joined: 2009/1/4
Posts: 353


Just sharing a two small portion of a article I read that talks about women role in sharing and teaching
We should note, as we ponder this challenge, that the very nature of the second (and last) Covenant includes a prominent place for women. At least part of their role is described by the Holy Spirit as: (Acts 2:15-21) “Your sons and your daughters will tell forth the divine counsels… even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days and they will tell forth the divine counsels.”

1 Corinthians 11:5 speaks of women praying and prophesying. It is highly likely that men were present, or the entire reason for writing the warning (the danger of “dishonoring” the woman’s head, the man) would have been of little relevance. Twenty-five years after Pentecost the evangelist Philip had four daughters who prophesied (Acts 21:8-9).

Authority Sets Us Free!

All of these matters are very, very important. When the whole church is together, if our hearts and our minds are right, then the man will be very respectful and loving towards all the women (who will not disappear like the furniture). The men will deeply love the gifts in the women and will not want them to bury their talents. The women will respect the men and, as they are in the gatherings of the saints, will understand the authority of the men and never come over the top of that authority. Paul said, “I do not permit the women to teach with authority over the men.” And yet they can offer their gifts.

A practical example: If one of the women has something burning in her heart to say, she must not bury her talent. She must not ignore the gift of God that is within her because the men need that gift. We need all of Jesus desperately. So if a woman has something burning in her heart that she wants to speak, she can respect the authority of the men by asking permission to say this thing. She should turn first, perhaps, to the authority over her personally. If there is a man in her life that has special authority over her, then she should, perhaps, turn first to him and ask him if it is okay. Perhaps then that man should ask the assembly if it is okay if the woman speaks. If the man does not think it is a good idea for her to speak, or if the assembly does not think it is a good idea for her to speak at that moment, then she should be happy to be silent. She should not resent that or be angry. She should not say, “Well, then, I will never share anything.”

This is how the woman can be Jesus to everyone, with the man still having the authority. The man draws the gift out, but the woman does not push herself to the top. When you look at all the teachings of the word of God together, what you see is that God has a wonderful heart towards women. A woman is not like a chair or a table in the room. She is alive with Jesus and we need her very much. But she must also understand God’s order and not be proud or arrogant. She must be humble in order to offer her gift. This is the order of the angels, the order of God the Father and Christ the Son, and the order of man and woman. We are all one, but there is an order in God that helps everything to work smoothly. We are equal, and a wife’s gift may be even better than her husband’s, but God made him a man and so there is order.

 2010/1/10 23:07Profile


Who first proclaimed the Good News... 'Jesus is no longer dead, He has risen!' The women!! :) I'm sure that they didn't state this in a 'reserved', quiet way... (after all, they had just seen Jesus and talked to Him!) But boldly proclaimed that Jesus is alive!
This, to me, shows that under God all are equal: women are to boldly share the gospel, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, in whatever capacity, even if there are brothers around to do the same.

Ruthiepoothie, I would love to meet your Japanese friend... I'm sure I will some day! :) Thanks for such encouraging words.


Edit: clarification

 2010/1/11 6:01

 Re: Should women open air preach?

Hi nearthecross,

So I would like any input on the subject. I don't mean at all to start a debate, I would just like some honest thoughts, and Scriptures to go with them. And if there are any sermons that address this topic, that would be great too.

There have been some heated threads on this topic, so it may be that your request will be met with caution. For this reason, I have located an old thread on the matter, within which the posts by [b]philologos[/b] offer a detailed exposition of scripture and some of his personal thoughts.

To make sense of some of his comments, it is necessary to remember he attends a church where there is no single pastor (but there is a body of elders who seek to be of one mind), and therefore, if a woman prays, prophesies or otherwise shares from God's word, there is an assumption that she is in submission to the elders already, and is in no way [i]seeking[/i], or [i]intending[/i] to 'usurp' the leadership of the males in the church.

I don't have time to re-read the thread, but there is a clear distinction made between 'preaching' and 'teaching', and my understanding is, that as long as the name of Christ was not being brought into disrepute by the content of the preaching, or the public manners of a lady evangelist / preacher, she is free to obey the Holy Spirit as she is led, including in the public preaching of the gospel. [url=]Can women preach/teach in church?[/url] (S+D forum p161)

My own thought is that unless a person has a testimony of Christ's very real transformation in their life, they don't really have a 'gospel' to share. And, that the reading / repetition of God's own word [i]by a woman[/i] which she is adding [u]nothing[/u] of her personal testimony or mind, ought to be one of the activities she is [i]most[/i] free to do in public, [i]especially[/i] if she has saved males around her, endorsing scripture as the word of God, and manifestly taking responsibility for the publication of truth, by adding [i]ex tempore[/i] preaching of their own.

Their church teaches that reading the Bible and/or preaching the Gospel open air is still tantamount to teaching

How can the term 'teaching' be applied to [u]non[/u]-Christians, as it is an entirely different activity from proclamation of the gospel?

 2010/1/11 11:12

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