Women in ministry
We believe that women have been given all sorts of ministry gifts, and that our churches are poorer if these gifts are not developed and used.
Women’s Ministry Network
We believe that women have been given all sorts of ministry gifts, and that our churches are poorer if these gifts are not developed and used. Women need to be encouraged and trained in the many ministries to which they are called. We seek to do this through our Women’s Ministry Network, building relationships and resources that allow us to grow in ministry and sharing examples of how these ministries are working out in practice.
Of course, there are a wide diversity of convictions and circumstances across FIEC churches, but there is much we can do together. Whether you’re in full-time or part-time ministry – paid or voluntary – then we want to connect with you. That includes those who are pastors’ wives; an often overlooked and isolated role in our churches.
Our theological convictions
FIEC wholeheartedly affirms the equality of men and women in creation and redemption which is clearly taught in Scripture. We are aware that in many churches there has been a failure to fully appreciate the biblical role of women in the ministry of the church. It is possible to be governed more by tradition and culture than by biblical principle and thus to be either unscripturally liberal or unduly restrictive in this area.
As a Fellowship we believe the Bible teaches what is known as a Classical Complementarian view of the callings of men and women. Therefore we believe that husbands have a calling to lead in the home as the head, and that men should lead in the local church in the roles of Pastor and elders. We do not believe that women should be pastors of, or preachers to, mixed congregations within the churches of the Fellowship.
However, there are countless other opportunities for women to serve in every church. We therefore wish to endorse every biblical role of ministry open to women and to promote the excellent work of FIEC’s Women’s Ministry Network in supporting pastors’ wives and other women engaged in biblical ministry. We also recognise that there is currently a wide diversity of practice within the FIEC and that churches will continue to work out this issue according to their own convictions and circumstances.
Our position is explained more fully in ‘Women in Ministry’, a document that was approved by the FIEC Annual Assembly in November 2011. The document can be viewed here.
Through Ministry Introductions we provide a unique meeting point for Independent churches seeking new gospel workers and for individuals seeking a new sphere of ministry.
Whilst many gospel churches grow through a wise, faithful and creative missional mindset, the reality is that a number of churches experience numerical decline for a number of varying reasons. The gospel heart remains, but the strength and vitality to carry out that work has diminished over the years.
Our National Support team is made up of experienced pastors from across the country. The team works alongside Richard Underwood in strategic areas of Pastoral support.
Proverbs 27v17 can sometimes be overused, but it still remains true: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” We see an immense wealth of gifts and experiences amongst those who minister in our churches. If we can connect these people in meaningful ways – for support, inspiration and training – then our churches will greatly benefit. But how can we do that effectively?
Through our Pastors’ Network we seek to commend individuals so that churches can be assured of their character and gifting.
The Lord Jesus loves local churches irrespective of their size. However, smaller churches can be vulnerable and stand in need of particular love and care.