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. That’s why we want to grow our network of women serving in our churches to connect them for mutual support and encouragement.
Coordinating Women’s Ministry
In 2014 we appointed Elisabeth Smyth as our Women’s Ministry Coordinator, recognising that women need to be encouraged and trained in the many ministries they are called to in our churches.
An increasing number of FIEC churches are appointing women’s workers and many other women are serving in a voluntary capacity across our Fellowship. We want to build relationships and resources that allow women to grow in ministry and share examples of how their ministries are working out in practice.
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.
Elisabeth sends out a bimonthly email called For Women (which you can subscribe to by clicking ‘Receive our newsletters’ at the top of the website) and every May there is our dedicated conference for women workers called Thrive.
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 going on in supporting pastors’ wives and other women engaged in biblical ministry. We also recognise that there is currently a wide diversity of practice within our Fellowship 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.
Our Pastors’ Network exists to provide support and encouragement to serving pastors of Independent churches resident in the UK. Its aim is to help to uphold biblical standards, and to stimulate a pastor’s spiritual development in a way that will enhance effectiveness in gospel ministry for the long-term.
Through membership of the Pastors’ Network we accredit individuals so that churches can be assured of their character and gifting. Accreditation also affirms the theological, moral and spiritual standards of such men.
Finding suitable gospel workers for church vacancies can be hard – especially for Independent churches. Which is why we provide a public page on our website where FIEC affiliated churches can advertise details of any ministry opportunities.
Revitalisation is about helping smaller churches to rediscover their gospel vision and grow into healthy and vibrant communities of believers.