Question:I've been attending the church of Christ. I'm fairly new there. It's almost 30 miles aways and there is no other acceptable church that I know of. My concern is with their campus ministry.†My husband†only recently noticed a flyer in the church hallway announcing a woman as the new Associate Campus Minister. They hold a Wednesday night worship service on the campus for college students and anyone else who would like to attend. I have not been to it yet. I wanted to encourage my brothers to attend since they both miss Sunday worship due to their work schedule. My husband and I always thought that a woman cannot be a minister because they must remain silent in the church. I'm not aware of what she does exactly as 'Associate Campus Minister' as I have not been to the services or study classes. Are they wrong for assigning that title to her? Does it depend on her "job description?" Maybe she just ministers to women. I suppose I can try to find out more, but my question right now is just whether that title or position is wrong for a woman.
I checked out the link you sent me and I several difficulties. One is with the titles in general. "But you, do not be called 'Rabbi'; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ" (Matthew 23:8-10). The church has elders, deacons, preachers, and teachers; these aren't titles but terms for the duties or roles various play in a congregation. But here I find:
- Campus Minister
- Associate Campus Minister
- Administrative Assistant
- Missions Coordinator
- Campus Ministry Shepherd
Groups that feel the need to create titles are not what I find in the Bible.
Then there is the organization. There are statements throughout that says it is under a nearby congregation but it appears to function as a separate group. They have a single elder overseeing the work. It has its own Bible studies and worship assemblies, though it doesn't appear that they have worship on Sundays. Reading through the Spring 2010 newsletter I find that this group has their own treasury and solicits contributions. (I also found that they were pleased to go to Croatia and teach baseball to children.)
Finally there is the problem of having a woman as the "Associate Campus Minister." The title does not state that her role is limited to women. The web site states clearly that they as a group serve the campus and the community. I Corinthians 14 deals with the worship service and one could argue that this really isn't a church. But the verse to be concerned about is I Timothy 2:11-12, "A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet." The title implies this woman is in a leadership role that places men underneath her. Perhaps that is not how it actually pans out, but you are right to be concerned.
My husband and I have been having the same concerns with the entire organization. We also don't like that they incorporate the college into their ministry. We believe that such a ministry should be bringing the students into the church apart from the school, not making the school a part of the ministry. I feel that they focus too much on the school and not enough on the church. They get together and go to the football games and things of that sort. I don't feel comfortable when I put money into the offering tray knowing that the church gives money to this organization. Since the church is affiliated with it, is all of this something that should be corrected, and if they don't correct it, is it reason enough to avoid attending that congregation?
There have been times in my past where I've attended some of the more liberal churches for the simple reason that there was no other available to me. Even then I did not support the practices that I felt were unscriptural, including sending my contributions to another congregation that I knew spent its money as God authorized. I did what I could, pointed out what the Bible actually said, and eventually moved on. It won't hurt to discuss the issue with the congregation there. My guess is that they will ask you to leave.