The topic of gender roles in leadership seems of much debate these days. I see it as a peripheral issue, but because there is some need for clarification ahead of time, especially in church planting, I’ll be brief on it.
I do believe in gender roles, and that the bible distinguishes the very creation of man and woman because of this. There is paramount evidence today that there are unique differences between men and women biologically, physiologically, emotionally, and even mentally, so I don’t see why there is a tendency to ignore any possible spiritual differences.
With that being said, the Scriptures were written in a patriarchal culture and obviously Christ obliterated any barriers before Him between Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female (Galatians 3:28). Though there are distinctions that men and women tend towards, I take the position that there are exceptions. Just as there are plenty of exceptions where women are physically stronger than men, I think the same is true for spirituality and leadership in different contexts.
I am for both men and women being elders and deacons. Although, in practice, I would tend to call men, before women, toward the highest levels of leadership. Should a man or woman seek to be an overseer, both would be honored and considered as they are desiring a noble task (1 Timothy 3:1).
There is so much more to the issue, but I’ll stop here for now.