Reestablishing Half the Church
by Paul Jacob
|photo: Paul Jacob|
In 1982, at the age of 19, I dedicated my life to Jesus. I was “on fire” for God and quickly grew in evangelical ministry with college and young married groups, as well as church leadership. I was taught that men were made for leadership and women were made for submission to men. I felt something was wrong with this view, but I knew of no other views. Then in 1990, I received a set of tapes on the subject of women in ministry by Dr. Deborah Menken Gill, Ph.D. in Biblical Studies. It was as if an explosion of truth came over me. I was angered by the power Satan has gained by neutralizing almost half of the church through false beliefs. I listened to the tapes over and over again. I transcribed most of the messages and began to teach them to anyone who would listen. How little I actually knew at that time, yet this message had to be told!
I sensed God prompting me to continue studying this topic. It didn’t take me long to discover CBE. Through CBE, I found the resources and community of like-minded believers that could revitalize and reestablish half of the church, which had been marginalized and abused by false teaching. I joined CBE and read every free resource that was available, and I have continued to purchase books recommended by CBE.
I have had the privilege of teaching on biblical equality many times. In 2000, I taught a course at my Assemblies of God Church. This denomination approves of women in all areas of leadership, yet the local church I attended had never allowed women to participate in church government. As a result of the information I presented in my class, many people in our church were coming to a new understanding of women in leadership. This led to congregational meetings, committees, and finally a formal vote to change our local constitution. The vote was favorable and one year later a congregational vote elected a woman to a serve on the church governing board. Praise God!
Over the years, I have continued to be blessed with opportunities to teach. I am humbled by the many lives which have been positively impacted by the truths of biblical equality. It is very rewarding to watch women released into leadership, and men respecting women and their giftings…yet we have a long way to go.
I am now in my 50’s with, I hope, many years of ministry left. I have served in various ways, yet nothing has compared to the calling I have felt to spread the truths of biblical equality. No ministry group has impacted my learning and lifestyle as CBE has.