A Woman Pastor in Bible Times?

There is one woman in New Testament writings who seems to not only be a qsuccessful business woman, but a shepherd after God’s own heart:

40 When Paul and Silas left the prison, they returned to the home of Lydia. There they met with the believers and encouraged them once more. Then they left town. Acts 16:40 (NLT)

While we don’t know how Paul set up the hierarchy in the church that met at Lydia’s home, we can surmise that she had a great deal to do with keeping the church together. Her influence was responsible for her servants coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ:

15 She and her household were baptized, and she asked us to be her guests.  Acts 16:15 (NLT)

How many came to congregate in her house to hear the good news of the gospel is unknown, but it is most probable that Lydia’s forthright personality was responsible for many in Thyatira being invited to hear the Apostle Paul and continued meeting even when he wasn’t there.

As the old saying goes, there is nothing new under the sun. God has been using women who were willing to stand in faith, just as he uses men (remember Deborah). What we see in history is not God’s willingness, but man’s unwillingness to allow the church to embrace the gifts of both men and women:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male norfemale: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28 (KJV)