Thursday, July 8, 2010
Phoebe: A Church Leader
"I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea. I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me. Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus." -Romans 16:1-3
After you recover from your eating disorder, you may feel the call to go in to ministry. You may feel that the Lord wants you to teach and preach to others the dangers or eating disorders, and ways to get help. By doing this, the Holy Spirit can lead you to minster the woman to the Lord. As Christians, we know that the only way to truly be recovered from an eating disorder is to ask Christ in to our hearts and have him to take over. The guilt and sin of an eating disorder only holds us down when people have not accepted the Lord, making true recovery impossibly.
Sadly, there are many individuals in the Church who do not believe that women should be leaders or ministers in the church. However, the Apostle Paul commends his “fellow workers in Christ Jesus” in Romans 16, which he praises 27 individuals, 10 of which were women. In Romans 16, Paul does not address the letter to Phoebe, but instead requests that his brothers greet her, and it seems as if he is recommending Phoebe for a position in the church there.
Interestingly, in the whole New Testament, the only deacon who is named specifically is Phoebe. Researchers have discovered that women filled the role of deaconess in the Greek and Roman society. There has been historical evidence that female deacons baptized other females in the third-century. Paul states the Phoebe the minister of the assembly in Cenchrea. This would have been a great honor for anyone, male or female, since Cenchrea was a large bustling commercial city. Many believe that Paul had sent Phoebe to Women can serve in leadership roles in the church, especially being a deacon.