Tony Merida on the Vital Importance of Women in the Church’s Mission

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Tony Merida encourages women to use their gifts in the context of the local church and the work of the Great Commission and suggests avenues where women can flourish in the mission of the church.

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Women are to be active participants in the mission of the church. We shouldn’t relegate women to the kitchen and to kids. The Great Commission is not just given to men, and spiritual gifts are not just given to men. They’re given to all Christians, and women should never be sidelined in the church.

Because women have spiritual gifts, they need to be taught how to use them. They need to know how to how to flourish within the context of the church. They should be encouraged to make disciples of all nations. They should be encouraged to do mercy ministry, to love their neighbors well. And so the church should be a place where women are trained, where they’re deployed, where they’re valued, where they’re heard, and where their gifts can be maximized.

In addition to that, women, especially my wife, help me when it comes to my sermon preparation. On a Wednesday or Thursday, I normally finish my sermon preparation, and I send it to about a dozen people. One group gets it because they’re translating the sermon live into Spanish, and my other elders get it because we’re going to discuss the upcoming Sunday, and whoever makes the kids bulletin gets it because they’re working up the kids bulletin. But I also send it to a few ladies because I’ve found that to be super helpful in making sure all my sermon illustrations aren’t about sports and dudes.

My wife is also very sensitive to motherly issues and women’s issues. She brings a different perspective on what I should consider and think about in my sermon. And I find that to be really helpful. I think in that regard, women can also help in terms of making sure our church is discipling everyone—men, women, boys, and girls—in a healthy and holistic way.

I don’t think you have to look hard at the New Testament to see the vital importance of women in the church. Read Romans 16, for example, and look at how many women Paul is commending in that letter—women who were active participants in the mission. In all we’re doing we should want to improve in our own local church in training, deploying, and seeing women flourish in the local church.