1 Corinthians 7:17–24 says that everyone should be allowed to live the call that God has placed on their life, regardless of where they are called out from. It is unloving and damaging to the Body of Christ to disallow someone to fully use their gifts in the world and in the church. Some of us ladies are just not equipped to stay at home, to work the nursery or to teach Sunday School (and I know plenty of men who are really great at home-making, working the nursery and teaching Sunday School.)
But what about, 1 Timothy 2:12? Great question! The epistles get a pretty bad reputation when it comes to thinking about the role of women in the church, but when you look at who some of the other leaders were in the churches and ministries Paul (the main epistle-writer) was involved with, you’ll find a list of pretty cool women. One thing we have to remember about the epistles is that they are letters. They have become important parts of our tradition and canon because they are very good letters that did and still do contain great wisdom and truth for the church. But they are still letters that were written to a specific church at a specific time. That doesn’t mean they aren’t relevant to the church today, but it does mean that we should consider the over-arching message of the Bible to honor and nurture all people in their roles in the Body as being more important than one small passage in a letter. What the writer in 1 Timothy is writing is not a law or mandate for all time. It’s a guideline he is giving a particular church. There are other epistle passages used in much the same way that should be read in the same way.
Someone who once asked me a form of this question, after having heard my scriptural basis for supporting women as pastors, asked me if I thought that men were just better equipped for being pastors because men and women are different. My answer was simple, “Of course not!” I’ll agree that there are broad generalizations about differences between men and women that tend to be true. But we can’t toss everyone into those roles and expect them to fit because that’s how it usually is. It’s not because we’re broken. It’s because we’re all different and unique.
Even beyond broad ideas of what men are good at and what women are good at, look at what the church is – it’s a big family. So even if we were to accept that women are better at nurturing, peacemaking, guiding, etc in the home. . . why would we think that they wouldn’t be just as good at it on a broader scale?
For a great book on this, if you’re still not sure about that girl up in the pulpit, read How I Changed my Mind About Women in Leadership. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0043VEGJI?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage