Identifying leaders takes time and observation. And, none of the qualifications for leadership have anything to do with physical beauty or social status.
“In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.” (1 Timothy 3:11)
Having the right character qualities doesn’t mean that someone will be a great small group leader. But, women with those characteristics have adorned themselves with godliness and are good role models for other women in their groups.
All Christian women should aspire to have those same descriptions attached to their names.
Being a woman worthy of respect
A woman worthy of respect is recognized by her devotion to God and willingness to submit to the authority structures in her life, including the authority of Scripture. Then, how she lives out that devotion to God is recognized in her character. She adorns herself with godliness more often than ungodliness.
When it comes to identifying leaders for a particular ministry, these are the questions we considered for our Bible Study small groups:
Is she respected by other ministry leaders for who she is and how she behaves?
Is she more interested in the goals of the ministry than in her own agenda?
Is she submissive to authority? Can she follow the proper procedure for dealing with issues by going through the biblical authority structure for the church body?
If the answer is yes to those questions, she fits the description of being a woman worthy of respect.
A woman worthy of respect is not a malicious talker.
A malicious talker speaks false accusations to slander someone and damage their reputation.
Instead, we should avoid such rotten talk and speak that which is beneficial for building up the one who is listening or reading. Ephesians 4:29
A woman worthy of respect remembers to not share sensitive information (personal and confidential) in inappropriate settings (to those who don’t need to know).
Women leaders must work together with fellow leaders as a unit. If there is a conflict, then discuss it, resolve it, and forgive if that is needed.
Women in the church who have a concern about any ministry or leader need to talk to the person who is part of the decision-making process. Then, trust your leadership and give them time to work on it. While waiting, you can pray for God to guide them.
A woman worthy of respect is a temperate woman.
To be “temperate” means to be sober, to abstain from wine either entirely or at least from excess. The first thought would be excess in the way of addiction to alcohol. But, excess can apply to anything we use habitually to cope with life.
Anything that controls you more than the Spirit of God can be an intoxicant and draw you away from devotion to Christ and living a life that pleases Him. But, God, who can free us from the bondage to sin and death, can free us from this as well.
To be temperate can also mean to be well-balanced. A woman is well-balanced when she holds on to the truth of God's Word and doesn't let her emotions rule over her.
A woman worthy of respect is trustworthy in everything.
Being “trustworthy” means faithfulness in the transaction of business, the execution of commands, or the discharge of official duties. It involves doing what you’ve been asked to do and doing it the way you’ve been asked to do it, assuming it’s biblical.
Being trustworthy also refers to someone who trusts in God and His promises and is living dependently on Him more than on herself. When someone needs help, you point her to God and His Word so she can rely on Him first more than relying on you.
Women were given equality in the church and were given responsibility for leadership where before they had very little. Christianity elevated women to their very best back then and still does today. May we be the kind of women that someone in our world might exclaim, "What women these Christians have!" A woman adorned with godliness is worthy of such respect.
Let Jesus satisfy your heart with such love for God that you will want to live a life that pleases Him.