Don Willis

"What Can Women Do In the Church"

A Study Into The Scriptures Concerning The Role Of Women In The Church And Ministry

 Study Extract     Women Study Part A     Women Study Part B


The following text is the first email I received from Don Willis in late September of 2013.  This email was the opening of an on line discussion and friendship of two Church of Christ members on two continents separated by half a world of water.  He had read an article that was written by a man in here in the United States,  John Waddey, regarding gender equality and gender inclusivity in worship  leadership that had mentioned this web site and yours truly.  The article was not "friendly" to the movement toward gender inclusion or gender equality in the Churches of Christ, nor was it friendly to this web site or the churches of Christ in my online directory who have moved into either gender inclusive or true Christian egalitarian practices in their congregations.  Don sent me a copy of the article and asked me what my response to the article would be.  Here's the email from Don:

Dear Wiley and Linda

 My background is with the churches of Christ (non-denominational) in Australia. Over the last 25 or more years I have extensively researched the issue of the role of women in the Church and Ministry and have come to the conclusion that the small number of passages frequently used to promote male "headship" and female "followership" are based on interpretations which do not give due regard to context, content or historical/cultural background of the passages in question. However, among churches of Christ in Australia there would be very few who would share my view (I have tried to raise awareness but either there is not the interest or there is outright hostility). I note from a recent publication by John Waddey, in which he quotes from your website, that this view is similarly seen as heretical by traditional churches of Christ in the US (copy attached).

 I am wondering what your response would be to the article by John Waddey and some of the points he advocates?

 Thanks for your time and God bless,

Don Willis

The following are excerpts from  my initial reply to Don.

Thank you for bringing this to my attention.  We are in agreement.  I do not know John Waddey personally nor do I know much about him.  The little I have heard about him tells me that I should be proud of being written about by Mr. Waddey.  He is welcome to his views.  Since he listed my web site in his attack on gender equality in the Churches of Christ, I will consider it free advertising and exposure to a group of Christians who need to know there is a truly Biblical view that says God created humankind in his image and that males and females share that image equally, without restrictions...........I hope Mr. Waddy will take the time to read some of the material on my web site with an open mind.  Maybe he will learn something from one of them. To repress the use of spiritual gifts in the church because of gender is just a much a sin as repressing a person in the church who wears a different color of skin.  Men in the church need to hear the voices of women in the worship, hear their prayers, and hear their thoughts poured out in the form of sermons and bible class teaching.  We have heard only our own voices for far too long.  The church that uses people according to their giftedness instead of their gender, race, or status in society is the church of Christ that will carry the church into the future and make a difference in bringing the lost to Christ.

In follow-up emails, Don told me about his study regarding gender equality in the Churches of Christ and  the printed studies he had completed in June of 2013.  He asked me to read them and give him my opinion on them.  He also offered them to me for this web site as a free download in pdf format, shown below.  They are EXECELLENT studies!  They are scholarly, Biblically based, well written, thoroughly researched, easily understood studies with full references and a lot of thorough footnotes.  They should be considered a must read for anyone interested in Gender Equality in the Churches of Christ!

 "What Can Women Do In the Church"

 Study Extract    Women Study Part A    Women Study Part B