HomeReligion ZoneDivine insight: Women in ministry and business

Divine insight: Women in ministry and business


Some believe women should not preach and that they have no place serving in the house of God as ministers of the word. This notion is supported by the misinterpretation of the scripture in the book of Corinthians which says women should not speak when they come in the house of God, but should remain quiet and if they have any questions, they should ask their husbands at home. But strangely Jesus first showed himself to a woman and she was the first to preach of resurrection. He even instructed her to go with a message to the Apostles. Because of Hebrew culture and also because of the fact that most of the people who contributed to the writing of the Bible were Jewish,  the role of women is understated.

Women were regarded as second class citizens so even when the Gospel was first preached, ministers found it hard to acknowledge the role of women. But Jesus had a band of women who were his disciples who played a major role in his ministry before and after his death. Though their contribution after his resurrection was not fully taken into account, those that were recorded demonstrated the vital roles they played.

Mary Magdalene was an unmarried woman and one of the key followers of Jesus. She played so many major roles but strangely when historians speak of her story, they continously refer to her as the prostitute. The Jewish culture at that time rarely celebrated women, so historians who recorded the story of Mary Magdalene left out the part that she was a successful tradeswoman.

Bible scholars of our time believe there were some women whose testimonies were recorded as men’s. So, when Mary’s story was recorded it was hard to believe that a woman could rise up in those times by just hard work and not through prostitution. So, when her story was recorded, they assumed she must have been a prostitute, which leaves the question: Could it be that the only women who could succeed at that time were prostitutes or maybe wealthy because of the family they were married into? Were there no businesswomen? As a prostitute, could she have ministered to Jesus financially or she had another source of income?

Even in our time when a woman rises up in the corporate world many assume she slept her way to the top, but many turn a blind eye to the passion and commitment women have. Even in ministry women have passion and a drive to work for the Lord. These are qualities that drive women to excel.

Society never celebrates strong women and at times a woman’s value is measured by her role in the home and not in the business world. When I looked at Mary, I noticed even when she started following Jesus, she didn’t lose her source of income. We can easily assume, then, that she must have had a trade. It would be unthinkable to suggest that she continued sex work after she had started following Jesus, neither does the Bible indicate that.

Magdala was a coastal city of economic trade, which leaves me to believe Mary was a participant in the trade. The place of a woman in the market place is never supported because men are uncomfortable in the company of strong women.

In our generation, God is raising women who can stand in the business and in ministry and also be in the home as strong support to their husbands. A lioness is a strong hunter, but also a good mother that takes care of her cubs. I believe God is raising strong women for a purpose.

  • Humphrey Mtandwa is an anointed minister of the gospel and teacher of the Word based in South Africa. He has written several books including The Enoch Generation, Truthfulness and Theophany. He blogs at mtandwa.blogspot.com and can be contacted via e-mail or WhatsApp on +27 610286350.

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