by Al Maxey

A Special Request for Input
January 23, 2015

Dear Reflections Readers,

Once again I am coming to you for the purpose of "picking your brains" on an issue that I personally believe to be of great significance: the role of women in the work and worship of the local congregation. I have dealt with this matter previously with regard to a number of specifics, and those articles may be accessed on my Topical Index page under the heading "Role of Women." One specific I have not yet addressed, however, is: may women serve at the Lord's Table (sometimes called "waiting on the Table") in a Sunday morning assembly?

Regardless of one's feelings on the matter, the reality is that more and more congregations within my own faith-heritage ("Churches of Christ"), as well as other Christian denominations, are becoming gender inclusive: i.e., women are being utilized in ways that previously were regarded as restricted to men only. Therefore, this is an issue that must be faced at some point by the disciples of Christ Jesus, and we must come to some decision as to how we will respond to such change. Perhaps you are already facing this in your congregation.

The question to each of you is simply this -- what are your personal feelings about women serving at the Lord's Table? May women pass the trays to the members of the congregation during a Sunday morning assembly? What is your biblical justification for your answer? Is your view based on tradition, or is it founded upon some clear biblical teaching? I would also like to hear from those of you who may be in congregations where this is occurring. How did you implement this change, and how was it received by the members of your congregation? I will take all of this information, compile it, and then do a special issue of Reflections in the next week or so on this matter. Thank you in advance for your insights and comments (whether they be pro or con). I can tell you up front that I have my own convictions on this, but will, as I always seek to do, be "fair and balanced" in my presentation of all sides of the debate. I also expect a flood of responses (based on the responses received from past requests), therefore I will likely not be able to respond to each of your emails in the depth that I might like. I assure you, however, that each response will be carefully considered in my preparation for this upcoming Reflections.

Thank you, and may God richly bless you!!