Southern Baptist leftists have been attempting to skirt the biblical teaching on gender roles in any way they possibly can in order to move the denomination to the left. One of the hot-button topics in Evangelicalism today is the role of women in clergy. One of the ways that these leftists attempt to get around the biblical teaching—and also around the Southern Baptist Convention’s official statement—is to obfuscate the titles of women they place in pastoral positions within their churches.
An example of this would be to place a woman in a pastoral role but instead of giving her the title of “Pastor,” they will instead give her the title of “Director” or worse, “Minister.”
The title, “Minister,” as defined in ecclesiastical terms, literally means “a member of the clergy, especially in Protestant churches.” Further, placing a woman in the role of “Minister” is no different than placing her in the role of “Pastor,” especially if it’s a leadership position.
Even Al Mohler, who I often disagree with and do not fully endorse, rightly stated that:
More recently, less than twenty years after that clear statement, some Southern Baptists have sought to distinguish between the office of pastor and the act of preaching, thus allowing women to preach to the congregation, but arguing that the role of “senior pastor” is still reserved for men. A similar argument has advanced among some Presbyterians, who argue that a woman should be allowed to perform any act of ministry open to an unordained man. I honestly doubt that the argument works even for Presbyterians, but I will have to leave the Presbyterian argument to Presbyterians. In any event, the argument certainly does not work for Baptists for two glaring reasons. First, we have no theology of an ordained ministry. We have no theological basis for making ordination the determinative issue in anything. You will find no evidence of an ordination theology in any historic Baptist confession of faith. You will also find no reference to a “senior” pastor. A pastor is a pastor and “the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.”
Leading worship is an act of teaching and preaching—simply because the words are preached to a tune rather than spoken does not detract from the teaching and leading nature of the act. Worship in song is no different than worship in preaching and those who lead the ministry are functioning in a pastoral position.
And yet, that is what Southern Baptist Convention president, Ed Litton’s church has done. Litton’s Redemption Church in Saraland, Alabama, has a woman, Abbie Maggio, who leads the Worship team. Her title, to try to subvert the biblical teaching on women in pastoral roles, is “Worship Arts Minister.” Yet, this is a decidedly pastoral role in Evangelical churches. This isn’t just singing in the choir—it’s leading the church in worship.
And Abbie Maggio is who will be leading the worship team at the 2022 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Anaheim.
According to the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee, “When Southern Baptists gather, there’s always a song in the air!” On Twitter, the Executive Committee said that “Abbie Maggio, of Redemption Church in Saraland (AL), will be leading us in musical worship at #SBC22. We sat down with her for this week’s episode of The Road to Anaheim.”