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So, Kevin DeYoung’s Church Has Women Pastors Disguised as “Shepherdesses”?

by | Nov 28, 2023

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In the New Testament narrative, the shepherd stands not merely as a symbol, but as a divine directive for church leadership, anchored in the person of Jesus Christ, the Chief Shepherd. His life, as depicted in John 10:11, is not just an example but a foundational model for pastoral leadership. This model delineates a role that is inherently sacrificial, deeply personal, and morally upright. It’s about protecting, guiding, and intimately knowing the flock, in the very manner of Christ.

The shepherd, synonymous with a pastor (1 Peter 5:2-4), embodies a divine calling—a sacred office explicitly outlined in Scripture. This is a role reserved for men, as established by the created order and reinforced through apostolic teaching. The qualifications detailed in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 are clear and unambiguous, consistently pointing to male leadership, a pattern that aligns with the entire biblical narrative. This isn’t a cultural adaptation but a scriptural mandate, defining the pastoral office as a distinct and solemn responsibility entrusted to men.

This office is more than a title, it is a profound commitment to emulate the Chief Shepherd. Those who hold this mantle bear a sacred duty to lead with truth, integrity, and Christ-like wisdom. By adhering strictly to this biblical directive, the church not only upholds God’s ordained structure but also manifests its unwavering fidelity to Christ and His Word. So then why does Kevin DeYoung’s church, a supposedly “conservative” PCA church, have such women pastors? And why are they disguising their pastoral role under the guise of a “Shepherdess Ministry”?

According to Christ Covenant Church’s website, the “Shepherdesses” at this church are “are godly, seasoned women who assist our pastoral staff and leadership in the soul-care of women, in the church, who are in crisis.” It continues, “A Shepherdess will offer encouragement to a woman in crisis with biblical counsel, a godly perspective, and friendship accountability. The goal for the woman who is struggling is to be restored to a gospel-centered walk with God, with her family, and with her church community.”

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This is exactly the role of the shepherd, or pastor, in his biblical office. At best, this is seriously confusing language and gives the impression that women can carry out the role and function of a pastor.

It’s not that women can’t assist in these things, particularly with other women. But Christ Covenant has essentially created a church office that is modeled after the office of the pastor/shepherd and given it a feminized name. According to the website, the office of the Shepherdess also assists in matters of church discipline.

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