While GBC will continue to have all male elders, we are excited to include women in the preaching rotation and the title of pastor. Wise and godly people, who love Jesus and take the Bible seriously, disagree on the answers to these questions. Disagreement is inevitable, disunity is a choice.

Common Questions

How did the elders decide on this? Was it up to a vote?

After 5 years of prayer and study it was a unanimous decision.

Why Now?

The Elders concluded their study on the subject and the timing of our sermon series (1 Corinthians) seemed a natural way to announce our doctrinal change.

Are there any current roles or positions that will switch from staff director to pastor roles?

No, there are not. What will happen over time is that we will have women and men who will meet the qualifications of pastor, and then that person will become a pastor. We would change their title once they met the qualifications.

Does this mean we are considering a female co-lead pastor?

We are not going to have a female co-lead pastor because the co-lead pastor or the lead pastor must be an elder and the elder has to be a man.

What authority do elders have that pastors do not?

  • The elders are the governing authority in our church. Matt Breitenberg and Eric Sanzone both serve as elders. Matt and Eric are also pastors on staff. As staff people, they report to the broader board of elders.
  • Elders make the highest level shepherding and leadership decisions in our church. Elders are part of our policy governance board in the Carver Model of Governance. Thereby, elders set policy and doctrine.
  • God’s ultimate authority and responsibility for our church is given to the elders, not pastors. Pastors are people who work on staff at the church. The GBC staff executes based on their guidance.

What is the difference between the authoritative teaching by elders and women or men speaking in church?

  • Authoritative teaching can only be done by an elder. You can’t teach with authority if you don’t have the office of elder.
  • Authoritative teaching establishes the doctrine of the church. Nearly all the teaching that we do Sunday in and Sunday out is not establishing new doctrine. It’s the general teaching, it’s the prophecy, it’s the exhortation that is done to strengthen the church.
  • An example of authoritative teaching on a Sunday was the June 16th sermon by Eric. This sermon established a new doctrine and therefore could only be preached by Eric as he is the only preaching elder at this time.

How is the role of men and women leading in the church different from leading in the home?

  • There is a pattern in marriage for a particular man who is married to a particular woman to model the loving servant leadership of Jesus. This is demonstrated towards his wife in laying his life down: down for her and leading his family spiritually. There’s also a priority to take initiative in servant leadership for one man to one woman.
  • There is also a priority for the group of men who are the elders in a local church to provide the shepherding leadership of that church to the church. But it’s not those elders as men to specific women. It’s those elders as men to their church as male elders.
  • That is why all women are not to be under the authority of all men and why all women are not to be a complement to all men.

What resources are available to learn more?


  • Hearing Her Voice by John Dickson
  • Two Views On Women In Ministry by James Beck & Stanley Gundry
  • Jesus and Gender: Living As Sisters And Brothers by Elyse Fitzpatrick & Eric Schumacher
  • Bourgeois Babes, Bossy Wives, and Bobby Haircuts: A Case For Gender Equality by Michael Bird
  • Neither Complementarian Nor Egalitarian by Michelle Lee Barnewall
  • Discovering Biblical Equality by by Ronald W. Pierce, Cynthia Long Westfall, & Christa L. McKirland
  • God’s Good Design by Claire Smith
  • Beyond Authority And Submission by Aimee Byrd & Rachel Green Miller
  • Worthy by Elyse Fitzpatrick & Eric Schumacher