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Can an elder in a church be a woman?


An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe[b] and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. Titus 1:6-9
            While many women serve faithfully in the local churches, keeping those churches alive especially when the men fail to stand up, the role of the elder seems to point to male leadership.  The role as described by Paul in the book of Titus described the elder in a masculine form, calling that person a “man” and “the husband of one wife.” 
            In chapter 2 of Titus, Paul gave roles for the woman, older and younger, to fulfill which are very important in the health of the body of Christ.  Paul used very specific gender identifications for all these roles.
            Men also respond better to male leadership than to female leadership.  Women tend to respond to both quality male and female leadership.  This role of elder is not a role fit for many people and the qualifications are difficult for many men to achieve.