The nexus between church and gender

Understanding headship as servanthood


  • Angeline Savala Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology



Interface between the Bible and ideas about gender and church mission work in Africa is a phenomenon that calls for discussion within theological forums. Despite both men and women being active in church activities, the early church depicts men as being at the forefront while women quietly participated. Concerning the missionary era, men publicly were the leaders as women followed or privately served as the personal assistant or as administrators. In addition, looking now at the contemporary church, in the traditional (orthodox) churches, the so-called historical or mainstream churches, men take the top leadership roles while women deputize them. However, this position is being challenged by the new religious movements and Christian ministries movements where women are usurping the top leadership positions. This paper therefore seeks to paint a seemingly more balanced account of gender roles that would benefit men and women alike by exploring historical and theological leadership roles and gender in the church.






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