When did co-pastor married couples become acceptable?

In 2007 Thabiti Anyabwile wrote:
It was once a rising trend. It’s now a model for ministry for significant numbers of churches and pastors. It simultaneously offers itself as an example of deep partnership between husbands and wives, and dismisses biblical instruction. What am I talking about? The widespread approach to pastoral ministry where a husband and a wife "co-pastor" a local church.
Co-pastoring in this case refers to churches where the male pastor and his wife are listed as equal pastors of the flock. Since that article above was written ten years ago, co-ed co-pastors are touted as something acceptable - desirable even.

These two are not married but are in a co-ed, egalitarian pastorate

Not just co-pastor, but co-SENIOR pastor. Bobbie loves them titles.

V. Osteen: co-pastoring, which dilutes her motherly duties, is not a good trade.

This article is from Christianity Today. No wonder
the magazine's nickname is 'Christianity Astray'

I remember the Presidential election of 1992. Bill Clinton was running. His wife is Hillary Clinton. Clinton used to brag that "America was getting two for the price of one."
It was during the 1992 presidential campaign that Arkansas governor Bill Clinton — the nation's first baby-boomer presidential candidate, running against President George H. W. Bush — used the phrase "two for the price of one." This twofer concept was Clinton’s quaint way of bragging (to the delight of feminists) that his wife, Hillary, an accomplished corporate lawyer and fellow Yale Law School graduate, was going to play a major role in his administration well beyond that of a traditional First Lady. (National Review)
How did that work out for them? Hillary led a Health Care Reform that crashed spectacularly and she was publicly humiliated. Then Whitewater Scandal happened and things got worse.
From the moment she dazzled Capitol Hill last autumn ('In future the President will be known as your husband,' Dan Rostenkowski, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, gushed at one appearance) Hillary has been her plan's most potent weapon. No longer. In Washington more than anywhere, vulnerability equals weakness. Today Hillary Clinton is vulnerable; so, therefore, is Bill Clinton. 'Two for the price of one' has turned from blessing into curse. (The Independent UK, 1994
America was not impressed with the twofer Presidency. Even less so, are Christians impressed with a twofer pastorate.

Simply put, the Bible forbids women preaching. Church teaching is meant for the men to perform. The leading is to be done by the men.

I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. (1 Timothy 2:12).

Elders/overseers/pastors are to be "above reproach", and "a man". (Titus 1:5-8).

Installing a "twofer" pastorate, whether both are paid or not, formal or informal, defacto or explicit, is unbiblical.

At a recent Grace Community Church Q&A a man asked John MacArthur,

"Would you ever allow your wife to preach?"


  1. Thank you for sharing this post. I've been watching this "phenomenon" play out and have found it very perplexing.

    Perhaps you can clarify something for me. I believe that the Bible teaches that pastors and overseers in the church should only be men. Since women cannot hold leadership roles in the church, are we to say that all women need to submit to all men? This is something that I have been trying to wrap my head around for a long time. In the church, do men submit to women? How can we demonstrate that although the roles of men and women in the church (and the home) are very different, we are equal in value in the sight of God?

    Any thoughts you can share would be much appreciated. Thank you.

  2. Hello Cortez Family,

    Thank you for reading the piece. To answer your question, women are to submit to their husbands.

    Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. (Eph 5:22)

    All church members are to submit to their overseers.

    Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. (Heb 13:17)

    We are all to submit to God.

    Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 5:7.

    We all have to submit to government. Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Pet. 2:13-17

    Women do not have to submit to random males.

    We believers are all of equal value in the sight of God, whether we are male or female. This value is from above, it is not attached to any man made standards of who has what role. We do not have to demonstrate this love, God already has.

    “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27).

    “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

  3. What of Joel 2:28-29?

  4. In light of women not being allowed by scripture to hold any leadership roles, are there any specific examples you can give me of men submitting to women in the church?

    1. I don't understand your question. Can you elaborate please?


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