Women as Ministers
I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also. (Rom 16:1-2)
Paul referred to Phoebe as a servant (diakonos), a deacon and minister of the church in Cenchrea. The term diakonos in the New Testament is used for people in governmental authority (Rom 13:4), for the apostolic ministry of Paul (Eph 3:7, Col 1:23), for a servant-attitude service of a disciple (Matt 23:11), for deacons (1Tim 3:8), and for servants (Jn 2:5).
The context of Romans 16:1-2 indicates that Phoebe was a deaconess or a minister of the church in Cenchrea. She was to be received in a manner worthy of the saints, with respect. The next verse mentions Priscilla and
Aquila who are called fellow workers in Christ Jesus (v 3).
Women have an important role to play in the ministry of God's kingdom. As Phoebe and Priscilla, with her husband Aquila, were a great help to Paul and many others, similarly women can be a great help and play significant roles in the work of God. Along with her husband, a woman can be a great leader in the family of God because she is able to lead the women better. She can also be a great help in the ministry of hospitality and ministry among children. Many women have been great elders in the Church, guiding, helping, and encouraging young men and women in the faith of the Lord.