The challenge of Gunaikōn Diakoniōn (women ministering) in luke 8:1-3 to the Christ Apostolic Church, Delta state
The study interpreted Luke 8:1-3 with a particular focus on ministry ofwomen in the New Testament Era. It examined women service in the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) in Delta State of Nigeria. Furthermore, it contextualized the services of women in the Gospel of Luke in the CAC in Delta State. This was with a view to orienting the society on the concept of women ministry in the church. The study employed both primary and secondary sources of data collection. The primary source comprised of the Greek text of Luke 8:1-3, which was analyzed into phrases, keywords and interpreted with the aid of Bible Dictionaries, Commentaries, and Greek Lexicons. Furthermore, unstructured interviews with the representatives of CAC in Delta State were conducted. The selected respondents were drawn from the nine divisions of the church in the Delta State, which is made up of five Zones and the four Districts Coordinating Councils (DCC) of CAC in Delta State. They included the nine DCC/Zone’s Superintendents and the nine CAC Good Women leaders of the four DCCs and five Zones. In addition, interviews were conducted with nine respondents from among Pastors, Deaconesses, Midwives and female members of CAC Youth Fellowship (CACYOF), one each from of the nine DCCs/Zones. The selection of these respondents was aimed at eliciting opinions from the leaders of CAC in Delta State and the various women segments. The secondary sources comprised books, journal articles and the Internet. The data collected were subjected to critical analysis using hermeneutic approach. The results showed that women served Jesus Christ and his team with their substances. These services included ministering with their material possessions and spiritual gifts. On the local scene, CAC women in Delta State are involved in all the units of the church. They have financial obligation towards periodic distributions of food items to their pastors, besides their pastors’ statutory salaries. The study also found out that, individually and collectively, the women served as evangelists, prophetesses, teachers and church planters. Owing to the marginalization of female ministers, several such as Lady Evangelist Bola Odeleke had left CAC to found their own denominations. Furthermore, the study discovered that, in collaboration with their fellow women from other States, CAC women also employed their material possessions in the construction of hostel facilities at CAC Prayer Camp, a bakery at Joseph Ayo Babalola University. Western education and enlightenment had assisted in enlarging the scope of women inCAC in Delta State. The study concluded that it is pertinent to bear in mind the interest of all the church ministers since the growth of the CAC in Delta has been credited to the efforts of men and women. This church authority should organized programmes that will enhance the development of its female ministers to match female peers in other denominations.