“The elder to the elect kuria and her children, whom I love in truth…”
2 John 1:1

We don’t know her real name, but this Kyria was obviously a woman of great influence for John to take the time to write encouraging her in her leadership role and telling her of his determination to visit so they could talk face to face. His greeting is very telling. He doesn’t use the normal word for ‘woman’ (gune) as he greets her but calls her the ‘chosen Kuria’ or ‘the elect Lady’.

According to the Strongs Concordance, Kuria (Strongs #2959) is the Greek female form of Kurios (Strongs #2962) meaning supreme in authority, respectful title – master/sir. The word comes from Kuriotes (Strongs #2963) meaning mastery, ruler, government, dominion. John was not mistaken in his address; he made it clear that this woman had been specifically selected to lead the congregation he was writing to. He makes a point of calling her ‘chosen leader’, showing that by whatever currently accepted processes, she had been specifically chosen above all others to lead that church.

Throughout the Bible we see several women who have been chosen by God to lead. Detractors of women in ministry at times refer to these female leaders as ‘exceptions to the rule’ but there are so many of them scattered through the Old and New Testaments, as well as throughout Church history, that any discerning student of the Bible can’t help but conclude that there cannot be deemed to be a ‘rule’. God anoints and appoints people to lead; He doesn’t forget his own rule and gift and call a woman to lead by accident.

I remember a situation in which a male leader suddenly left his home and his pastoral position, never to return. His wife, though devastated at her own circumstances, was left holding the church. The network they belonged to didn’t feel it was right for a woman to lead, but despite their determined efforts no male leader was found to replace her.  Rather than close the church, they finally decided to allow her to remain in the role that circumstances had so rudely placed her in, but because of their firm conviction that eldership is a male role (because God is a Father not a Mother (!) don’t you know) they made the bizarre decision to solve the problem by changing her title from Lead Elder to Team Leader. Perhaps they never read Shakespeare and had not grasped that a rose by any other name is still… well… a rose. By that same token, this elder or team leader, or whatever title they bestowed on her, was still the leader of the church, by their choosing. She has continued to lead her church effectively in the years since fate … and God… put her in that position, and she is to be celebrated for her faithfulness.

The Kyria team don’t feel Kyria’s purpose is to rehash the same old ground of whether or not women ought to be allowed to lead in church contexts; obviously, we think it’s sensible to do whatever God calls us to do, which may include leading. We identify with Peter’s statement – Acts 4:19,20 Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard. When God calls and anoints a person to lead, preach, prophesy, or any other task, the one who is called does far better to obey God rather than the traditions or doctrines of others.

Kyria’s purpose is to be a network comprising of women leaders and those who support us. We want to encourage each other, provide a platform for development of leadership skills and giftings, give opportunities for peer mentoring, and host conferences and smaller events in which women leaders and those aspiring to that role can be effectively catered for.

Please feel free to join us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and get involved in the conversations. If you’re a writer who cares about women leaders, if you’re passionate about moving in the freedom to lead as God has called you to, we invite you to submit articles for our Blog.

Our vision is for the empowerment of women in leadership, be it in Church or as a carrier of the Kingdom into your own sphere of influence. There are far more women leaders out there than many people realise and, as the old saying goes, there’s strength in unity.

We’d love you to join us on this fantastic, exhilarating and amazing journey. Please hang out with us and let us know you’re in!