Beliefs, Affirmations, and Application

Beliefs

We believe . . . 

Women and men are created equal in worth and value by God.

Women and men are created in and express the image of God. This expression contains both sameness in common humanity and also distinctiveness in unique femininity and masculinity.

Both women and men are equally commanded and called to rule and subdue, love God and others, and go and make disciples of all nations.

The fulfillment of these major purposes is at the core of every believer’s heart and is accomplished by the embracing of women’s and men’s equal and valued contributions, as well as distinctions in roles and gifting.

The Triune Godhead is the supreme model of oneness in relationships which are equal in value, unique in role, clear in authority, and unified in purpose.

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The general biblical examples of leadership are assigned by God primarily to men, with some notable exceptions.

Spiritual gifts are given apart from gender distinctions and are to be used for the edification of the body in biblically appropriate roles and offices.

The role of elder (including the senior pastor and any other pastoral positions which serve as elders) in a local church is given by God to men for the primary purposes of shepherding, overseeing, and teaching the community of believers.

Headship in marriage is a position given by God to men for the primary purposes of overall responsibility, sacrificial love, humble understanding, and ultimately being a Christ-like catalyst, thus painting an important picture of Christ’s headship of the church.

A husband’s headship is to be a safe covering for his wife in which she can flourish and grow in character, ministry, and the expression of her gifts and abilities.

Unmarried women should flourish under the covering, care, and guidance of godly elders in a local assembly of believers or godly leaders in the para-church context.

Affirmations

We affirm . . . 

The women of Cadence have incredible value, worth, and esteem to the mission and its leadership.

The women of Cadence offer an immeasurable contribution to the purposes of Cadence and its unique role in fulfilling the Great Commission.

The women of Cadence will be treated with honor, dignity, and respect at all times by all members.

The women of Cadence have vital and wise counsel regarding the purposes, direction, vision, health, and administration of Cadence, and mission leadership needs this counsel on a regular and consistent basis in order to lead effectively.

The needs, gifting, abilities, and professional development of Cadence women will be given equal consideration and attention as that of the Cadence men. This consideration will begin with recruiting, be incorporated into training, and remain a vital element throughout a woman’s missionary career.

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Any attitudes of condescension or disrespect toward the women of Cadence will be confronted, exposed, and dealt with strongly.

The mission will endeavor to use the gifts and insights of our women and will intentionally and consistently seek their contribution and collaboration.

Husbands who are either abdicating or misusing their God-given headship will be confronted, counseled, and encouraged to more deeply love and lead their wives.

Special consideration and care will be given to the shepherding and covering of the mission’s single women.

Policy Application

Based on these beliefs and affirmations, we acknowledge the following applications and parameters: 

Having affirmed male headship of the home and male eldership of the church, Cadence staff will work within a Complementarian framework as it relates to the expression of the spiritual gifts both men and women possess.

Some holding to the Complementarian position believe God equally gifts both men and women but assigns the teaching of the Scriptures to mixed groups to men only in most, if not all, contexts. Others holding this position believe the Bible permits women to teach men in some limited contexts under the headship of appropriate biblical authority (a women’s husband, the elders of a church, or mission leadership serving in a capacity akin to eldership).

Related to spiritual authority, some holding to the Complementarian position believe the Bible assigns this authority over men to men in all cases. Others holding this position believe the Bible permits women to exercise this authority over men in some contexts in a limited capacity as long as that responsibility is not primarily that of an elder or in a capacity akin to eldership.

For the purposes of this document and policy, Cadence defines the Complementarian position as within the parameters identified and defined in points 1-3 above.

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Cadence missionaries will be permitted to hold and practice any position within the Complementarian framework as described and defined in the above four points without being required to subscribe to the others.

Although Cadence International is not a local church, leadership will exercise wisdom and discernment in applying local church principles carefully, faithfully, and appropriately to the para-church context. Thoughtful and prayerful applications of biblical principles to the mission’s unique contexts and roles will be exercised.

Because the Cadence leadership team primarily functions as an Elder Council for the mission, the roles of this team will be reserved for men. These roles include, but are not necessarily limited to, the President, Vice Presidents, Field Leaders, and any such role where the person primarily shepherds, teaches, and provides spiritual oversight to both men and women on a consistent basis.

Other leadership roles which do not primarily carry the responsibilities of an elder will be open to both qualified women and men. (For example – Director of Communications, Director of Finance, Director of Women’s Ministries, Director of Information and Technology)

Women may serve on the Cadence Board of Directors, as this entity primarily executes legal and administrative functions in fulfillment of the IRS requirements for a nonprofit corporation.

The chairman of the board of Cadence will be a man.

Field ministries which contain numerous local church elements and are in many ways modeling the local church for that specific community of believers will be led and shepherded by a man and either primarily or exclusively taught by a man. These include, but are not necessarily limited to, Hospitality House ministries, Servicemen’s Center ministries, and Retreat ministries.

In the aforementioned ministries, wives of husbands in these locations will be recognized and honored as vital and valued partners of that ministry, while serving under the loving headship of her husband.

Husbands and wives as well as single men and women in Cadence ministries will have the freedom to lead and teach in their ministries according to their biblical convictions, so long as they fall within the parameters and principles of the stated Women in Ministry beliefs, affirmations, and applications.

Ministries to children and youth are not defined as containing the primary elements of a local church, but are rather specialized ministries of the local body of believers (chapel) and may therefore be led and taught by either qualified men or women.

Because the youth ministry community leadership position carries numerous responsibilities of an elder in that community, this role will be reserved for men.

Field leadership and human resource department leadership must be willing to accept and work with those under their care who hold a version of the Complementarian position as defined in points one through four of these applications.

Mission leadership will endeavor to align field assignments so that local team entities will contain personnel with the same or similar beliefs on this matter.

Women who desire a role of behind the scenes service will be honored and valued as equals to those who do have teaching and/or specific leadership gifting.

Both husbands and wives will be developed and enabled in their ministry partnership. The mission will also continue to strongly support specialized ministries to women by women and to men by men.

Field leadership and staff will work together to make appropriate and wise decisions regarding ministry and leadership based on these beliefs and affirmations, but which may not be covered in these applications.

Current mission members who do not hold to the aforementioned stated beliefs and affirmations may remain in Cadence under the guidelines expressed in the Women in Ministry applications and parameters.

The Women’s Advisory Council will become a standing and permanent council working alongside the Director of Women’s Member Care and the Director of Single Women’s Field Ministries to provide input and insight on a consistent basis for headquarters and field leadership.

With these beliefs, affirmations, and applications in mind and heart, we will move forward together as men and women courageously seeking to advance the gospel and fulfill the Great Commission in the military communities of the United States and of the world.

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