Model constitution

My question concerns women serving in the church. The WELS model constitution cites Acts 6:1-6 as the scriptural support for choosing church officers and board/committee members. Verse 6:3 reads "Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom." Is Paul endorsing the women's participation in a role of leadership by helping choose the deacons? If so, why doesn't that apply to women's roles in the church of today? Also, they are to choose men. Does being a man fall under the phrase "with like qualifications?" I doubt the people who wrote the model constitution ever envisioned the issue of women serving would be the issue it has become, which leads me to my next question. It is perhaps best suited for the Synod parliamentarian. I believe the authors' intent in the sections concerning councils and boards etc. was to limit the positions to men. How does Synod interpret the model constitution concerning this matter? I realize the COP is working on new model constitutions addressing women's proper role concerning service in the church. I look forward to reading the Bible study they are putting together for approval at next summer's Synod convention. However, I would appreciate clarification concerning the document currently in use. Thanks!

The current WELS Model Constitution simply references Acts 6:1-6 without including the text. The verse you cited and quoted does illustrate how some Bible translations like the New International Version moved from a translation of “brothers” (1984 edition) to “brothers and sisters” (2011 edition).

The significance of Acts 6:3-5 is that the apostles delegated the selection of the seven men to the congregation in Jerusalem. As with any congregational matter, the church would have addressed this situation with the roles of men and women in mind.

For an answer to how the Synod interprets “the model constitution regarding this matter,” I would refer you to the “In the Church” section of the “Man and Woman Roles” doctrinal statement. This link will take you to that statement.

Finally, do be aware that the Conference of Presidents is not “working on new model constitutions addressing women’s proper role concerning service in the church.” What the Conference of Presidents is working on is an updated statement and accompanying Bible study on the roles of men and women. The October 15, 2019 Together newsletter provided information on those materials.