Why I Value Female Ministry and Leadership

An icon of Deborah,
the ancient prophetess, warrior,
and judge (leader)
While many in the church still believe and teach that the Bible forbids women from preaching and leading in the church (and often, by extension, in home and society), I value female ministry and leadership as much or more today than ever...for many, many reasons, too numerous to mention. But I will try.

I value female ministry and leadership, first and foremost, because I am utterly convinced that the Bible teaches and portrays its value. Over and over again. Even in the New Testament passages that are routinely used to support and advance patriarchal values. I am thoroughly persuaded by the cogent, thorough scholarship in such works as this article by N. T. Wright and the Grenz and Kjesbo book, Women in the Church: A Biblical Theology of Women in Ministry.

I also value female ministry and leadership because I have profited firsthand from it, in my reading (from Catherine Booth and Phoebe Palmer to Barbara Brown Taylor and Rachel Held Evans), among others; in my childhood and youth (from such women of God as Helen Bender, Arvilla Hostetler, June Rader, etc.); and in my long and winding adulthood (Heather Zempel, Liz Curtis Higgs, Virelle Kidder, etc.).

I have also witnessed firsthand the immense gifts (and often needed balance) women have brought to church teams I have led, to the point that I truly believe all-male church leadership teams are sure to be far more prone to error (see the video at this link for more on this point).

And, not least of all, I value female ministry and leadership because of my wife, daughter, and daughter-in-law. I know these women. They possess incredible gifts that can and should be used accordingly in the church, family, and society. Not to allow them full freedom to do so would be a sin against them, against those they could influence, and against God himself.


  1. Thank you for the honestly and straightforward treatment. Funny thing--when our senior pastor was handing out the preaching schedule for the summer (we are going through 1 Corinthians) he gave me 1 Cor 14--entirely by accident. I will gratefully use the NT Wright article!

  2. By accident, Jill? :) I know what you mean. So glad you liked and commented on the post.