|An icon of Deborah,|
the ancient prophetess, warrior,
and judge (leader)
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.