Monday, November 22, 2010
A Bottle of Water: Thankful for Southern Seminary and the W Conference
The truth is, I am so overwhelmed with thankfulness to God and to Southern Seminary for the W Conference that I can hardly find words. I suppose that is fitting for the Thanksgiving week that is upon us.
As you probably know, Southern Seminary hosted the inaugural W Conference this past weekend in Louisville, Kentucky. Approximately 300 mostly young women gathered and began with incredible, cause-you-to-be-hand-raising-and-charismatic-authentic worship with Heather Payne (formerly of Point of Grace). Her new CD, "Sweet Exchange" will take you straight to Jesus. Mary Kassian, our cute, distinguished, and soon-to-be-sky-diving professor helped us to understand the culture of women and drew us to sincere repentance for being drawn into it. In her dynamic and funky style, she led us right back to the Word of God where the answers were waiting for us.
As if that wasn't enough, our eight breakout leaders (all with Masters degrees, 7 grads from SBTS) were passionate about their subjects, professional in presentation, and sincerely touched the lives of our women by bringing the message home in application! Joy Fagan, Regina Gibson, Jennifer Lyell, Laura Reynolds, Torey Thompson, Lindsey Trent, Alicia Wong, and Kristin Yeldell were outstanding! All sessions will be online within a month or so at http://sbts.edu/events so you can listen for yourselves.
Our Masters students (those in class this semester) jumped in and absolutely pulled off all kinds of tasks and I heard rave reviews from many of how sharp our students are! They did the admissions booth, ministered to and befriended women and girls who came, greeted, prayed, served in the office, ran errands, and did a great job of filling in the gaps. All this with glowing smiles on their faces even after a long week of papers and long hours of class. I am so proud.
Our Ministry Team was suburb! Our Women's Ministry Institute (WMI), as well as other women's ministry leaders in the area, jumped in to hostess tables and create an atmosphere of loving community. They also prayed over the whole conference and were available in the prayer room, as well as conference room, to love on the many who made sincere decisions and commitments. Significant ministry took place and this team was the personal touch of the conference. I continue to be amazed at the gifts of women and especially these who gave of their time to minister to the younger ones. Numerous thanks go to Janice Seifrid, my associate, and Shy Rice, our WMI consultant who led these teams and certainly worked tireless for months in advance to make it all happen. I am so thankful for each one.
I am beside myself and thankful that I get to serve at Southern Seminary who believes in women enough to foot the bill for such an extravagant, incredible, ministry and gathering for women. Thanks go to Dr and Mrs Mohler, Dr Stinson, and others for believing in us! You can be sure that they love women and once again, have validated our woman-to-woman ministry. I can't believe they allow me to be there, pay the cost to get me there, let me serve and teach, and then still give the money and manpower for the W Conference. I am humbled to my face.
The Southern Seminary Events Team under the direction of Jeff Dalrymple, just blew us all away. Not only did they handle every logistical detail but they served with excellence and put on a seamless event. They stayed late and they served beyond the call. And the giveaways were awesome: books, ipod shuffle, cute W journals and pens, and more. Thanks to their team and to all the exhibitors!
Women came with significant needs and the issues they were dealing with would bring you to tears. I know they came because they are trying to figure out how to live like Christ in a world gone crazy. It was a seriously time of ministry as well as an awesome time of learning.
If all that wasn't enough, one of the memories that I walked away with was when Jeff (events) came and handed me a bottle of water. When I asked who it was for, he said it was for me. I almost lost it. It was just one of those moments that I was reminded of what servant leadership is all about - giving a bottle of water in Jesus name. There were plenty of people around helping me but more than anything, I was giving and pouring out on women. That one, unexpected action was just what we should all be about.
To whom are you giving a bottle of water? Let's see who needs us to serve them this Thanksgiving.
NOTE: There is a new W community of Southern Seminary Facebook page so please click the Like button. We would love for you to post your photos, comments, and ideas! We desire to do biblical womanhood together!