Leadership breakfast encourages women to serve well in their mission field
January 19, 2017
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) and the North American Mission Board (NAMB) hosted a women’s leadership breakfast at the 2015 Southern Baptist Convention in Columbus, Ohio on June 17.
One hundred women with a variety of backgrounds attended the breakfast for a panel discussion about the importance of equipping women for leadership.
Lizette Beard, project manager at LifeWay Research and a Ph.D. student at Southeastern, moderated the panel. “One of the things we want to talk about are the opportunities for women to lead and the best place to do that in our comfort zone,” she said.
The main focus of the event was to begin the conversation of what it looks like for women to glorify God as they lead biblically in the 21st century.
Selma Wilson, vice president of organizational development at LifeWay Christian Resources, said, “I think this conversation is so good. One of the beautiful things about us in this room is that we are united in Christ.”
“Ladies we need to step up; the world needs Jesus,” Wilson emphasized. “We are the ladies for this time, and we have more opportunity than ever before; it is time.”
Kathy Litton leads NAMB’s national ministry for pastor’s wives and encouraged women to realize that “whether we like it or not” God has given women the opportunity to lead and have influential roles that impact others.
Elicia Horton, wife of D.A. Horton and mother of three, shared her story about how God led her to leverage her time in the secular workplace as a way to lead others to learn more about Christ. She invited her coworkers to pray in the break room and sought to encourage those around her.
“I was there, not to be a people pleaser but was there to serve the Lord,” Horton said. “When I understood that, work had more joy and purpose.”
Denise O’Donoghue, director of women’s life at SEBTS, spoke about leading a team in a corporate setting. “People would start to seek me out and ask questions about what it means to be a follower of Christ,” she said. “In that moment I became a leader for those seeking after Jesus.”
Wilson encouraged the women to have a personal development plan. “Know yourself, and then press forward in the giftedness and place God has you,” she said.
Women were challenged to leverage their testimonies for reaching others. The group also discussed the particular emotional intelligence of women and how it can be valuable in the home and the office.
“God redeems everything for his glory,” Wilson said. “I challenge you to step into that. It is an exciting time to see what the next decade holds for women as they step into new opportunities for Kingdom impact.”
Amy Thompson, director of corporate relations at LifeWay, attended the breakfast. “Good fellowship and a strong panel provided a fantastic atmosphere for this event,” she said. “I loved the range of experience and diversity of the panelists. Each lady brought unique insights into what it means to be a Christian woman in leadership.”
Amy Whitfield, director of communications at Southeastern, presented resources, opportunities and the benefits of pursuing biblical education and graduate degrees were presented. “We truly want to equip students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission,” she said.
SEBTS launched the Kingdom Diversity initiative in fall 2013. One of the aims of the Kingdom Diversity initiative at Southeastern is for the overall student body, faculty and staff to be 35 percent female by 2022.
Attendees received thirteen print and digital resources from SEBTS, NAMB and LifeWay to equip them to be better students of God’s word and to serve the Lord wherever they are.
To view video of the panel discussion, please click here.
To view photos from this event, please click here.