Passion and mentoring highlighted at leadership breakfast
January 19, 2017
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) and the North American Mission Board (NAMB) partnered together for the second year to host a women’s leadership breakfast on June 15, 2016, during the Southern Baptist Convention’s Annual Meeting in St. Louis, Missouri.
More than 130 women from various ministry and vocational backgrounds attended the breakfast to hear discussions on issues in ministry leadership.
Director of Women’s Life and Assistant Professor of Ministry to Women at SEBTS, Denise O’Donoghue, introduced the two speakers.
Communications Consultant Kathy Sharp spoke on using passion to fuel ministry. “Passion is the wellspring of creativity and ever-present source of hope,” said Sharp. “Passion is a gift that makes the ordinary leader extraordinary.”
Sharp encouraged listeners that the key to finding their calling was to understand how God has gifted them. “Your calling and purpose is what God created you to be. God created you with your own unique passion and purpose in life. You don’t have to go looking for it. All you have to do is uncover it,” Sharp said.
Sharp has a long history in leadership, missions and communications. She previously served as a missionary with the International Mission Board (IMB) in Spain and Brazil, later becoming the director of publishing for the IMB. She has worked with Lifeway Christian Resources in various roles and she is the former director of communications at Saddleback Church and Purpose Driven Ministries.
She encouraged listeners to hone in on their passions that God has given them to create change in the world. “When all is chaos and grief, passion is the small glimmer of light that becomes a beacon,” she said. “Passion is the spark that allows us to speak with clarity and confidence the gospel message, and that’s what this broken world so desperately needs to hear.”
Author and Co-founder of Leadership LINKS, Inc., Natasha Sistrunk Robinson encouraged listeners to be good leaders by becoming mentors. Speaking on topics from her newest book, “Mentor for Life,” Robinson said that a critical need in the church is mentorship, especially for women.
“Making disciples is a critical need for today’s church, and my hope, my passion is that we as followers of Christ would have a sense of urgency, commitment and passion and that we would take it upon ourselves to get the training we need and train others,” said Robinson.
Robinson has held leadership roles as a Captain the U.S. Marines and the Director of Finance and Administration for the Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate. She currently writes regularly on her blog, “A Sista’s Journey,” while serving her community advocating against human trafficking and raising up leaders of the next generation.
According to Robinson, in order for women to grow in spiritual maturity and become good leaders, they need proper training and mentorship from other women. If not, many women won’t meet their potential.
“What women need are intimate, honest and helpful relationships,” Robinson said. “If we as a body of Christ don’t step up to meet these needs, then we’re leaving all these women on the sidelines and they quit on life.”
Robinson said that at some point in every woman’s life, she becomes a mentor. It is never too late to start investing in the lives of other women.
“If you care about having a Kingdom impact, if you care about leaving a legacy, be a mentor,” Robinson said as she closed.
Following these discussions, Kathy Litton, national consultant for ministry to pastor’s wives at NAMB, led a question and answer session with Sharp and Robinson where attendees could ask questions related to leadership and ministry.