NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Deeper Still ended with number 10.
From first to last, the consistency of the events never wavered. Each one featured Kay Arthur, Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer — three of the most notable Bible teachers in the realm of women’s ministry. Each one featured Travis Cottrell ushering the women into God’s presence through musical worship.
The format worked. And so, to paraphrase the expression, it wasn’t broken, so they didn’t fix it.
The Lifeway Women’s area hosted 10 Deeper Still events from San Francisco in 2007 until this last one June 10-11, 2011, at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky.
The three headliners welcomed more than 8,000 women to the event.
Shirer spoke first, saying, “I do not believe that it is any accident that we are doing this last Deeper Still event in a place called Freedom Hall. Girls, we are proclaiming our freedom here and now!”
Arthur added, “Precious one, your shackles can come off tonight here in this place — in Freedom Hall — and you can be set free.”
“We have had such a great time doing Deeper Still these past five years,” said Moore. “Taking the platform with these two dear, dear women has been a privilege.”
Shirer said, “We have gone across generational lines, across denominational lines, across racial lines. We have cast off everything that divides us.”
Giving Arthur a hug, Moore said, “Just so you will know, we are not confused about who the matriarch is on this stage. It is Kay Arthur!”
Arthur was the first of the three women to have teaching time.
Her time included the intense study of the Scriptures that has made her well known through her Precepts ministry.
“God gave us 66 books of the Bible,” she said. “How many of them do you think He expects us to know? Sixty-six!”
Stressing that according to Scripture, Jesus died for those who were and are unlovable and ungodly, Arthur said, “God first loved us; we did not love Him first. We were unlovable and ungodly. We were unable to love Him first.”
Thus, as a believer who has experienced God’s salvation, “If I am filled with the love of God and I know God loves me, I am not needy. If I am not needy, I can go out and meet the needs of others.”
“Sisters, we have been freed from the curse of sin,” Shirer said. “But we have things that God has given us – good things, things we enjoy – that have spiraled out of control. Things like ministry, work, food and even Starbucks. Any of these things can enslave us.
“Anything we have been given by God to enjoy, when it gets out of control, can cause chaos, catastrophe and disaster in our lives.”
She reminded the women to take time to celebrate God’s provision of a day of rest.
“We don’t have to do everything all the time,” she said. “God will provide what we need, but we have to stop and rest to see it.
“I don’t have to waste time trying to be God when there’s already a God who is really good at being who He is.”
During her platform time, Moore spoke of God’s work through generations.
The ministry that one generation does can have a major impact on subsequent generations.
“God may make a promise to you that will only be fulfilled in your grandchildren,” she said. “Now that I’m a grandmother, I say, ‘Do it, Lord. Do it.'”
Moore said that her prayer is that with each generation, God will increase His anointing.
“You may come from a long line of faith,” she said. “You may be the beneficiary of a faith legacy, but if you are the first one in your family to accept Christ, you begin that line. You be the first where your children and grandchildren can look back and say that it started with you.”
“People have asked us why there won’t be anymore Deeper Still events,” said Paige Greene, director of Lifeway’s women’s events area. “All I can say is that we just felt like the time was right to end these events and move to others. It was just a leading of the Holy Spirit.”
The events have an admirable history.
In five years, there have been 10 events in nine states. More than 110,000 women have attended, with Nashville, Tenn., alone hosting more than 20,000.
Greene assured the women attending Deeper Still they will still have opportunities for gathering. Lifeway Women will host two new events.
On Sept. 23-24, 2011, .MOM (pronounced dot mom) will debut in Birmingham, Ala. The event, designed for mothers of all ages, will feature authors Priscilla Shirer, Angela Thomas, Vicki Courtney, Angie Smith and others.
A new event for 2012 will be Abundance featuring authors Tammie Head, Angela Thomas, Vicki Courtney, Kelly Minter and others.
by Polly House, Communications Department