HOUSTON – She’s done the Bible studies, so what’s next?
It’s time to live out of the abundance.
A new event from Lifeway Women called Abundance made its debut recently at Champion Forest Baptist Church in Houston.
“We have hosted many events for women like Living Proof Live with Beth Moore and Going Beyond with Priscilla Shirer, and women love that, but we wanted to offer something new, something different,” said Betsy Langmade, a women’s event coordinator at Lifeway Christian Resources.
Conference participant Donna Winstone from Houston said getting to meet the authors and hear them speak in person made the Bible studies they had written mean even more to her.
“I was really glad to hear Kelly Minter since our group had done her Nehemiah study,” she said. “Now I really look forward to doing some of these other studies from the women I heard speak.”
In addition to hearing from Bible study authors and musical guests, women were given the opportunity to learn about local and global mission opportunities.
Featured speakers at the March 23-24 Houston event included Lifeway authors Angela Thomas, Jennifer Rothschild, Kelly Minter and Tammie Head. Travis Cottrell and CeCe Winans led worship and Lisa Harper, known to many in the women’s ministry world for her time as women’s ministry director for Focus on the Family, emceed the event.
“We were enormously blessed to be able to have CeCe Winans as the musical guest at this first Abundance event,” Langmade said. “Her talent and passion for Jesus is just unbelievable. At future Abundance events our special musical guests will be equally amazing. We will have Mandisa, Sara Groves, Laura Story, Brandon Heath, and Anthony Evans.”
Authors featured in upcoming Abundance events in Minneapolis, Minn., Atlanta, and Greensboro, N.C., will include Vicki Courtney, Angie Smith and Mary Kassian, Langmade said.
“About 80 percent of the women who do our Lifeway-produced Bible studies never get the chance to meet the authors,” Langmade said. “Abundance is part of a bigger strategy that lets the authors and teachers have a platform to interact with the women who know them through their studies.”
Kelly Minter, author of the Lifeway study titled Nehemiah, reminded the women that God sent Nehemiah to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, not build it from scratch.
“Building isn’t that hard, but rebuilding is tough,” she said. “The difference in building and rebuilding is that with rebuilding, you have to deal with all the rubble. To rebuild – whether it’s a wall or a woman – you have to deal with a lot of stuff.”
Angela Thomas, author of the study Brave, spoke on weariness.
“There is no plateau we can ever reach where we won’t be tired,” she said. “But while we will always be tired, we have to remember that God never gets tired. God is not some grandpa who needs a nap in His La-Z-Boy so he can be a better God. He doesn’t slumber or sleep. He doesn’t need to. There is nothing He can – or needs – to do to be a better God.”
Tammie Head, a new Lifeway author from Houston, has written Duty or Delight. She reminded the women that God is the only One who deserves to receive our glory.
“Your struggle each day is who is going to be the recipient of your glory,” she said. “The enemy wants to receive your glory. But, only God deserves your glory. He is the only One worthy.”
Jennifer Rothschild, author of Me, Myself and Lies, closed the Abundance event speaking from Habakkuk.
“It’s in the time when you are really beaten down and don’t have any answers that God can use you for His purposes,” she said, using a biblical metaphor of when the figs don’t blossom and the olive crop fails.
During a low point in her own life she said she realized “I wanted God to need me more than I needed Him. I didn’t want to be like the broken man in the Good Samaritan story. I finally realized that God doesn’t need me at all, but I constantly need Him.”
Lifeway Women will host two more Abundance events this year: June 20-21 in Atlanta and Nov. 30-Dec. 1 in Greenville, S.C. Go to Lifeway.com/Abundance to find out details, including scheduled speakers and musical guests.
by Polly House, Communications Department