By Joy Allmond
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The COVID-19 pandemic may have forced physical gatherings around the globe to cancel for the foreseeable future, but Lifeway Christian Resources is doubling down on their efforts to connect women through the gospel.
This fall, Lifeway Women will convert three major scheduled events—Lifeway Women Live Simulcast (Aug. 8), Cultivate Online (Sept. 12) and Living Proof Live Simulcast with Beth Moore (Oct. 10)—into virtual events that will likely engage more women than would have been possible through the physical gatherings.
“Women are naturally inclined toward being together, sharing thoughts and ideas, and gaining emotional support and encouragement through gatherings,” said Betsy Langmade, Lifeway’s manager of adult events.
“Much, if not all, of this type of connection has evaporated during these past few months. And women are frustrated, fearful, feel powerless, and unable to find their footing in the chaos.”
Lifeway Women Live will feature key Lifeway women’s authors and Bible teachers: Priscilla Shirer, Jackie Hill Perry, Beth Moore, Angie Smith, Jennifer Roithschild, Kelly Minter, Kristi McLelland and Jen Wilkin.
“More than ever, we miss our face-to-face interactions,” said Texas-based Wilkin, author of multiple books and Bible studies. “These virtual events give us a way to connect during a time when feelings of isolation are at an all-time high. They remind us of the beauty of being part of the body of Christ, and they reconnect us to our shared vision of the gospel.”
Cultivate Online with Kelly Minter, the first of its kind, will feature Bible teaching from the author and artist, acoustic worship music, individual and corporate prayer times, and a focus on missions.
“I like to say that Cultivate is ‘biblically focused’ and ‘stylistically simple,’” said Minter. “We intentionally stick to the pure basics of God’s Word, worship, prayer and mission, but we strive to do it in a way that’s beautiful and accessible. Many are in desperate situations and my heart is for women to experience Christ in the middle of their daily circumstances.”
The October Living Proof Simulcast with Beth Moore continues a longstanding tradition of annual virtual events; the inaugural Living Proof Live simulcast was in 2003.
The pricing structure will make these fall digital events available to individuals or churches that desire to facilitate community among local women, be it digitally or in physical gatherings (with proper distancing and safety guidelines in place).
Churches can purchase a $600 license for Lifeway Women Live and Living Proof Simulcast and a $400 license for Cultivate Online. Churches licenses allow for churches to host unlimited in-person attendees or 30 digitally (20 digitally for Cultivate Online).
Small groups and individuals may purchase access to each event for $20. Visit the Lifeway Women digital events page to get more details about hosting, accessing and more benefits of a simulcast license.
“Churches, even with all of the current restrictions, can provide ministry to women by encouraging them to gather around the Word with other women, even if that delivery is on a screen,” said Langmade.
“With some simple organization and investment, churches can lean into the needs of women by providing access to Bible study in a group setting online with trusted Bible teachers. Lifeway is honored to continue to serve women during these uncertain times.”
Darilynn Keith, Lifeway’s digital event coordinator, said that while the Church is best gathered in person, the age of technology will usher in new opportunities to make a global impact for the gospel—and this means having a sharper focus on digital events, even beyond COVID-19.
“We see digital events being a way forward no matter the climate of the pandemic,” said Keith. “It’s more than likely churches will be expected to offer a digital alternative to all in-person gatherings. This new option gives them a way to share the gospel and encourage discussion surrounding God’s Word in a setting comfortable enough for women who may not ever step foot into a church building.”
Joy Allmond is a writer for Lifeway Christian Resources.