Women’s Leadership Breakfast discusses missional legacy

INDIANAPOLIS (BP) — A Women’s Leadership Breakfast hosted by Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) centered on cultivating a missional legacy of discipleship in all walks of life June 12 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis.

“We want people to be encouraged when they come to the Women’s Leadership Breakfast,” said Candi Powers, women’s life coordinator at Southeastern. “You’re not alone when you’re out there doing ministry in your church, and we want to support you in what you’re doing.”

The heart and purpose behind the breakfast, Powers said, was “to have a place for women who are leading in their local churches in different contexts to be equipped and encouraged and to have fellowship with other ladies.”

Panel speakers included Donna Gaines, pastor’s wife and editor of “A Daily Women’s Devotional”; Kelly King, author and women’s minister at Quail Springs Baptist Church in Oklahoma; and Michelle Chitwood, wife of International Mission Board (IMB) President Paul Chitwood.

Speaking from years of ministry and discipleship experience, Gaines, Chitwood and King delved into the heart of what it means to live with missional intentionality in one’s personal context.

“I want to encourage you, as women, to serve where God places you,” Gaines said. “You don’t have to have a title or position to serve. Anybody can serve. And if you will serve humbly, God will put you in places of influence and leadership if you will just trust Him to do that.”

King encouraged women to live their lives wholeheartedly for God, trusting Him to use their conversations and relationships for His kingdom. 

“Part of that missional mindset is live your life for the Lord each day. Invest in personal relationships because that’s where missions happens,” King said.

Gaines, Chitwood and King shared about personal experiences with discipleship and what it looks like practically to mentor young women and pour into others’ lives in the day-to-day.

Reflecting on a letter she received from a girl she had discipled years ago, Chitwood shared about the impact made in her own life by women who similarly poured into her at a young age. 

Discipleship, for the three speakers, took place in mundane but intentional ways as women sought the Lord together, eager to know and love Him more and to invest that love in younger believers.

“Be that woman,” Gaines said, “who walks so intimately with Jesus that He can entrust you with His Word, with His heart, with His passion, and He can commission you to literally change the world for Him.”

Powers mentioned the opportunities and resources available at Southeastern for women who have a desire to be theologically and academically equipped, whether through something as accessible as a certificate or as rigorous as a doctoral degree.

Women left the leadership breakfast encouraged to live their lives missionally, seeking discipleship in their personal relationships and the kingdom in their everyday interactions.

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