By Annie Lavi
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is hosting a women’s conference in just a few short weeks (March 20-21), and I have been counting down the days. Here’s a few reasons why I’m telling everyone I know to drop what they are doing and come to this weekend event.
1. The world is in desperate need of more examples of biblical women.
As various women’s movements scour the country with all of the positives and negatives that come with them, the women of the Church have an opportunity to be a clear-ringing, truth-telling voice amidst these developments. We have a chance to be a spirit of gentle meekness and reason in a world that is screaming for power, to be strong and feminine in a culture that assumes that what we really need is to be more like men.
If we want to be these biblical women the world lacks, we need to gather as a body to learn and have hard or challenging conversations in a safe space. The Cultivate Conference is a timely opportunity to come together and refocus, to ground ourselves in biblical teaching so we can winsomely speak and model truth.
2. The Church is crying out for whole-hearted, engaged, theologically-thinking women.
The Church needs women who are able to scour the Word, who are studied and can tell of the Gospel by engaging with the entire grand narrative of Scripture for the beautiful story it is. The Church needs women who light up Bible studies, who see and have a passion for the way the Word interacts with our daily life. And the Church needs women who can laugh and cry while they think critically about Scripture, not setting down their hearts or their heads, but interacting with both. We can strive to be women who are fully alive, willing to let themselves be convicted into action by the Word of Truth.
The line-up for teaching for this conference is fantastic, and includes women who already think in this manner: Jamie Ivey, Karen Ellis, and Rosaria Butterfield will be leading the charge, with J.D. Greear rounding out the team.
3. Our souls need other people to remind us that we aren’t alone in our mission.
Alongside the keynote teaching, the breakout sessions will be on more specific topics that are designed to send each of us back to our churches with practical knowledge and love for those around us. It can be too easy to forget that we are not alone in what we are passionate about, and sometimes, it takes a room full of other people saying, “I also care about discipling teenage girls” to be reminded of that. The church needs women who are passionate and capable when it comes to their own areas of ministry, and gathering in smaller contexts with women who share similar giftings can be exactly the encouragement that our souls need.
What are you looking forward to at the Cultivate conference? Share with us in the comments, and I hope to see you there!