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First Lifeway Women event of 2023 equips women to mature their faith

Priscilla Shirer reminds more than 2,400 women of what it takes to grow in spiritual maturity at “Going Beyond Live” in Hendersonville, Tenn., with Lifeway Women. | Photo by Kate Neelly

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. – More than 2,400 women filled Long Hollow Baptist Church for “Going Beyond Live” with Priscilla Shirer, the first Lifeway Women event of the year.

The sold-out event, held Feb. 25, 2023, in Hendersonville, attracted women from all walks of life and all backgrounds. But as they gathered for this event, they came expectant, united because of the God they came to worship. As Shirer said, this event gathered women from across lines that would normally divide them.

Women laid their written prayer requests on the steps on the stage, submitting them to God at “Going Beyond Live” in Hendersonville, Tenn., with Lifeway Women | Photo by Kate Neelly

“‘Going Beyond Live’ is an event that will encourage and equip every woman, no matter the stage of her faith,” said Becky Loyd, director of Lifeway Women. “God uses the worship with Anthony Evans and the band, Priscilla’s spirit-led teaching and strategic and specific prayer opportunities to pursue the heart of every woman in the room.”

Shirer’s teaching sessions focused on 2 Peter 1:1-8, 12-13. As she addressed a room filled with women who live in “the Bible belt,” Shirer joined the apostle Peter in reminding believers of truths they already know but that are foundational for their growth as followers of Christ.

Shirer reminded women of the need to nurture the seed of faith in their lives. “Peter calls us to some maturity today,” she said. She asked women to consider whether they’ve been doing all the “church things” without actually growing their faith.

“The spiritual growth we need requires some sweat equity,” Shirer said. “The enemy is preying on lazy Christianity. He wants to make sure you’re too busy and too disengaged to water your faith.”

Faith supplements

Over two sessions, Shirer unpacked Peter’s teaching on faith supplements. She said the seven “vitamin supplements” to the seed of the divine nature in us – moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love – aren’t flashy, but Peter uses them to bring us back to the fundamentals.

She taught women that moral excellence (or virtue) is when something fulfills its purpose for existence. “With all our diversity of interest, talent and skill, we were all intended for the same purpose: to be a billboard for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31), Shirer said. “If you do those things for the glory of God, you are in God’s will for your life.”

Shirer told women that the knowledge Peter called believers to supplement their faith with is an intimate knowledge of Jesus Christ that comes from walking through hard circumstances and seeing God’s goodness and faithfulness first hand in their lives.

She explained godliness as an alertness to God’s presence – not so we live in fear of Him, but so that we live in awe of who He is.

“I want to live in a way that honors Him because I know His eyes are on me,” Shirer said. “For the believer, every aspect of our lives is sacred.”

As she walked women through each of the supplements Peter lays out in his letter, she gave women a vision for what it could look like to supplement their faith with these seven “vitamins” in order to grow up in the faith.

Growing in Bible study and prayer

Women gathered to pray with friends and strangers, lifting their requests to God at “Going Beyond Live” in Hendersonville, Tenn., with Lifeway Women | Photo by Kate Neelly

In another session, Shirer spent time equipping women with tools to study the Bible on their own. “We have to know God, and we know Him through His Word,” she said. She encouraged women that no matter what it may look like in their current season of life, God invites them into His presence to commune with Him.

She told women they couldn’t rely solely on times of corporate gatherings to grow their walk with God and shared with them five principles she uses to know God through His Word.

Shirer also reminded women of the power of prayer and how prayer is one way God invites people into His presence. She invited those in attendance to join her in asking God to work miracles.

“We have the ability to take every request to God. Nothing is too small or too big,” Shirer said.

Women filled the front of the room laying their written prayer requests on the steps of the stage and bowing before the Lord in prayer. Later, as Shirer led the women in corporate prayer, women throughout the room stood to give testimony to the ways God has answered prayers in their pasts and women gathered with friends and strangers to pray for one another and lift their requests to God.

As women left the event, they received a written prayer request from a sister in the room and committed to praying for that person and that need for the next seven days.

Marked for transformation

“It’s exciting to start out the year with a sold-out event,” Loyd said. “Our team has planned more events across the country featuring many incredible Bible teachers to minister to women. We do events like ‘Going Beyond Live’ to give women opportunities to take time away from their day-to-day lives and spend time with God and each other.”

At “Going Beyond Live,” women sat under Shirer’s teaching, gained Bible study tools, worshiped with worship leader Anthony Evans, experienced powerful group prayer, gave generously to Grace Place Ministry and fellowshipped with other believers. In all these things, Shirer challenged women to take the necessary steps to grow in their walk of faith and leave the event changed.

“This whole day was supposed to be about God marking us for change, for transformation,” Shirer said.

“God is calling women to lead, teach and minister to others in all types of environments,” Loyd said. “At Lifeway Women, we want to be a part of encouraging and equipping women as they respond to God’s call on their lives. Events are an important part of our work because they allow our team and our authors to minister face-to-face to the women we serve.”

To learn more about upcoming Lifeway Women events, including “Going Beyond Live,” visit:Lifeway.com.