ROCKVILLE, Va. (BP) — “You’re either going to be fake or filled,” Southern Baptist Convention of Virginia executive director Brian Autry told women at the Connect Women’s Leadership Conference near Richmond, Va.
“No one wants a fake Christian leader,” Autry said. “Your pastors need mighty women of God” in church ministry.
The event Aug. 2-3 at the International Mission Board’s learning center, among many the SBC of Virginia holds to encourage and train women, included speakers and breakout sessions to encourage and challenge women in their homes, ministries and beyond.
Rhonda H. Kelley, adjunct professor of women’s ministry at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, was keynote speaker.
“I can’t serve until I’ve spent time in God’s presence,” Kelley said. “God created us equal to man in worth and value but different in our function and role.”
Featured speaker Mary Margaret West, a girls’ ministry specialist at LifeWay Christian Resources, reminded women of the importance of community and encouraged them to persevere.
“My dwelling place is with Jesus,” West said. “It doesn’t matter where I am physically. God is the only one who can see past today.”
Elizabeth Brinson, one of 132 attendees, said she appreciated West’s insight on discipleship.
“Being a mentor or disciple is simply inviting others into your life or home and letting them see how you live as a wife, mother and friend,” Brinson said she learned from West. “It’s leading by example. We can learn from each other how to live this Christian life well because we need each other!”
In a networking session, women forged connections for future collaboration and opportunities.