Encouraging and Equipping Women for Ministry

Encouraging and Equipping Women for Ministry (Thrive 2022)

Women in ministry from across Britain gathered to share experiences, encourage one another, and be equipped for gospel work in the local church.

I had the joy of being encouraged by my church to go along to FIEC’s Thrive conference for women in ministry back in May this year. As someone new to my role as a Women’s Worker, the thought of meeting with those who had trod the path longer really excited me.

Before I had even arrived, I’d kicked off those connections as I shared a lift with some other women – we had the chance to exchange something of who we are and our expectations en route. When we arrived, we were warmly welcomed: both by the incredible weather and surroundings, but especially by the staff and other attendees.

This hospitality toward one another was an undercurrent of the conference, with plenty of time to spend with each other: both in learning and singing but also reflecting in groups and eating together. The genuine care and interest shown along with the willingness to share wisdom and laugh together was so refreshing.

The structured time to reflect on what we were learning, coupled with the thoughtful session on bullet journaling, were a good spur to remember the value of planning time out regularly to reflect on what God is teaching, challenging, and leading me in.

The variety of sessions were good too. I found the exposition from Carolyn Lacey on the book of Jude challenging and strengthening. The words called, loved, and kept have been a prompt in the days and weeks since to recall what we were taught: our security in Christ and the immutability of God and his plans even in the challenging nature of what we may see around us.

We also had a really encouraging session on evangelism by Rachel Sloan, reminding us of the joy of mission and the call to see it as an integral part of who we are - both individually and as a church together. We considered how we can fuel our delight in Jesus while connecting with those around us in day-to-day life.

The last item on the programme, from Adrian Reynolds in Ephesians, felt like a fitting end to the conference. Having been eager to glean wisdom from and get to know other sisters in Christ at Thrive, it was good to be reminded of all the blessings we already have together in Christ, fixed in the heavenly realms for his glory.

All being well, I’m hoping that next year will be another opportunity to share, encourage and be equipped at Thrive.

Next year’s Thrive conference is from 22 - 24 May 2023, at The Hayes, Swanwick, in Derbyshire.

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