Supporting Ministry Wives in London
More than 150 wives of pastors met in February for the annual London Ministry Wives Conference, including Bible teaching, seminars, and lots of encouragement.
The London Ministry Wives Conference has been running since 2006, originally set up by a group of FIEC pastors’ wives eager to offer support to one another. It has grown to include more than 150 women who are married to men who minister, or who are training for ministry, in an evangelical setting.
What a blessing this conference was! Many ministry wives gathered in London with an expectation of drawing into God’s presence and receiving encouragement from him through his word and his people.
Many came from within the M25, but some got up early to travel from places as far away as Gloucester, Swindon, Rugby, and Canterbury.
Debbie Hardyman was the main speaker: she has been a ministry wife for 23 of her 30 years of marriage to Julian, the senior pastor at Eden Baptist Church in Cambridge.
We appreciated Debbie’s freshness and frankness as she wove personal reflections into her Bible talks from 2 Corinthians 4 with the title 'We Do Not Lose Heart'.
Hearts, Minds, and Wills
Good Bible teaching shapes our hearts and our minds and impacts our wills. I was encouraged and challenged:
- It is a privilege to be a servant of God and to proclaim not myself but the Lord Jesus Christ;
- Jesus is the victorious one, who uses even our weakness to bring himself glory. No-one is too weak to be used by the Lord;
- Pray for the lost and share the gospel at every opportunity;
- Carve out time to contemplate Christ more and raise our gaze to see him;
- Value more and more the treasure of the gospel and the message of the cross;
- Be motivated in serving the Lord by the reality of heaven. We want others to be there too so press on despite the difficulties and challenges - looking to the unseen, the eternal;
- Finish well in Christian service – seek help from others to be what we should be.
We were also introduced to a memorable quote from the Victorian preacher Octavius Winslow:
One second of glory will extinguish a lifetime of suffering.
It was a joy to reflect on these glorious truths, as we talked through pre-prepared questions and prayed in groups.
There were four helpful seminars and I found the ‘Jealousy’ seminar very stimulating. When is jealousy wrong, and when is it right? What should I be jealous for? What should I rather ‘eagerly desire’? There was lots of food for thought.
The day did not disappoint: expectations in God’s goodness were met; we enjoyed great fellowship; there was well-led singing and super Bible teaching; plus some helpful book recommendations.
A big thank you is deserved to the planning team who are keen to facilitate ongoing opportunities for fellowship for ministry wives.
A day like this warms my heart and continues to be a focus of the work that Elisabeth Smyth and I are engaged in for women in ministry; whether they are women’s workers or ministry wives.