Ask author and speaker Esther Burroughs to describe mentoring and she’ll tell you it can be described in one word—friendship. It was this basis that laid the foundation of the recent Ministry Wives Weekend held October 7-8 at Oklahoma City, Southern Hills.
More than 175 ministry wives from across the state gathered for a weekend of encouragement as they explored the theme, “A Garden Path to Mentoring.” Burroughs was the keynote speaker for the event.
“Esther is a seasoned ministry wife who not only encouraged our ministry wives, but challenged them in their personal walk with the Lord,” said Kelly King, BGCO Women’s Specialist.
In addition to Burroughs, women had the opportunity to develop friendships through small-group interaction. “Our desire is that our small group leaders will continue to nurture relationships throughout the year and become prayer partners with one another,” said King.
Jenni Langley, wife of Jason Langley Falls Creek Conference Centers Director, was one of the women in the small groups.
“I enjoyed being put in a group where we can make new friends all across the state and across ministry roles,” Langley said. “It was fun to see what we had in common and to encourage each other. I’m looking forward to spending time getting to know each lady more this year.”
The event began with a pre-conference option featuring Heather Duncan and sisters Leah and Lauren Palmer. The Palmers own the floral company, The Wild Mother, and showed women how to include flowers into their everyday life. Duncan shared her practical experience of raising an urban garden and the spiritual lessons she has learned in the process. “I love how Heather shared that her grandmother’s love for gardening was the inspiration for her own desire to garden,” said King.
Nick and Jaime Parker, owners of BA Restored and Restore House in Broken Arrow were featured speakers early Friday evening. The Parkers shared their experience of being asked to film a pilot for television, much like the popular show, “Fixer Upper.” After months of filming and personal sacrifice, they shared how the network suddenly decided to go a different direction, but how they saw God accomplish His purpose even in the midst of their disappointment.
“I was absolutely transported during Nick and Jamie’s session on Friday. They were so engaging and funny, and I earnestly wanted their story to be on TV. I’m convinced God isn’t finished with their story,” Langley said.
Registration for the event also included a chance to win a custom farm table made by Nick Parker. Roberta Benedict, a ministry wife from Altus, Martha Road won the table.
The highlight of Saturday morning was a panel discussion of ministry wives who answered questions from those who attended. Ministry wives Lana Melton, Julie Dilbeck, Amy Cordova and Raylee Butler all shared from their personal journeys and experiences in ministry.
“This was the best Ministry Wives retreat I’ve been to, I made some sweet friendships and learned so much,” Langley said.
As King’s final event with the BGCO, ministry wives ended the event with a time of prayer for her next journey. “I have always been humbled to work with such wonderful ministry wives in our state,” said King. “They have offered their friendship and encouragement on many days and I’m very grateful for their investment in our congregations.”