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Women’s Leadership Forum encourages leaders to serve their cities

Build houses and live in them, plant Gardens and eat their produce, find wives for yourself, have sons and daughters, create your family, multiply, find wives for your sons, and give your daughters to men in marriage so that they may bear sons and daughters, multiply there, do not decrease, pursue the well-being of the city I have deported you to. Pray to the Lord on its behalf, for when it thrives you will thrive” (Jer. 29:5-7).

The Women’s Leadership Forum at Tulsa (Midtown), thechurch.at on Sept. 23 began with Amy Cordova, Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) women’s missions and ministry specialist, emphasizing this passage of scripture.

Courtney Tice led women in a time of worship followed by Rachel Forrest, Jamy Fisher and Denise Lopez who spoke on topics including “His beautiful design,” “Intentionally Leading” and event planning.

Women meet in groups to brainstorm and discuss the application of topics covered during the forum.
Photos: Emily Howsden

Cordova explained the overall theme of women’s events, “Home” that will carry into the Women’s Retreat at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Centers in spring of 2018 saying, “Whether you’re in the city that you grew up in or not, God has planted you in that city, and you are to make your home there.”

This message was well received by women in leadership positions across Oklahoma Baptist churches who were in attendance to the Women’s Leadership Forum. Cordova said that many will rent a home in the city to which the Lord called them thinking, “We’ll see if we like this town or not; we’ll wait to hang things on the walls until we really settle.” Cordova continued saying that God is perhaps calling them to a place that is not their home, like he did the Israelites to Babylon.

Rachel Forrest of Bartlesville, Eastern Heights spoke on “God’s beautiful design for your life: How your salvation story, your spiritual gifts and your skill set uniquely qualify you to carry out the Great Commission.” Forrest is an eBook developer for Lifeway Christian Resources, wife to Ryan, worship pastor at Eastern Heights and mother of two children.

Forrest taught from the personal workbook section of the Women’s Missions and Ministry 2017-2018 resource planner workbook. She read Phil. 1:6 aloud, “I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

“Understanding your ‘giftedness’ for ministry starts here, with the work He began in you, your unique salvation story,” said Forrest.

Cordova encouraged leaders to brainstorm with their teammates and allow for creativity and freedom to express even far-fetched ideas. “The craziest idea might lead to your best idea. Allow the room to be filled with whatever you can do to reach people. Once you are done brainstorming, look at the ideas and find ways in which they can be applied,” she said.

Jamy Fisher spoke next about “Intentionally Leading.” Fisher leads the women’s ministry team at Shawnee, Immanuel, where her husband, Todd, is senior pastor. Fisher challenged women to “do something on purpose.” She highlighted two key points: first, redefine success as service (Mark 10:35); and second, lead from the end (Heb. 13:7). 

Fisher challenged women at the leadership forum to, “serve for the benefit of others, and serve so that you are completely consumed in the Lord’s will.”

Denise Lopez spoke about event planning. Lopez served in the local church for 24 years before the Lord called her to begin a non-profit ministry. Through Everyday Ministry, Lopez hosts women’s events across the country to fund missions internationally.

Lopez talked about the purpose of women’s ministry events, how a fresh and open approach is best, and most importantly, how the Lord can move through women’s ministry events when women intentionally spend, plan and pray over such gatherings.

Concluding the Women’s Leadership Forum, a panel of six Oklahoma Baptist leaders answered questions submitted to the women’s leadership team.

To access a calendar of Women’s events, view resources used at the Forum and more visit www.bgcowomen.org.

Emily Howsden

Author: Emily Howsden

Emily Howsden is a staff writer for the Baptist Messenger.

View more articles by Emily Howsden.

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