About 200 women gathered June 14 in Nashville for the SBC Women’s Leadership Network’s “Steadfast: Persevering Through Every Season of Leadership,” a panel of women leaders moderated by Jacki King, a women’s speaker and author from Arkansas.
“We are building a network to engage and support and it starts with meeting each other,” said Amy Whitfield, who is on the network’s steering committee and serves as associate vice president for convention communications for the Southern Baptist Convention.
While the network is not affiliated with the SBC, its design is to reach women of the convention.
The panel featured three leaders: Kathy Litton, director of planter spouse development at North American Mission Board and wife of Redemption Church, Mobile, pastor Ed Litton; Missie Branch, assistant dean of students to women and director of graduate life for Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina; and Susie Hawkins, author and wife of O.S. Hawkins, president of GuideStone Financial Resources.
“When I started this job, I wanted to prove I could do it,” Branch said. “I was just really trying to do it all myself.”
She said women should learn to give themselves permission to fail, using those experiences to learn. “I believe every woman is a leader,” she said.
Litton urged the women “to find what breathes life into you” and to not fall into the trap of using the Bible as a work tool.
“Everybody leaves somebody,” Hawkins said, encouraging women of children not to discount that leadership role.
The women encouraged pursuing education, either through a certificate program or theological education.
“Women, please see yourself as theologians,” Branch said. “See this season as preparation for the next one. Do not try to live outside of community.”