Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) hosted its annual Women’s Leadership Breakfast with a guest speaker Jen Wilkins June 15 at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in Anaheim, California. This year’s breakfast focused on the importance and discipline of personal Bible study.
“As the world rapidly changes around us, it is essential that Christians be spiritually grounded, especially Christian women in a society where our femininity is being redefined over and over again,” said Missie Branch, Assistant Dean of Women’s Students and Director of Alumni Life at SEBTS. “Jen has given us a payload regarding the practicality and value of personal Bible study for the maturing believer to protect against the attacks of enemies on the truth.”
Wilkin began by acknowledging her appreciation for the leadership of SEBTS and celebrating how SEBTS prioritizes equipping women to be true to God’s word and mission. “Whenever I get the chance to partner with Southeastern, I always say yes,” Wilkin said.
Encouraging women to embrace and use their gifts in community, Wilkin reminded attendees that God designed their gifts as essential to building up the Church. “God doesn’t give nice but unnecessary gifts,” Wilkin said. “Your donations are essential. The work of the Church is not without men and women working together.
Wilkin observed how teaching on women’s Bible study singularly focuses on the emotions and fails to engage the mind with the vastness of God’s word and character. Wilkin noted that while this trend is dismal, it can be reversed. “Too often, I think women have been disciplined into a faith on a feeling level,” Wilkin said. “However, the heart cannot love what the mind does not know. … The right thought fuels the right feeling. The statement ‘to know me is to love me’ is never truer than it is about God.
Advocating for women to keep their minds engaged and work hard when studying God’s word, Wilkin encouraged attendees to read the Bible as a revelation from God toward fellowship and deep delight in God. “What we want to teach people to desire is the God the Bible proclaims,” Wilkin said. “Discipline is not dead; it just follows the most compelling message. Oblige them.
As the pressures of life, the responsibilities of work and family, and the challenges of making disciples dominate the heart and mind, the Christian woman must not neglect fellowship with God in his word. “You won’t have the fuel you need to lead for the long haul if you aren’t dug into the scriptures,” Wilkin said, reminding attendees not only to persevere in the hard work of personal study of the Bible, but also to call other women. do the same with a burning desire for God.
“The Southeast Women’s Breakfast is my favorite event at SBC every year,” said Kristal Wilson, events director at SEBTS. “I love to see the ladies gather together early in the morning to cheer each other on and fellowship. It’s a beautiful sight. This year, with so many people in our culture who have been misled by false gospels, we have wanted to bring our ladies back to the basics of loving and studying the infallible word inspired by God. We were grateful to have such a gifted teacher like Jen Wilkin explain to us the importance and practice of personal Bible study. .
To learn more about how SEBTS equips and mobilizes women, visit here.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Chad Burchett is a writer for the SEBTS communications office.)