A Testimony from the National Minister’s Wives Luncheon at the SBC Annual Meeting

By Debi Cline, Georgetown Southern Baptist Church

 

There was joy in the room, as we all gathered to encourage, support, and laugh with ministry wives from so many places in our nation. At the SBC Minister’s Wives Luncheon in Indianapolis, we could see hundreds of tables filled with women in a spacious ballroom and know that we were not alone in ministry. We sang to the Lord, wonderfully led by Sarah Scarborough, and enjoyed praising our Lord together. We ate delicious food, and then were fed from God’s Word through a message from Jacki C. King, who as a minister’s wife, could speak to what things that many of us needed to be reminded of concerning God’s love towards us. While we were filled with food and the Word, the atmosphere was filled with hope and joy. The luncheon was a packed house of over 1,700 women, who faithfully serve in their part of this world, often walking difficult paths and feeling alone in the ministry. However, for a brief time, we were able to connect and share a time of encouraging each other.  We are women who serve beside our husbands, but we are not small in number, and we are loved by God.

Psalms 136:1 “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” (ESV). This was a recurring theme at the Luncheon. It isn’t a secret that ministry life is a hard road at times, but we can rest in the promise of God’s goodness and love, as it will indeed endure forever.  Jacki King led us through this reading together, so that we could see the overarching love of God and find strength and comfort in that promise. It was a beautiful sound of voices ringing out those words from scripture, reminding us of the enduring love of our Lord God.

As I sat in my chair at a table filled with ladies from all over Indiana, I was reminded that we are not alone. The joy of the Lord is our strength, but the time spent with women who walk similar paths, is such as encouragement. As we ended in a final song, I noticed tears in the eyes of one lady at my table, as she was so moved by the speaker. I also noticed so many women reaching out to hug someone next to them, and smiles filled the room. As women, we were able to laugh, cry, smile, and sing all during lunch, knowing that this time together will be short, but so important.

I truly am thankful for the leadership of Autumn Wall, Tami Hubler, and the other ministry wives who pitched in to make this luncheon happen. It isn’t a small endeavor to feed a thousand women or more, and I know the planning of this event was a time-consuming task, and I really hope they know how much ministry wives appreciate this special time together. There were so many hands that helped, as a mission team made centerpieces, numerous people showed up to help with set up and clean up, and many sponsors supported the event. It was my first Ministry Wives Luncheon at the Convention, but hopefully, it will not be my last. One thing I have come to realize is that we need to spend time together, encouraging each other to continue on, and know that God really does have great plans for us. It wasn’t just a luncheon or an event, but rather a moment in time to bond together and show our solidarity as ministry wives. May we all continue in His grace, knowing that “His steadfast love endures forever.”