Women of Faith

A week or so ago, I traveled to Dallas, Texas for the Women of Faith Conference.

Women of Faith is a division of Thomas Nelson and so it was essentially a work trip. And candidly, without my connection to Thomas Nelson, I probably wouldn’t have attended a Women of Faith conference.

You see I don’t typically enjoy being in extremely large groups of women, and that is what this is, a group of 16,000 women to be specific. (I know its weird, but sometimes lot and lots of women in a confined space make me feel overwhelmed and not in a good way.)

WOF_Dallas_7952

Not attending Women of Faith would have been a big mistake because Women of Faith should not be missed. Here’s why:

  1. Mary Graham and her team know how to produce an event. For fifteen hours you can sit in a chair and be totally and completely entertained. There is literally never a dull moment.
  2. Mandisa rocks and Allison Allen will have you rolling.
  3. The speakers – Sheila Walsh, Marilyn Meberg, Patsy Clairmont, Stephen Curtis Chapman, Rich Stearns, Lisa Whelchel, Sandi Patty, and Luci Swindoll – each have a unique message that needs to be heard. (And not those “this is what good Christians do” messages, but rather messages with authentic, and sometimes uproariously funny, storytelling and refreshing honesty.)
  4. Women of Faith will remind you of the incredible power of laughter. Nothing heals our soul quite like it. And I know that I for one don’t laugh enough. (I would venture to say that there is not a cynic alive who could attend Women of Faith without busting out in uncontrollable fits of it at least a time or two.)
  5. Each of the women on the “porch” represent what many of us are striving to be. They are strong, real, dependable, engaging, transparent, funny, and uplifting. Although their paths have not been easy, they forge on with confidence, grace, and faith.

Don’t take my word for it, you should check out the Women of Faith conference. Check it out even if (actually especially if) you think you are too young, too old, too tired, too busy, or too cool. This event has the potential to surprise you. Here is the complete 2009 schedule.

Have you been to a Women of Faith conference? What was your experience?

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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dogs Molly and Maisy, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club. She spends her days (and some nights) laboring to end childhood hunger at Feed the Children and to gather, equip and unleash women at IF:Gathering.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • I've only been to one WOF event and that was at least four or five years ago, and I only went to the first night. I did not *love* it. Perhaps it was amazing the 2nd day or perhaps it was my attitude. I don't know.

    Like you pointed out, I also don't enjoy being in large groups of women, and 16,000 is just overwhelming! Add to that I don't consider myself a "true" girl. (meaning I'm the furthest thing from girly a person can get! No make up, hair not perfect, I've never been to a spa, never a pedicure and had my nails done only for my wedding day 15 years ago) I don't watch chick flicks….. I just feel a bit atypical than the average woman and as such don't "get" some of the jokes, etc. You tweeted that you were doing Captivating as a bible study. Yeah, that was a tough study for me to do as I just did not identify with the writing. I never desired to be a princess. Even the cover art to that book turned me off. (and I won't address all the content that I did not like!)

    Don't get me wrong, I have a good group of women friends that put up with me and whom I love, but I do tend to be very uncomfortable around "real" women. I suppose underneath the make up and nail polish we share more in common than I know but I just in some ways look at real women in awe. It's so bad that I'm seriously rethinking if I truly desire to attend my own church's women's retreat coming up.

    I just don't fit in.

    • @torybee, I completely understand where you are coming from but don't for one second think you you are not a "real" woman. One of the things I appreciated about this conference (and perhaps this has changed since you attended several years ago) was the variety of voices represented.

      It was interesting, some friends and I discussed our favorite moments and speakers after the event and we all had different favorites. Something/someone uniquely resonated with each of us.

      But again, I get where you are. And there is nothing worse than feeling like you are surrounded by a boatload of people and you don't fit in.

      • Thanks Lindsey, and I know you are right. From your tweets, @recreate and @spencesmith's I got the feeling that it was a pretty special conference and knowing that a few GUYS went and were impacted yet they MUST have felt a bit our of place made me realize that my own fears and attitude is wrong. From the tweets I actually thought I'd perhaps even like some of the speakers. One of you tweeted a quote by Mother Teresa stating the "Pencil in the hand of God" quote and I had just read that in The Hole in The Gospel, and then the next tweet I read said the author of that book was the speaker.
        Next time WoF comes around I'll definitely look into going and making it fun by adding a few of my friends. I'm surprised my church never promoted it. (They promoted a Beth Moore Conference but there wasn't much interest)
        I thank you for your encouragement.

  • Amy Fry

    Lindsey,
    Awesome post-and Spence will have a completely different view cuz he's a guy. My experience was similar to yours. IF we'd been sitting up in the middle of the crowd, and there were 16,000 in Spokane too, I may have felt a bit overwhelmed – for a while. Luckily, my Pastor's wife got us tickets in the second row across from "the porch" so we were almost front and center.
    No matter WHAT seat you sit in, I think any woman, Christian or not, should attend a WoF conference. Tremendously uplifting even when tears are pouring down your face at some of the stories. Truly I learned, again, the healing power of our Lord, in His use of these brave, grace-filled women, bringing us their stories amid those tears and so much laughter, praise, and worship.

  • I am headed to WOF in December. I have never been to one but am really looking forward to it!!

    Great review!

  • So glad you experienced it Lindsey! I was a skeptic when I first took the job… I, too, am a self-proclaimed "Women's Event Avoider". And I have to say… I still get an estrogen overload from time to time when working the event. But every one of those ladies (and occasional gentleman) are the real deal. I love being there… week after week.

    If you ever want to come work at the World Vision table with me – just let me know! It'll change your life as well…
    Deb
    ps… just added you to my personal blog roll

    • @Debbie Next time I want to come and work the WorldVision table with you. Talk about a rewarding way to spend a weekend. Got my sponsorship packet yesterday for the little girl I sponsored while in Dallas. So fun!

      And I'm adding you to my blogroll too!

  • Sounds fantastic! I would love to go. Looks like I missed the one closest to me (Atlanta). Next one is in Greensboro, which is a bit of a drive. Hmm? Either some strategic planning is required on my part…or I might be waiting until next year! Either way, I will be sure to get there!

    • @Chrystie I have thrown around the idea of going to Greensboro with my sister. Not sure if we can work it out. But how fun would that be!

  • I'm no girly girl, but there's nothing like the WoF experience. You don't have to be coifed, manicured and pedicured to praise God in an arena filled with women of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, needs, etc. It felt like we were all called there to experience what we needed to experience and it was truly a blessing. Nice summary here.

    • @Fran I loved just sitting in my seat and looking at the crowd. No two of us were the same. Pretty amazing.

  • I have to admit.
    I was scared.
    And a little cynical.
    But wow.
    Even Chris said he got goosebumps in the first couple of hours.
    I was won over.
    Far, far over.

    • @flowerdust Glad you enjoyed it. I loved getting to know you a little bettr. I want to hear more about your experience sometime. I think there are so many women (like you and I admittedly) who would never register because of fear, cynicism, etc. And they would be won over too!