Competence and Confidence

Last week I was speaking to a group and was asked what were some highlights of my ministry life.  One of the greatest highlights for me occurred 6 years ago this month.

The Global Women's Leadership Forum invited 450 staff women from 90 nations to Chiang Mai, Thailand to talk about being leaders in launching spiritual movements everywhere.  This gathering far exceeded our expectations, hopes and dreams. God showed up in such a big way!What made it so special? Certainly there is no one contributor, but I believe there are reasons God extended His blessing.First, this Forum was covered in prayer. For a year before the Forum, people were praying over every detail, and two dozen women actually went to Thailand just to pray. The dependence on the Lord that that expressed surely pleased Him.Second, I believe God was pleased with our objectives. He loves to affirm His children, and our first intention was to affirm our staff women in their inherent value, ability, giftedness and crucial contribution as leaders in building movements everywhere and in shaping the future direction of our ministry. One of the most common comments I heard was that the women felt so affirmed and valued.God is also committed to seeing all His children grow into the full likeness of the Lord Jesus and to fully develop and use the gifts and abilities He has given them. At the Forum we focused on helping the women grow in their character, their confidence and their capacity as leaders. So I think what was happening in the lives of the delegates made God smile.I also believe most of the women came with attitudes that honored God. They came in humility, hope and expectation. They were amazed at meeting their sisters from around the world and bonded with them quickly. They loved seeing and hearing the joys and struggles of staff members in such different circumstances.Finally, I know that God rejoiced at the sense of worship that pervaded the entire week. The music in many languages was the worship focus--we learned a song in a different language each day--but the entire Forum seemed worshipful to me. We thought, "Wow! Why do I get to be a part of this? What a privilege! God, you are so good. Thank You for loving me in this way!"We wanted this very special experience to not belong exclusively to those who attended.  Rather, it was our prayer that the fresh wind of the Holy Spirit would blow that around the world and touch every one of our staff women, enabling us to live a worshipful life, humbly dependent on God. We also desired that each of us would grow in confidence and competence as we sought to become the women God created us to be and accomplish all He has given us to do.That has been happening.  Further development and training for our women has covered every part of the globe.  We have seen the fireseeds of spiritual multiplication spreading and igniting fires of hope, competence and confidence in the hearts and minds of our women everywhere.c Judy Douglass