I just returned from the Wesleyan Women’s Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. The theme verse for ALIVE 2015 was, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5).
I was one of a handful of “dudes” there. Many asked me if I was uncomfortable being there with those women. Every time, I responded, “Absolutely not. It is my privilege to be here.” In fact, my opening remarks to the conference on the first night were: “I love Wesleyan Women!” It’s true. I love my mother and my wife, who are both counted as Wesleyan women.
And I was reminded about other things I love about Wesleyan women while in attendance at ALIVE.
I love when people have a desire to meet with Jesus. It was obvious that this topic was prayed about beforehand. These types of events are usually coupled with the anticipation that everyone there will have an opportunity to meet with Christ through the presence of the Holy Spirit.
I love good preaching and teaching. The women who spoke and taught both in the main sessions and Life Track seminars were powerful proclaimers of the Word of the Lord!
I love it when the body of Christ comes together. Young and old, north and south, east and west–women traveled to Nashville, Tenn.; Tucson, Ariz.; Milton, Penn.; and Tampa, Fla. A couple dozen rode a bus from Toronto, some women driving hours to get to the actual bus in Toronto. A bus full of women from West Michigan District also attended. Another 30 women flew to Nashville from Dallas. Two women came from Europe, while another two attended from Africa. And many, many more attended from across the United States and Canada. More than 700 women assembled in Nashville and another couple hundred gathered across satellite campuses.
Many were able to catch up. Many more prayed for each other. At one point all of the women were invited to join hands during the close of a rally. I took it as a general invitation, joined hands with the women next to me and worshipped alongside them.
I love when thousands go back home and live life for Jesus on a daily basis. I could go into all kinds of stories here, but the one that meant the most to me was when one of the ALIVE attendees whom I had not previously met said, “I’m going home to reconcile with my husband and ask Jesus to restore my marriage.” Now that is true life from what many, no doubt, thought was ultimate death in a relationship.
Stay ALIVE. Honor the Lord. You are more than you know you are in Jesus!
Jim Dunn is executive director of Church Multiplication and Discipleship for The Wesleyan Church.