We read inspiring stories throughout the Bible of people like Job who experienced suffering yet came to experience God in a way they hadn’t known before. Or the Samaritan woman at the well who, after encountering Jesus, went home a forever-changed person committed to telling others about the Messiah. We too live in a day and time where pain threatens to outweigh hope and trials attempt to steal our joy. Yet God’s faithfulness remains. As Job said, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you” (Job 42:5). 

Everything we do at Western Seminary seeks to nurture gospel-centered transformation in the lives of others through encounters with Jesus that produce a renewed sense of awe in who He is. The Women’s Center for Ministry (WCM) shares in this same commitment. Every year, the WCM hosts two events called Revive and Ignite that desire to bring women from throughout the local region together to grow in their faith. Revive is hosted on two separate days at two unique locations, with one day held in Vancouver, Washington and another in Portland, Oregon. This year, 300 business, church and ministry leaders gathered together at the Revive event to be reminded of this year’s theme, the wonder of the gospel. 

Amanda Zentz, WCM administrative assistant offered this additional reflection, “I think the most impactful thing from this Revive event was being able to see so many different women come together and leave feeling spiritually refreshed. The fact that they are hungry for that, and want to come to an event like this, was really encouraging.”  

A trademark feature of both Revive and Ignite is their guest speakers, many of whom are Western Seminary alumni or current students. These women use their gifts, passions and callings to create biblical expositions on a topic consistent with the theme of each event. They are also passionate about spreading the love of Christ by sharing their knowledge, understanding and life experience with others.

WCM director, Phyllis Bennett, shared, “This theme was chosen because of our political climate, the hurricanes and fires, and just terrifying things that can make us feel like, ‘God are you not hearing us?’ As a group of women, we felt like we needed to go back to the wonder of how great our God is, and how sovereignly He is in charge, even when we face traumas. We wanted to return to the wonder of our first love that could lift us above what we see in the news.” 

Revive breakout sessions this year also focused on finding renewed wonder and astonishment in the unchanging character of God amidst the struggles we face in life. Women shared how to incorporate their faith in life’s rhythms of work, rest and play; furthermore, they learned what it looks like to grow through necessary endings, discovered how to build influential and healthy ministry teams, and remembered God’s unfailing love in an age of narcissism. This time together was a powerful reminder of the continued work God desires to do within each of us as we grow to become more like Him. 

Be sure to save the date for the upcoming one-day conference, Ignite the Wonder, at Greater Portland Bible Church in Portland, Oregon on Saturday, March 2, from 8:50 am – 4:15 pm. Ignite encourages women who attended Revive to invite their friends for a day of worship, Bible teaching, breakout sessions and more. To find more details and to register, please click here.

We hope to see you there! 

The Women’s Center for Ministry has a heartbeat that says, “We believe women will thrive as influencers when they value gospel-centered transformation; biblical excellence; gifts, passions and callings; strategic collaboration and mentoring; and Christ-centered worship and prayer.” If you are interested in learning more about the Women’s Center for Ministry and/or the Women’s Transformational Leadership Track at Western Seminary, please visit their website.