UM graduates start organization to foster talks about women, work

Courtney Moore is a stay-at-home mom with three kids. Born and raised in Tallassee, she’s a University of Mobile (UM) grad with a seminary degree in biblical counseling.

And as her husband, Brent, serves as pastor of adult groups at Pinelake Church in Jackson, Mississippi, Moore has wrestled lately with how to best harness her gifts for God’s glory in this season.

“I wanted to be a good steward of the education He had given me,” Moore said.

So she decided that as she worked through what that should look like, she would start a group where other women could get together and talk about these kinds of issues too.

The organization, called Women & Work: Stepping into Kingdom Productivity, held its first event at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting June 12 in Dallas.

The event — a panel discussion — featured Kelly King, women’s ministry specialist for LifeWay Christian Resources; Amy Whitfield, director of marketing and communications at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina; Lauren Green McAfee, corporate ambassador for Hobby Lobby; and Mary Wiley, LifeWay Christian Resources marketing strategist for women’s books.

“We want to see you flourish and honor God in the workplace,” Moore told the crowd gathered for the event. “We want to foster conversation — how do we do this? If you have kids, if you don’t have kids — what does this look like?”

Wiley, a UM graduate who helped Moore start Women & Work, said, “As a mom of two toddlers, work looks different than it did just three years ago. My job hasn’t changed, but I’m now constantly reminded of the need for my work to matter and to leave a faithful legacy.”

She said she is “so thankful we don’t work like the world, but are invited to join God in what He is doing and use our gifts for His glory, making even the seemingly most mundane work eternally valuable.”

King encouraged those present to pray for friendships where women could cheer each other on in the gifting and assignment God has given them. Each mom has to follow in what God has for her right then and not compare herself to — nor judge — others, she said.

Whitfield agreed. “We have to be present in where we are,” she said. “God has a purpose for this season; we have to make the most of it. He has given us this context and this story — how can we use it to glorify Him?”

During the panel the women also talked about how it’s healthy to set good boundaries and say “no” to good things so that they can do the best things. Accountability and community are some of those “best” things, they said.

King said she can’t emphasize enough the importance of women being influential right where they are. “Do the thing that God has put right in front of you.”

She said one illustration she heard earlier this year and loved was that when Jethro was telling Moses to divide the people and delegate leadership, he didn’t need many people to be leaders of thousands — he needed a lot of people to be leaders of 10.

“That’s what we need — we need a lot of people to be leaders of 10,” King said. “What you’re doing in building the Kingdom happens in your local church, it happens in your neighborhood, it happens in your home when you’re raising your children. That looks different for every woman, but look at the women that God has put in your life, whether it’s one or five or 50.”

For more information or to connect with Women & Work on social media, visit (TAB)