A note from Kelly King: Each month, we will feature a leader who ministers to women, either through the local church, a non-profit organization, or in the marketplace. In today’s Q&A, we’re featuring Debbie Stuart. Debbie has been a LifeWay trainer for many years. You can hear Debbie at You Lead on July 26, 2019 in Eugene, Oregon. For more information, click here.
Who has been most influential in your ministry leadership and how did they influence you?
A dear, trusted, spiritually enriching friend, Julie Choate, has mentored me for some 30 years. She walks with the Lord at a deep level and insists that I do the same. She asks me questions I don’t want to answer, and she can pick up my “attitude” in a text! That woman challenges me to keep growing spiritually (no excuses!). Even through some of the hardest times in my life, she helps me find the Lord, adjust my focus, and move forward in faith.
Recently, out of the painful experience of losing our granddaughter in utero, I said to her, ”What does the Lord want from me!?!” And she quietly said, “Darling, He doesn’t want anything FROM you; He wants something FOR you!”
In addition, I’ve learned from many leaders such as Elizabeth Elliot, Ann G. Lotz, Crawford Lorittis, and others who have mentored me through their messages and writings.
How do you practically spend time with the Lord each day? What is your normal practice?
I schedule it like I was scheduling heart surgery! Practically speaking, I get everything ready the night before so that I do not waste time looking/thinking about what I want to wear in the morning. (And on the days I get up and think “I don’t want to wear that” I say NO to the flesh and put it on anyway.) Once dressed, I grab my diet coke and breakfast bar and head to my study. It’s important to set up “a place” with the Lord, so TIME and PLACE will set you up for success. I also have girls in life consistently asking me “What did the Lord say this morning?” or “What’s God got ya working on?”
My challenge to women is “20 Minutes a Day for the Rest of Your Life.” Just start there.
What is your best piece of leadership advice to another women’s ministry leader?
Do not let sorrow hinder sowing. Difficulties in life and ministry do not disqualify you from ministry; they BETTER qualify you for ministry!
What is your current leadership struggle?
Women knowing God’s Word, sharing God’s Word, and practicing God’s Word (Ps. 119:34). Recent research reveals that our society is the most indebted, obese, depressed, medicated, addicted, incarcerated, violent, and biblically illiterate people that have ever lived. THAT HAPPENED ON MY WATCH! Somebody is not doing something right!
What “new” thing are you trying this year that is requiring faith?
Bible study groups that teach women how to feed themselves and share that “spiritual food” with others. I want to adjust focus and perspective so that “ministry events” are not just the same ole-same ole annual events where they get/do something that pleases them with all their friends. I want them to be an opportunity to stretch and grow them, fast track their spiritual growth, and launch them into true ministry.
Debbie serves as Director of Ministry Initiatives at Hope for the Heart and is a certified Life and Ministry Coach through AACC. She has served in Women’s Ministry for more than 25 years and has a wealth of ministry and leadership experience. She has served as Director of Church and Leadership Development for Women of Faith, and as Director of Women’s Ministry at Prestonwood Baptist Church for 10 years and Willow Point Baptist Church for 10 years.
Debbie is the author of 20 Minutes a Day for the Rest of Your Life and the sequel, 20 Lessons Learned from 20 Minutes a Day (available on EBay). She is a conference/retreat speaker and Bible teacher and current contributor/writer for WomensMinistryTool.net. She is the 2011 recipient of the “Shining Star” Award, recognizing Outstanding Women in Leadership as well as the 2015 “Woman of the Word” Award from Salem Communication.