When BookSneeze chose me as one of the bloggers to attend this year’s Women of Faith in September, 2011, I wanted to do more than just tweet about it or write the minimum two blogs. I wanted to fill my blog for a month with Women of Faith stories, speaker interviews, and encouragement. It thrilled me when some of the speakers responded positively.
You can listen to Andy Andrews Vlog here. Phoenix Woman allowed me to reprint Brenda Warner’s magazine article here. You can also view reposts from Women of Faith, and true stories from regular Women of Faith attendees here. The one story I chased throughout this whole process was in tracking down the founder of Women of Faith, Stephen Arterburn. I wanted to find out why he started Women of Faith.
First, I sent an inquiry to Thomas-Nelson Live Events. They said, “Steve Arterburn originally created Women of Faith, but you’d have to ask him for details as to why; they’re not part of our corporate history. We do know he told our original speakers “Make ‘em laugh” so humor has always been an important part of the mix.”
It thrilled me this past week to exchange tweets with Mr. Arterburn. He graciously responded to my question and said, “In 1995 Promise Keepers was going strong and no one was doing anything for women who had been keeping their promises. I had produced Women’s seminars in the 80s and felt Gods nudge that I could do it even though I was in the midst of a 12-city touring seminar that was a dismal failure. The goal was simply to encourage women with a great experience they could safely invite non-Christians to. It was not me but God using me that produced a movement that has lasted over 15 years involving over 4,000,000 women. What a privilege to be part of it all!”
Mr. Arterburn also made mention of Women of Faith at the end of his new book, The Encounter and said, “It was something I needed to understand early in life. And I have watched as it has played out in my life. Early on in college I paid for an abortion, but over the years God has used me to raise millions of dollars for pregnancy and women’s centers by speaking at hundreds of fundraisers. My past with women was not very pretty. I had objectified them, just as many men from my background do, making women out to be a little less than men. But in spite of that God allowed me to create and start Women of Faith, which has been attended by more than four million women.” I enjoyed getting to know him through his book.
Thank you, BookSneeze, and all those who made time to answer my questions and submit guest blogs. Especially, thank you to Mr. Arterburn for his response. Stephen Arterburn runs New Life Ministries and you can sign up for New Life’s newsletters here. Yesterday, I reviewed his new book, The Encounter.