When I first joined EQUIP, back in 2009, it was because I loved the conference. I’d never heard women preach like that—with such authority, so much biblical clarity and just so well. I’d also never been to a conference which so explicitly built its program around the Bible talks. I’m sure there were other conferences doing this too. But for me, at that time, it was incredible.
I still love the conference, but now I also love the fellowship.
EQUIP is a ministry which seeks to equip women to share Jesus. If you’ve heard of it, it’s probably because of its annual women’s conference. This year over 6000 women joined online. But as a ministry, there’s much more to it than that.
A few years ago, I was due to speak at the EQUIP conference. A few weeks out, I found out I was going to need emergency surgery just beforehand. I was given complete freedom to pull out. I wanted to go ahead. We collaborated on the talk to get it over the line. Even on the day, unbeknownst to me, another member had learnt my talk and was ready to step in if I needed it. I’m still so thankful for the care shown to me through that whole process. It was a time when I felt so clearly that we were a fellowship, not just a committee.
Committees are made up of people chosen to represent ‘their’ group of people. A fellowship is a team of people shooting at a gospel goal together. It’s friendship with purpose, fuelled by God’s love for us, and flowing out in gospel-centred love for others.
I’ve learnt so much from being part of the EQUIP team. Perhaps most of all, I’ve learnt we can trust the Scriptures. That means not just trust they are true, but that in them God is speaking, presently, by his Spirit, about his Son. If you teach any part of it—any book, any chapter—God will be at work drawing people to Jesus, equipping us to serve him, and enabling us to keep waiting until he returns.
Looking back, it is Moore College which provided the soil for this gospel-hearted fellowship, and so many others, to grow. Of the original members of the EQUIP team, some had met through church but, as I understand it, it was their time in the Moore Community when the other friendships were formed, and gospel convictions were shaped. The EQUIP team has shifted and grown a lot over the years. But that original DNA caught and taught at Moore—that love for and trust in the sufficiency of God’s good word—has carried on.
The heart of Moore College is a fellowship. A fellowship of the faculty, flowing out into the fellowship of the staff and students. From my experience at College, this rings true. We weren’t just receiving information or acquiring a qualification. It was a transformative, character-shaping, whole life kind of learning. It helped me to see that at the very heart of women’s ministry, is a gospel centre.