Andrea Lennon is a Bible teacher, author, podcaster, and founder of Andrea Lennon Ministry. She also serves as Women’s Ministry Specialist for the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. Her books include “God in the Window” and “Hope: More Than A Feeling.” Lennon recently spoke with Texan editor Jayson Larson about her upcoming keynote address at the She Stands Women’s Conference set for August 26-27 at West Conroe Baptist Church in Conroe.
JL: What do you see as the greatest need of women today?
AL: I really think we need hope. We’re in a season of time where life is hard, questions are big, there are twists and turns, and there are ups and downs. We have to understand that daily, as believers in Jesus Christ, we have the opportunity to possess a biblical mindset. That is where we filter our life and our experiences and our thoughts through the Word of God. So what we’ll talk about at She Stands is how to know, live, and share the truth of God’s Word in the context of biblical hope. Hope is more than a feeling. It is not an emotional whim that comes during the good times and leaves during the hard times. Biblical hope is a strong assurance based on God’s character rather than our circumstances. I think the greatest need for women is to just understand that God loves us, that He has a plan for our lives, that He is in control, and because of who He is and how He faithfully works, we have hope in Him. That’s really a message that God has placed on my heart for women today.
JL: There’s so much bad news and hopelessness and so many things that can steal our focus away from remembering what true hope is. How do you plan to address that at She Stands?
AL: We’re going to dig into Romans 15:13, which says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” What we’ll see there is that hope originates with God. He is the God of hope, and as we place our trust and our faith in Him, His hope is applied to our lives. That gets into the nitty gritty details of life, the hard questions, the unknown situations, the overwhelming seasons. So that’s where I just encourage women to bring your questions, bring your doubts, bring those hard things that are going on in your life, lay them before the Lord and His Word, and watch Him speak truth and direction into those places and spaces where maybe you have questions and doubts.
JL: If hope is a mindset that exists within individuals, encouragement may be better understood as something that occurs between two or more individuals. What are some things women can do to be more effective encouragers of one another?
AL: I always encourage women to really cultivate a passionate pursuit of Christ in their life, because if we’re going to minister out of the overflow and encourage others with the encouragement we receive, then we better be receiving encouragement. So often, I think we focus on roles and responsibilities and we forsake relationships. If we can go back and abide in Christ and let His Word abide in us, then what’s going to happen is we’re going to bear much fruit. So it’s really just learning how to abide, learning how to sit at the feet of Jesus, inviting Him to answer those questions that are in our life, and inviting Him to give encouragement to our soul.
JL: Are there some practical rhythms that you would recommend to women to help them come to that place where they are living and hoping and encouraging—as you said—“out of the overflow?”
AL: I have an eBook called, Andrea’s Top 10 List, where I talk about the top 10 things we can do to cultivate hope or cultivate a passionate pursuit with Jesus. A couple of things that are in that eBook, I think, are very pertinent to this question. Number one is that we have to have a daily quiet time. I mean, we need time in the Word with the Lord every single day. Another thing is that we need a consistent prayer life where we’re utilizing an ACTS model where we have a balanced prayer life engaging in adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication so that our prayer lives don’t just consist of telling God what we think He needs to know or asking for what we think we need to receive. It’s more of a relationship where we’re praising Him for who He is, and we’re confessing our sins to Him and asking for forgiveness so we have that passionate pursuit because we’ve encountered the grace of God.
One other discipline that I think is so important is to both memorize Scripture and to share Scripture with others. It’s so easy in the category of encouragement to share our thoughts or our feelings or our perspectives, but we need to share the Word of God and be prepared to do that throughout our day. One of my favorite things about the faithfulness of God is that, even if we don’t know it, He prepares us during our quiet times with Him to live out that truth and share that truth later in the day. So in that sense, the Word of God is lived out through us.