The Well ministry hopes to continue empowering women next semester

Encouragement. Community.

Those were words two Liberty women used to describe their experience at the Well.

Although both students attended only one of the three nights, they both talked about the refreshment they found there.

The Well is a women’s event, led by Senior LU Shepherd Melanie Denney, that the Office of Spiritual Development started this semester.

“The Well is just a way to get people in a room together,” Denny said. “Women that don’t often know that what they are walking through and what they’re struggling with is a bigger problem on campus because as women we try to clean ourselves up and pretend like something’s not happening.”

Liberty’s women gathered three times this semester to worship and listen to Denney teach about topics such as shame, setting affections on God and finding joy in waiting.

Denney said that although The Well was not designed to compete with or replace the ministry that is already an established part of campus life or with the local church, it was designed to drive the female students that went back toward those things.

Denney said that since there are only five female LU Shepherds, they cannot touch each girl’s life individually. Even the Resident Shepherds and the Community Group Leaders cannot reach out to everyone all the time. According to Denney, The Well was designed to get students to open up about their struggles and seek support from the infrastructure around them.

Denney said The Well was also designed to fill a gap that she and OSD saw in women’s ministry, especially college women’s ministry.

“I think the church has a really bad habit of telling women how they are supposed to be ministered to. We kind of consolidate into Proverbs 31, or Ruth, or Esther,” Denney said. “Those are super important, but that is not all that a woman needs to become the believer God has called her to be.”

Denney said that she and some of the others at OSD thought of some of the common themes they heard when female students would talk to them about their struggles. Denney said she and her team wanted to shed light on those issues and bring freedom to areas of shame.

Keziah Goddard, a freshman commercial music major with a concentration in songwriting, went to the night at The Well where Denney talked about finding joy in waiting.

“I just like the whole idea of a bunch of women of God coming together and not only worshipping but talking about our own spiritual issues that we can combat together as a community,” Goddard said.

Goddard said she enjoyed a women’s-only night of worship and teaching.

“Not that guys don’t deal with some of the same issues, but I think we deal with them in different ways,” Goddard said.

Regarding the topic, Goddard said that it encouraged her not to worry about things like relationships not happening as quickly as she might like, and to use that waiting time to serve God and learn from him.

Jenna Crenshaw, a sophomore journalism major, attended the last night at the Well, which talked about shame. She echoed Goddard’s appreciation for a women’s-only event and talked about what a catalyst it was in students’ everyday lives.

“I saw so many people set free from things and encouraged,” Crenshaw said. “And I think when we do that as a body of believers and we encourage each other and we are encouraged by a speaker, then we are encouraged to go out and do that for other people.”

Crenshaw added that she hopes OSD will continue The Well next semester and perhaps meet more often.

Denney said that although they do not know in exactly what capacity yet, some form of The Well will be back.

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