2012 Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference – Reflections on What Was and Wasn’t Said

2012 Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference – Reflections on What Was and Wasn’t Said

Several weeks ago I attended The Gospel Coalition Women’s Conference in Orlando, FL with 3800 women from across the USA and from other countries. In addition, many more women listened in via a live web stream, making as many as 5000 women who attended.

The theme of the conference was “Here is Our God,” and speakers unfolded Scripture with passion and vision, helping us to see the treasure of Jesus and God’s Word to all of us. The entire conference is available online for free at www.thegospelcoalition.org. I encourage anyone to log on for excellent teaching from the Bible.

Ellen Dykas

There was, however, one disappointing reality about the conference that disheartened me as Women’s Ministry Coordinator for Harvest USA and as Ellen, a woman needy of God’s grace and truth for my own brokenness. I’m referring to the fact that in the course of the eleven talks I heard (there were a possible of fourteen teaching sessions to attend), I heard only two very brief comments related to sexuality. Both of these were just a quick phrase or sentence that mentioned an aspect of sexual brokenness that women struggle with. In other words, in the eleven talks which constituted about 660 minutes of Bible teaching and application, there were about 10 seconds worth on how the gospel of grace intersects with the sexual brokenness of women!

Ten seconds?! Hear me out: I’m NOT dissing TGC or this Women’s Conference; but this void spoke loudly to me and I’m assuming it also communicated something to the thousands of other women who were listening. Perhaps many were hoping, praying, wondering. . . if our God, and His Word had anything to say to those who have quickly become addicted to the new craze of “mommy porn?” Or if there is any gospel hope for women who are in emotional and sexually broken relationships, with men or women? Or if there is grace for the woman in a marriage scarred by serial adultery and a husband who has become pornified?

I want to assure you, if you are a woman in any of these circumstances, that there is MUCH gospel hope, grace and truth for you! I actually met with one such woman in my office two weeks after the conference, who had stopped by our Harvest USA display table at the conference to get more information. Join me for the next few blog posts as I want to apply the rich teaching I heard from this conference, to the relational and sexual brokenness of women! Jesus said, “I have come to heal the brokenhearted and to set the captive free” (Luke 4:18-19). Jesus, our God, promises this to all women… including daughters of God who are heavy and ache with the pain, shame and fear associated with sexual sin.Is this your experience that you never hear pastors or Christian leaders talk about sexuality?

Do you feel, as I do, that you need good biblical information on this, in order to walk with sexual integrity?

Ellen Dykas
About The Author
Ellen oversees the Philadelphia office’s ministry to women. Her ministry is focused on discipleship with women who are struggling with sexual and relational sins in their own lives, as well as women who are impacted by the sexual sins of their spouses or others. Ellen is available to teach, equip and encourage others (churches, organizations) to become more effective in ministering the gospel of Christ into the midst of all aspects of sexual brokenness.


  • By Maggie 22 Jul 2012

    Yes, thank you, Ellen. How frustrating and ultimately shaming is the mere silence on these issues- for women in particular. One often infers that because the christian community negates its existence, any sexual desire is somehow abnormal, even ungodly. That we sometimes pervert such desire into sin amplifies whatever confusion and shame we already feel. Thank you for shedding light into the dark.

  • Ellen Dykas
    By Ellen Dykas 25 Jul 2012

    thanks for your thoughts! What you share is exactly what I hear coming from the hearts of so many women…dear sisters in Christ who have stepped into sexual sin and have no idea of how to face it and repent from it….and IF the gospel even does reach into these deep places of shame and pain! It does…because HE does, Jesus who IS the gospel!

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