Debbie Stuart helped headline the first HeartStrong Faith Women’s Conference earlier this year with her trademark vulnerability, honesty, and humor. As the Director of Ministry Initiatives for Hope For The Heart, Debbie regularly leads trainings and Bible studies for women in leadership, working alongside founder June Hunt. Her experience as a mega-church women’s ministry director and later with Women of Faith has equipped her to lead women into a deeper understanding of God’s Word and to discover ways to apply it to their lives. We are thrilled that she has accepted the invitation to return as a speaker at the 2018 HSF conference. She recently agreed to share a few thoughts with us here:
HSF: What drew you to accept the invitation to speak at HSF?
Debbie: The event being wrapped around God’s Word is what drew me! Giving practical tools to women on how (exactly) to walk with the Lord is a huge part of my desire and calling. I love that God’s Word is very practical and applicable to our lives (every situation) but many have never seen it that way or been taught how to use God’s Word, how to read it, study it, practice it and eventually love it, and the author of it. I want to sow the seed of God’s Word into their lives and pray it falls on fertile soil. For years I went through life not knowing nor believing Gods’ Word and certainly not practicing it. Psalm 119:34 says, “Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions; I will put them into practice with all my heart.” I want to champion their walk with the Lord and challenge them to grow in their faith.
HSF: What do you hope women will learn or know better after attending the conference?
Debbie: I want women to fall in love with Jesus! I am praying they have a DIVINE AH-HA, light bulb comes on, line in the sand, stake in the ground kinda weekend that entirely changes the trajectory of their lives…FOREVER! I am praying everything changes…their priorities, their schedules, their attitudes, their decisions and they take action to bring their lives in line with God’s Word and purpose for their lives. I pray they look forward to getting up in the mornings to spend time with him, to hear his voice and feel his love. Luke 8:18 reminds us, “Be sure to pay attention to what you hear, to those who are listening, more understanding will be given. But to those who are not listening even what they think they understand will be taken away from them.” We MUST increase our listening skills! Based on latest research (I discovered while preparing for a Bible Study) I was able to conclude by the data that we are the most obese, indebted, medicated, addicted, depressed, incarcerated, violent, suicidal, and tattooed society that has ever lived. Somebody is not practicing Gods Word nor showing others how to! I’d rather it be said of—and maybe we can get this started after Heartstrong—that we are the most brave, faithful, biblically literate, emotionally strong, spiritually engaged, helpful, courageous, heroic society that ever lived! (and let’s keep the tattoos!)
HSF: Which Bible passage or character has influenced your spiritual growth the most lately?
Debbie: I am on a little journey with Elijah and Elisha right now as well as the disciples. I am studying through the book of Matthew and learning so much about how the disciples responding to what Jesus said. Often times they were clueless and careless. And I do not want to be that! My side journey with Elijah reminds me that purity of heart and practicing holiness are the best ways to be useful to the Lord. Listen for Him in the still small voice and for crying out loud don’t run away when you are scared! Don’t throw yourself in a cave and wish to die. Minister, stand your post!
HSF: Describe the heartbeat of your current ministry.
Debbie: The heartbeat of Hope for the Heart is “biblical hope and practical help for real life issues”—which I absolutely love! It’s one of the reasons the Lord has called me here to “sow seeds in this field of service.” We offer a lot of online and onsite ways to grow people in their relationship with the Lord and equip the saints for the work of ministry.
HSF: What is your latest project and how can we learn more about it?
Debbie: I am currently working on messages for Hope Together and the Bible study series as well as some prison ministry messages.
1. Hope Together—Spiritual Growth Through Friendship: we meet the 3rd Thursday of every month, 12:00—1:00 p.m.
2. HFTH Bible 2018 Study Series starts in February with “Purpose in Life” (3rd Wednesday in February, 12:00–1:00 p.m.)
I also have two books: 20 Minutes a Day for the Rest of Your Life and 20 Lessons Learned from 20 Minutes a Day, both
available on Ebay (just search Debbie Stuart). Follow me on Facebook which is where I post “morning messages” and “ministry insights and ideas.” My life verse is Luke 1:45—“Blessed is she who believes what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.”
PS: I am VERY EXCITED and hopeful to give a message at Heartstrong Faith that the Lord has given me recently which I have entitled “How to Bring Your A Game.” “A Game” means “Accomplishing Assignments.” I want to teach ten Things you can do to bring your A Game.
About The Author
Kelley Mathews (Th.M., Dallas Theological Seminary) currently serves as the managing editor for the HeartStrong Faith website. She also has a not-so-secret love affair with books: though she writes non-fiction books, including her latest, Leading Women Who Wound (with Sue Edwards), and articles for Bible Study Magazine, she indulges her love of fiction by reviewing Christian novels for Publishers Weekly and serving as a Christy Award judge. A former women’s ministry director and Bible study teacher, she has been married to her husband, a local school district administrator, for over twenty years. She spends most days following or chauffeuring their four loquacious children from one event to another. Find her books and blog at kelleymathews.com.