WIMD Pulse - November 2014
Making a Profit
By Leslie Walker, MD
“And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?’” (Mark 8:34-36, ESV).
After wrapping up the September conference, I was exhilarated and exhausted. While it’s true that co-chairing a conference is a big job, it’s also such a blessing to watch God’s perfect timing and His plans unfold. The speakers and topics and worship and gifts of the participants were evident as God wove together a beautiful tapestry of women in medicine.
Then the nitty gritty hit again. Back to work and finally running the numbers of the conference. That’s my last job as co-chair, to review each detail of the expenses and compare that to the income from our registrations, bookstore purchases and exhibitors. And guess what … we barely broke even.
I was shocked! It was our biggest conference yet with the most registrants, and I was apparently expecting a big profit, and then feeling like I had somehow failed. Profits from the conference feed back into our general fund, and since we are a self-supporting commission, conference profits help us pay our expenses for the rest of the year and work toward having a paid woman physician on staff at the national CMDA office.
Leave it to the Lord to use money to teach me, yet again, how far my mindset can be from His purposes. What does it profit someone to gain the whole world but forfeit her soul? What does God value? He wants my heart!
We did a lot of special things for this conference to celebrate our 20th anniversary, and we had it at a city hotel in the Northeast. And we did it without raising registration costs for yet another year—which I hope helped more women to attend. We had 18 students and residents whose registration costs were fully covered by scholarships.
We aren’t a corporation; we don’t need to make a profit! And making a profit isn’t the goal of these conferences. We want to connect, equip and inspire women physicians who share a love of Jesus. Which we did! Thank God for His mercy as I learn to deny myself and follow Him. I have a long way to go as I continue to learn to trust Him to provide for my own needs and those of our commission.
Yes, we need to be good stewards of the resources you have entrusted to us. But ultimately, I trust that this ministry will flourish through the work of the Holy Spirit in each of your lives, not because of the contents of our bank account.
I still hope to see our monthly donations increase, because I am so passionate about the work of this commission and would love to see what can happen when we have enough to hire a woman physician at the national office.
But God reminded me that this group and these conferences are about people, not numbers. Thank you all so much for your support and prayers for the commission and the conference chairs as we work for you. We feel your love and your encouragement, and we are blessed.