In 2020, we are so pleased to welcome Madeleine Dudley as the new chairwoman for OneLove women’s conference. In this interview, Madeleine shares how she came to faith, her highlights from attending OneLove, the unique struggles of busyness and burnout for modern-day Christian women, and the Lord’s promise of rest for the weary.
1. What is your name and what do you do with your time during the week?
My name is Madeleine Dudley, but most people call me Mads. During a more normal week, I work as a graphic designer at SBS, attend St Thomas' North Sydney and try to fit in a bike ride or two. During these abnormal weeks the routine has stayed mostly the same, there is just a bit more banana bread than usual.
2. How and when did you come to accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour?
I am very fortunate in that I grew up in a Christian family so I have always known the truths of the Gospel. In saying this, it was around the end of year 11 that I wholly committed my life to Christ. On a school trip, I spent a few months away from my family and my church. This challenged me to make sure my faith was my own and not a product of my surroundings. The Lord was very kind in shaping me over the course of the following year. He continues to do so.
3. What do you think are the greatest challenges facing Christian women in Australia today?
Christian women today are living in a unique time indeed. In some ways, our struggles are the same struggles as those who have gone before us. There really isn't anything new under the sun! In other ways I do believe we are facing new challenges. More than ever before, there is an expectation for a Christian woman to be a lot of things–a businesswoman, a church member, a family figure, a great friend, etc. Burnout, busyness and overcommitment are definitely a reality for many. Sometimes it's easy to forget God in the madness and that is a hard challenge.
4. When did you first attend OneLove conference and what made you return?
My first OneLove was four or five years ago. Full disclosure: for the first couple of years my mum buying my ticket was a big contributor to my attendance. For me, it can sometimes take a bit of a pep talk to replace a relaxing Saturday coffee with a conference but every year without fail, I am SO glad I have gone and walked out feeling refreshed and encouraged. There really isn't anything like worshipping God alongside hundreds and hundreds of women from all walks of life. I'd even go as far to say it ends up being one of the best Saturdays of the year–seriously!
5. Share a story of how God used OneLove to inspire your relationship with Jesus.
Women sharing their personal stories out the front is something that has always stuck with me. I think of Kathy Manchester, Nancy Guthrie and Anne-Sophie Rowcroft in particular. It has been a great encouragement to hear the raw and honest experiences that other women have had in their Christian walks. In each unique testimony, the Lord has shown His steadfastness in the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. This has really helped me understand the character of Jesus better and helped me to trust Him with my own life more deeply.
6. As of 2020, you took on the role of chairwoman for OneLove conference. Why do you think women should set aside time to attend women's conferences like OneLove and what can they expect if they join in 2020?
It goes without saying that this year has been a strange year. For many of you, 2020 has been a year of great stress and suffering. For others, you've probably felt like you've never had more time on your hands. Whatever circumstance you are in, the invitation from Jesus remains the same: "Come to me and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). I'd encourage all women to come along to OneLove 2020. I'd like to think that you'd walk away from the conference feeling refreshed, encouraged and with a better understanding of what Jesus’ invitation means for us at this moment in time.
Join us at OneLove 2020
OneLove is a one-day event for all women to gather under life-changing preaching and to enjoy fantastic fellowship. Whether you have been a Christian for many years or are still seeking answers about God, join us and be encouraged, refreshed and renewed for the journey ahead. In 2020, guest speaker and author Kara Martin will be joining us to preach from God’s word. You can sign up for email updates from our website: https://onelovewomen.com/
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