Interview with Jen Wilkin
Interview by Lindsay Cournia // Images by Jillian Zamora
Jen Wilkin is a wife, mother, author, and self-described "advocate for women to love God with their minds through the faithful study of His Word." Jen has encouraged many women with her heart and her books, and we at Deeply Rooted Magazine are honored and excited to have Jen speaking at the Deeply Rooted Retreat this October. We wanted to give readers a chance to get to know Jen before the retreat, and she gladly set aside some time to do an interview with us.
Please tell us about yourself and your testimony.
I grew up in Texas and came to saving faith in elementary school. My childhood was marked by time spent in seven different denominations—a range of experience that left me with the conviction that knowing the Word was the only sure means of discerning truth from error.
At Texas A&M, I met my husband, Jeff, and we were married in 1993. We moved to Sugar Land, Texas, and proceeded to have four sweet children in rapid succession.
In 2001, after several years of lay leadership and teaching women’s Bible study, I was offered a position as director of Women’s Ministry at our church. I served there for five years.
In 2007 our family moved to Flower Mound to be closer to family, a difficult decision we are so thankful we pursued. We became members of The Village Church that same year and began serving as Home Group leaders. I wrote and taught Women’s Bible Study in my home and then at the church for two years. For the past five years I have led an interdenominational community study of over 800 women, representing over 60 churches. I currently serve at The Village as the minister responsible for adult classes at our five campuses.
I love being Jeff’s wife, I love being a mom to my kids, and I love teaching women to love the Word of God with their minds, as well as their hearts.
How did you become passionate about studying God’s Word and teaching it to others?
During my time as women’s minister at my church in Houston, I was responsible for vetting curricula for our 12+ women’s studies each semester. I was heartbroken over the state of women’s resources, most of which were driven by emotionalism, storytelling, and poor scholarship. Those that were well-structured were often too intimidating for the average woman to attempt. I began writing and teaching my own studies to fill a gap in what was available. I wanted studies that not only taught entire books of the Bible, but that also taught the student how to study any book of the Bible by training them in a basic method.
What advice do you have for busy women who struggle to spend time consistently reading and studying the Bible?
Accountability and structure are your friends. I had four children in four years, so I can say with confidence that "the struggle is real." I can also say that we make time for the things we care most about. It as always helped me to get in a group for structure and accountability. God is aware of our season of life and its limitations. It’s important to use the time we do have in ways that are building a foundational understanding of the Bible, not just in devotional or topical materials.
What inspired the topic of your new book, None Like Him: 10 Ways God is Different from Us (and Why That’s a Good Thing)? Do you have any other projects in the works?
One of the principles of study that I ask women to embrace is to remember that the Bible is a book about God. I ask them to read asking, “What does this text teach me about God’s character?” That can be a hard question to answer if we haven’t ever contemplated his attributes. None Like Him meditates on the incommunicable attributes of God (those that are only true of him). I hope it will help women begin to see those attributes as they read, and to be able to understand how worshipping God for who he is frees us to live within the good limits he has given us.
I am planning to write a follow-up book on the communicable attributes, addressing ten ways we can become like God as we grow in our sanctification.
Will you give us a glimpse into what you’ll be sharing at the Deeply Rooted Retreat this fall?
We’re going to consider how our “time in the Word” can be used for the greatest gain. Because our time is so limited, we need a practice for our Bible time that does more than just inspire us to walk through our day. We need one that transforms us and helps us discern the will of God. I’ll ask us to think of the Bible a bit differently than we may have before, and then we’ll examine how to use our study time to grow in the knowledge of God for the purpose of loving him as we ought.
Spaces are still available for the Deeply Rooted Retreat! Learn more here.