This year’s Summer Sampler Series answers the question “What does by design do?” Each post will address an aspect of our ministry, as told by women who have been positively impacted. We hope that their stories encourage you and inspire you to take advantage of the support, training, and resources available to you from by design ministries.
For more information about the wide range of services offered by our ministry, please click here.
Designed to be Human
By Kimberley Minch
Women in leadership in ministry and beyond tend to be at a crossroads of expectations. They are often expected to be both meek and strong, in charge but not bossy, compassionate but not too emotional, in control but not heavy-handed, etc. This can create pressure to be perfect, to put on a facade, or to be “on” all the time. This becomes exhausting. Leadership is hard. Leadership as a woman is hard. There are so many different ideas of what biblical womanhood is. But the good news that by design passes along is what Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and in difficulties, for the sake of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (CSB)
How does this verse confront your ideas of leadership, strengths, and weaknesses? Many of us have read this verse before but have never brought it into the places where we feel the pressure to be all things and do all things. But our Creator knows that we are human, and in embracing our humanness we are able to get out of the way and see His power move in our communities even more.
by design steps into this struggle and creates spaces where women can let down their guard in the midst of a group of women they know faced those same expectations. Whether for one night or a weekend, I’ve seen women at these events shed those expectations and begin to be able to admit their mistakes and celebrate their wins. They feel safe enough to be vulnerable with each other and grow together into their humanness. I remember in a workshop being told that “If you do not have the capacity to do something and that means it doesn’t happen, that is okay.” As someone student-leading in a college ministry (a role that felt very lonely), that completely rocked my world. I had always felt the burden of being the one to make things happen. Hearing that melted away so much stress and helped me begin to learn how to rest. As I learned to balance serving and resting, it allowed me to see how I had been so concerned with things being my idea of good that I had forgotten that the ministry was God’s and not mine. Letting go of that allowed me to serve others out of freedom and not out of a sense of obligation or duty.
Being able to step into our humanness also allows us to bring others in. At by design workshops and retreats, speakers have talked about the value of raising up other leaders. We will not be in our roles forever, but the expectations we and others have placed on us often give us a white-knuckle grip on our responsibilities. As we embrace the fact that God is strong in our weaknesses, we can also trust that God will raise up more leaders and invite others into our roles, because we will not be in them forever. It’s important to be a part of training and equipping the people who come after us so that we do not burn out, and as a way of investing in the future of our faith community. Learning not to go it alone builds the capacity of our ministries and allows all of us to see that we are human and meant to rely on God, by design.
Get Ready to Grow!
If you’ve been trying to do it all and be all things to all people, we have good news for you! by design ministries will help you connect with other women who know exactly what you’re going through. Step into a space where you are supported and trained and understood.
by design’s Women’s Leadership Training curriculum is designed to equip you for the leadership roles that God has called you to. And make no mistake – you have been called to lead! Whether you’re leading in your home or in a ministry or on a stage or at work, God has called you to be a powerful influence for His Kingdom. In a world where many are burned out from serving, we can help you lead with freedom and joy!
With a huge catalog of courses, there is always a class or workshop that will meet you right where you are. Want to learn about emotional intelligence from a biblical point of view? We’ve got that. Want to get more grounded in the Scripture or get some help developing holy habits? We’ve got those, too. We also have courses in conflict resolution, discovering and developing your spiritual gifts, applying Scripture to life, and much more! And those are in addition to our most popular courses where we help you develop and/or grow a women’s ministry at your church. You can come here to learn and grow so you can share it with others, equipping the next generation of leaders.
Kimberley Minch is the Programs Coordinator for 100 Fold Studio, an architecture ministry based in Lakeside, MT. While she calls Montana home now, Kimberley grew up in Nashua, NH, and went to school at Northeastern University in Boston. She is passionate about worship and discipleship, especially for college students. In between traveling for work and visiting family, you can find her searching for the perfect color swatch and feeding homemade cookies to whoever will eat them.
Kimberley is a member of by design’s WeConnect Leadership Team. Read more about WeConnect!