Designed for Community

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 for Community

By Kimberley Minch

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. – Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV)

In a quick Google search, you can easily find multiple studies that speak of the loneliness and isolation that can come along with being in ministry leadership. Leaders are often overextended, lacking in support staff, and so focused on serving others that they can forget to actually jump into the communities they are bringing together. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I know that, for myself, the first things to go when I am stressed or busy are spending time with God and quality fellowship with others.

At by design’s retreat in early 2020, I saw all of this turned on its head. Women in leadership from across New England came together in a powerful way. There was a palpable presence of deep friendship in that room. There are women who come year after year and have formed deep bonds with other attendees but at the same time are still so intentional about including new members. 

We, especially as leaders, need a faith-filled community.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says: 

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. (CSB)

We need people who can help us up when we fall, encourage us, and stand with us. When we are together with Christ, we get to see how God works in and through each other in a beautiful testimony. We have others to keep us accountable and give us guidance and tell us when we really need to slowww downnn. By ourselves, we can easily get overwhelmed and overbooked, and it’s so hard to pour out of a cup that is empty. I know I need a community that brings me back to spending time with God and back to fellowship when I fall away.

The last morning of that retreat, during a worship session, our speaker started to cry. I think the song reminded her of her mother who had recently passed away. The women around her embraced her and started to cry with her. Soon, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. A room full of women crying might sound alarming, but at that moment it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen. A community crying together, supporting each other, laughing together, all in the worship of our God who is our ultimate support and provider. That’s what by design is. Women worshiping God together.

ReTREAT with by design

There’s something truly special about our annual leadership ReTREAT. Capitalizing “treat” in the word is no accident. While any women’s retreat is special, there’s something unique and soul-satisfying about connecting with other women in leadership. We share the same goals, concerns, and hopes for our respective ministries. We form tight-knit bonds based on shared experiences and a long walk with the Lord. 

It’s a place where you can learn and grow and network, but also a place where you can let your hair down, knowing that you’re in a safe place with women who truly understand. ReTREAT from the busyness. ReTREAT from the stress. ReTREAT so that you can connect with your sisters and your Lord. 

  • Mark your calendar for our next one, January 21-23, 2022, in Massachusetts.

“Three years ago I started volunteering with by design’s We Connect team, and over the past few years it has been a wonderful experience to help with such an amazing ministry. As someone who loves meeting new people and will use any reason to get together to talk about life, by design ministries truly fosters meaningful relationships and conversations that can be challenging to come by in everyday life. I really enjoy getting to know all the women who come to the various events and building friendships with ladies that I would not have met otherwise.

One of my favorite experiences was being able to host a financial stewardship workshop. I wasn’t sure what to expect and if it would resonate with the group, but it turned out to be such a fun and rewarding time. From my perspective as a volunteer, I’m grateful to have a variety of opportunities to make people feel welcome, pray, teach, and hopefully just be a friend to those who come to fellowship with like-minded women. by design has really been a blessing, because I’ve been able to witness how God uniquely designs each woman with different passions and abilities to further the gospel and his kingdom. I love that I’ve had the opportunity to enrich and be enriched through this ministry. I know that, like me, so many women have been strengthened and encouraged through by design and I can’t wait to see how God continues to use this ministry.”

~ Jessi Crawley, WeConnect Leadership Team

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!