On April 6th close to 200 women from over 40 churches spanning 4 states gathered at Trinity Baptist Church in Nashua for some sweet treats and fellowship and listened to speaker, Jan Carlberg, as she shared her talk on “Love Lifts for Sagging Spirits”.
In my skewed thinking, however, I put most of my energy first into ministry and expected my closest loved ones to understand and be satisfied with my “leftovers.” As tension mounted, I absurdly prayed that the Holy Spirit would reduce the amount of “need” my loved ones had for me in order to match the amount of “free time” I had available for them. Never underestimate the evil of over commitment!
I was scrolling through Facebook but I wasn’t really seeing the screen. My mind was fully occupied by a problem for which there seemed to be no solution. I was busy envisioning various scenarios and playing out conversations in my head when something caught my eye. It was a quote from one of by design’s recent blog posts.
No man is an island, but it’s possible that in ministry we might feel like we’re isolated on one sometimes. The New England reality we all know is that our churches and ministries are typically not very large. The role that you are serving in most likely has some element of solitariness to it. Especially in the particular responsibilities you carry. Especially in leadership.
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.
Online workshops always sounded like a good idea. It made sense for by design to share the training and resources that had previously only been available to women in New England, and we loved the idea of being able to expand our ministry around the world. But oh boy, it sure felt like a daunting task. With our staff already working crazy hours and our resources stretched to the limit, it just didn’t feel possible. So we put it off. For years. And then the pandemic hit.
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 … Continued