WeConnect: A New Ministry for Young Women

Women’s ministry leaders in New England have observed that in recent years, younger women (in their 20s and 30s) are less likely to engage in Christian community than in years past. This observation has been confirmed by studies conducted by Barna Group, which found that 59% of young adults who grew up in Christian churches end up walking away from their faith and/or the organized church within their first 10 years of adulthood. In just the last decade, the number of unchurched Gen Z and millennials has increased from 44% to 52% and the gap is continuing to widen.

The need is great.

We at by design ministries feel a burden to reach these young women who feel disconnected from the church and from God. To that end, we are launching a new program called “WeConnect” that would help young women connect with God, the church, and each other. We want to see a new breed of young women leaders in the church who are passionate about bringing other women along to grow together in a vital and mature relationship with Jesus Christ.

So how will we do this?

In the first phase of the project we sought to discover young women’s personal reasons for disengaging with the church and to find out their needs and concerns. This phase involved research, developing a list of contacts in this age group, interviews, and surveys. The second phase involved collating/distilling the findings and then sharing the information with Christian leaders for the purpose of building a team of leaders who are interested in reaching out to this age group. The third phase will be the development of the plan and curriculum for this program.

And then what?

Based on the findings regarding the program offerings that would meet the needs of the women, events could include small “Connect” groups, opportunities to serve and reach out to the local community, retreats, and an annual conference.

Our goal is to train up some of these young women to take key leadership roles in the ministry. We hope to initiate a pattern so that once these young women are mentored and trained, they in turn will mentor and train women younger than themselves and be better equipped to reach their peers for Christ.

We at by design ministries care deeply about these young women, and we want them to have a real, vital, growing, loving relationship with God. We see God moving, and we are excited to be involved with Him in His work!

Maybe you feel the same way.

If you, too, are passionate about young women reconnecting with God and with the church, we want to invite you to get involved!

Volunteer your time. We’d love to have you help with the practical tasks of administrative work, networking, hosting, advising, and other areas. If you have a heart to serve, we need you!

Support by design financially. This is the hard part. Wouldn’t it be great if finances were never a concern? However, with any ministry venture comes expenses. Maybe God is calling you to invest in eternal things by sharing the financial blessings that He has given to you. A monthly commitment (large or small!) or even a one-time gift would be much appreciated and would go far in this Kingdom work. It’s easy to donate online at our “Give” page. (And remember that any gift to by design ministries is tax deductible.)

PRAY! Committing to pray regularly for by design ministries and WeConnect is perhaps the greatest gift you can give. If you would like to partner with us in this way, please contact us and we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop!

If you’d like to receive monthly updates on how the WeConnect ministry is coming along, let us know and we’ll add you to the list. You can also visit our update archives.

Thank you for caring about the spiritual health of this younger generation. We love them, too. We are excited to be embarking on this new facet of ministry, and we can’t wait to see what God is going to do!

Meet the WeConnect Leadership Team

Michelle Cox
Hello! I’m Michelle and I am so happy to welcome you here. You can find me teaching third graders and enjoying a great cup of iced coffee! (Even if it’s the middle of winter here in New England.) My passions include working with children and serving at my church as a middle school girls’ leader. I’m a lover of astronomy, dogs, music, cooking, and nature. Time spent with family and friends makes my heart happy and nothing gives me peace quite like spending time at the ocean. However, the most important part of me you should know is that I love Jesus with all my heart and that’s the very reason I am here; to serve Him, to love as He loves and to bring Him glory. May you know how treasured and loved you are, friend. Welcome!

Jessi Crawley
Jessi lives in NH with her husband Patrick and their two children. She grew up in San Antonio, TX, and attended the University of North Texas. After college, she pursued a career in buying for a children’s boutique in New York City, and then at Zappos in Las Vegas. After meeting her husband, they settled here in NH where he grew up. She now stays home with their sweet little ones, but still pursues various interests and hobbies which include financial coaching, and baking some of the best cakes and French macarons on the planet (https://www.facebook.com/leafpeepbakery/), the perfect outlets for her creativity and skills learned throughout her career. 

Sarah Houle
WELCOME, FRIENDS. I’m Sarah, a creative soul who loves Jesus! I’m most interested in seeing the gospel lived in the everyday moments, and I long to express beauty and truth through the creative arts. I live life together with my amazing husband, in a fantastic community, in the perfect (well, in my ever so humble opinion) New England region. I am a chronic pain overcomer, traveling hair stylist, mental-health advocate and caretaker, mentor, artist and designer, aspiring actress, writer, and basically lover of all things creative. I’m so thankful you’re here, traipsing together through the wild journey we call life. You’re loved, and oh so welcome.

Kimberley Minch
Kimberley 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.

Heather Novak
Heather is a graduate student at Northeastern University in Boston, MA getting a Master’s degree in computer science. She works part time as a minister to undergraduate students on campus and loves getting opportunities to spend time exploring big questions about faith and life with others. Heather grew up in rural Wisconsin and loves any excuse to get out of the city and back into nature. In her free time, you can find her reading a young adult novel or playing board games with her friends.