I’m Cyndee Ownbey.
I am a speaker, writer, and women’s ministry mentor.
I am the founder of Women’s Ministry Toolbox – an online resource for women serving in women’s ministry as a team member, Bible study facilitator, or small group leader.
God moved our family away from the snowy winters of Iowa to the steamy south of North Carolina when I was fifteen years old. It wasn’t long before I developed a love for sweet tea, Tarheel basketball, and a southern twang.
I met my husband after graduating from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill with a double major in elementary education and English. I thank God his mother thought I should meet her son. After teaching first graders for four years, I resigned upon the birth of our first son. I had always wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom. Fast-forward through several moves and the ups-and-downs of parenting teenagers, our two sons are now in college. We call Charlotte, North Carolina home, but love to escape to the beach whenever we can.
My Ministry Story
Desperate to make friends with other moms when our oldest was four months old, I scoured the local paper for a mom’s group. Looking back, I can see that God was placing me in a position to grow as a mother and minister to other women. Those years were filled with sweet friendships and fun while God grew my leadership skills through numerous volunteer roles.
About the time our boys were transitioning to elementary school, I sensed the Lord’s leading to pray fervently for the empty women’s ministry director position at my church. My dear prayer group partners could see God moving me into position despite my prayer, “Lord, please send someone because I know it’s not me.” When a verse nearly lept off the page during my quiet time, I was finally able to see clearly that, indeed, God was calling me to fill the position of women’s ministry director.
God didn’t bend to my excuses that I was too young or too new a Christian. It was a hard, but fruitful three years. Soon after church by-laws required I stepped down for a year, God moved our family to Kentucky. Word of my women’s ministry experience got out and I was soon asked to lead the women’s ministry there too.
In the years since, I’ve had the privilege and joy to actively serve in five different women’s ministries in five different churches. I used to grumble about not being able to plant deep roots until a wise woman reminded me that God had given me the opportunity to scatter seeds.
In the spring of 2013, frustrated with the lack of free online resources for women’s ministry leaders, I heeded God’s call to abandon my then-current blogging efforts to share my experiences in women’s ministry. In the years since God has grown Women’s Ministry Toolbox to include a flourishing Facebook community, in-person retreats, online training, and a series of books. Until He says stop, I shall continue to mentor leaders and point women to Christ.
Growing up our family regularly attended church and Sunday school, but it wasn’t until I was an adult with young children that I understood the difference between knowing who Jesus was and knowing Jesus as my personal LORD and Savior. I’ve been a different woman from that moment on.
You can read my statement of faith here.