Below you’ll find the show notes for episode 63, Celebrating 10 Years of Women’s Ministry Toolbox (History and Prizes), from the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Podcast.
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Celebrating 10 Years of Women’s Ministry Toolbox (History and Prizes)
This month marks 10 years since I launched the Women’s Ministry Toolbox. I want to invite to you celebrate with me!
Be sure to read the entire post! At the end, I’ll share how you can enter to win one of the many prizes I’ll be giving away to celebrate.
If you’ve been around since the early days of Women’s Ministry Toolbox, thank you for sticking with me! You’ve had a front-row seat to the way God has grown me as a leader and as a follower of Christ.
How Women’s Ministry Toolbox Started
I thought it would be fun to share with you the story of how Women’s Ministry Toolbox got started.
God often uses a point of frustration to motivate me to action and this was no different. I was serving in my second women’s ministry director role and complaining about the lack of women’s ministry materials online. There weren’t many free resources on the internet and a lot of what I found wasn’t a good fit for our women. I knew they wanted more than light-hearted, shallow party ideas our women needed solid, biblical teaching and encouragement.
It wasn’t long before I sensed the Lord leading me to close down the blog I had been writing (it was about our family’s journeys to tourist attractions in and around Bowling Green, KY) and to begin sharing the things our team had done and the things I was learning about leading in women’s ministry.
I filled a sheet of notebook paper with ideas for what to call it. I didn’t want anything too girly – women’s ministry had and still has a reputation of being just for girly girls and I wanted the purpose to be clear. With my husband’s support and financial contribution, I bought a domain name and hosting for the site. I watched hours upon hours of videos on YouTube to learn how to create a blog from scratch.
Why is the toolbox red?
My first logo was a photo. I knew I needed a toolbox and a trip to a local thrift store yielded one in red. Despite several people’s suggestions, I didn’t want to spray paint it pink because I wanted a color that would appeal to all women. As a former Tom-Boy, this was important to me.
I set up that red toolbox along a wall with items that resonated with women’s ministry – a disposable coffee cup, name tags, chocolates, a stack of Bible study books, a set of praying hands (also thrifted), a piece of cake, and a Bible.
I began sharing tips and icebreaker games with other leaders. I remember attending my first blogger conference in the fall 0f 2014, a year and a half into this new adventure, and I was so proud of the 300+ leaders on my email list. I had no idea how God would eventually grow this ministry.
Growing beyond the blog
I learned how to use social media to reach leaders because I wanted to talk with, not just to women’s ministry leaders.
Leaders were hungry for resources and training so I continued packaging up the materials I’d used with the women in our church. I pulled together my posts on how to plan a retreat and I eventually shared the script for the Prayer Warrior Boot Camp. Selling the resources online allowed me to cover the growing monthly expenses for this expanding ministry.
In 2018 I launched a private Facebook group where leaders could gather for encouragement, support, and share ideas with one another. Today that group has grown to over 8,000 leaders.
You know how lonely it can be to do women’s ministry! Leaders had few spaces to connect online and this quickly became one of them. Looking back I see what a pivotal point that was in this ministry.
At about that same time, I began exploring the idea of publishing a book on women’s ministry. Most of the resources available were dated – seriously 10 years old and older. They were written before the widespread use of social media and at a time targeted primarily to stay-at-home moms. Our target had shifted and new resources were needed.
I prayerfully pressed forward seeking God’s direction and in 2019 the book Rethinking Women’s Ministry was released and the next year a workbook followed. After a year of teaching our women to read the Bible on their own, with the Holy Spirit and not an author or pastor as their guide, I packaged up the READ Bible Study Materials so other leaders could help their women study the Bible on their own too.
There were changes in resources I used to run the site and provide materials, but the one thing that has always stayed the same is my desire to help women’s ministry leaders offer a women’s ministry program that helps women to know God and to love God with all of their heart, soul, and mind.
God’s moved us from church to church, allowing me to experience women’s ministry in a variety of communities. I’ve served in a multi-campus church, a small church, and a large church. He’s grown me through every experience – whether it was figuring out how to reach younger women or navigating different personalities on our women’s ministry team.
There were times wondered if I’d run out of things to write, but God keeps dropping ideas so I keep going! This month is a chance to pause and celebrate all of the great things God is doing through you in your women’s ministry programs. I am here to cheer you on, pray for you, and offer guidance and training. You know best what your women need to grow and flourish! I’d be honored to help if I can.
Celebration Gifts and Discounts
The celebration has ended and the discounts have expired. Thank you for celebrating with me!
It has been my honor to serve you these past 10 years.
I’m so thankful for all that God has done and can’t wait to see what the next 10 years bring.
If you’d like to show your support please leave a review of the podcast on iTunes and of any of the books you’ve read on Amazon (even if you purchased them elsewhere).
Your purchases from Women’s Ministry Toolbox help to cover the monthly expenses of this ministry – everything from website services to email providers to office supplies.
I’ll be back in two weeks to continue the celebration.
I’ll be sharing my thoughts on how women’s ministry has evolved in the last 10 years and I’ve got two amazing opportunities for you to reach women with the love of Jesus. I can’t wait to share the details!