Moving the Mission Forward – Director Letter, Spring 2019
Dear friends of WLI,
Have you needed courage as you have walked forward into leadership? I know I need it every day. My love for Jesus and desire to tell His story is the very stuff that energizes me. But, leading . . . that does not come as easily.
It take courage to step into the places you are called to serve and figure it out. It takes resilience to stick with a vision and help others see the importance of a path. It takes commitment, confidence and faith to get down on your knees every day and ask for help.
Leading is not easy. And neither is living the life of a servant.
So what motivates us to lead when it’s difficult, and to serve when the sacrifice is great?
We are motivated by the one who served us first. The one who is most worthy for us to follow.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. – Philippians 2: 5-8, ESV
We serve because Christ our leader served us first. We love because He loved us first.
To love our neighbor, we must take the steps necessary to meet the needs of our neighbor. That is what WLI has been taking time to do.
We restructured our board and work teams to clarify roles and meet needs as quickly and nimbly as possible. We spent time listening and visioning so we could better understand our constituents. And now, we are moving the mission forward by communicating with you the exciting programming we are working hard to put together. So what have we learned over the past year?
- Intergenerational Mentoring: There is a growing desire in our congregations for resources that help women connect across the generations. And, our young women are asking for mentors in the workplace, the church, and in their communities. To respond to this need, WLI is creating a video-based workshop for congregations that will equip participants with the tools necessary to cultivate a mentoring relationship, tend to it for ultimate growth, and understand the many different ways a mentoring relationship can be successful and ways congregations can support this effort.
- Accessibility to Resources and Events: Women loved the practical nature of the workshops at the National Conference, the Christ-centered focus, and the fellowship. But, weekend events are a huge time commitment and expensive, we need to create tools and in-person opportunities that allow women to connect on a more regular basis. That is why we have taken time to develop an online academy, online articles, and in-person workshops that can travel to a variety of locations.
- Community and Accountability: Women want to be equipped to respond to important issues going on in our community, culture and workplace. They need a place to dialogue and discover together about what the bible says and how to use that knowledge to respond, according to their gifts, in the places that they serve.
With this information, we have adopted a new mission and vision statement and are working on new program offerings. The Women’s Leadership Institute (WLI) mission is to educate, encourage, and embolden Christian women for exemplary leadership.
Embolden is described as courage to step into the calling Christ has laid before us. Knowing that where He calls, He will also equip.
WLI’s vision, is to be a growing community of confident and competent Christian women leaders who serve and lead wherever God has placed them and who confront relevant issues with courage, truth, and love.
We are so excited to launch the Intergenerational Mentoring workshop to congregations beginning next fall, as well as some new online offerings very soon! We also hope to give you dates for 2019 and 2020 opportunities shortly! Oh, and don’t forget to drop by our new office space in the Plaster Free Enterprise Center on Concordia Wisconsin’s campus beginning this summer 2019! We would love to meet and visit with you!
In His service,
Darcy Paape, WLI Director