Our donors are literally investing in the lives of young Baptist Women leaders through our Uptick Baptist Women program.
What an honour and joy it was to participate in the Uptick 2018 cohort! It answered a longing I’ve had for local companions in a similar stage of life and ministry since I entered full-time pastoral work. In addition to our vocation we also shared the joy and challenge of being young women in a non-traditional context. It’s a rare and beautiful thing to sit regularly at a table with six other women to discuss church leadership. I made friends who both encouraged and challenged me and who I will continue to journey with for a long time.
I entered Uptick without a clear idea of where God was leading me in ministry, and exited, also without a clear idea, but with lots of tools, connections, and resources to help me figure it out. Months later, but at exactly the right time, God used one of those connections to lead me into a new position I never would have considered otherwise–one where my gifts and calling have been affirmed, challenged, and stretched. I’ve found the place God has called me to minister from, and the people He’s called me to minister with.
There are so many ways that Uptick helped me become a better pastor and leader. I received coaching on public speaking and learned practical ways of building a community of disciples within my church. In the two years since Uptick, I have started a discipleship group for leaders in my church and I am seeing growth happening in each participant. I have also been able to use what I learned in our outreach ministries. Uptick also gave me a lot of confidence as a leader. I find that I am much more confident when I speak and when it comes to navigating a boardroom. Uptick is so important for equipping and encouraging young women to step into their God-given calling!
Uptick was an amazing experience for me. After being a stay at home mom for almost 10 years I felt like I didn’t really know who I was anymore. I didn’t know how much God loved me and how uniquely he had made me. I found the personality assessments fantastic, it was so interesting learning more about myself, they truly helped me gain more understanding of who I am as a person and how God has shaped me to do ministry.
It was so encouraging to meet with other Christian leaders and hear how God is using them. Through this experience I have confidence and a peace in who I am. I learned about CBOQ grants and have helped my church move forward with applying for one. I am truly grateful for this amazing opportunity and wish everyone got chances to be invested in this way.
One area of growth for me was in the area of confidence. Imposter Syndrome – that sense that I am not qualified to lead and that my inadequacies will soon be discovered – is a sneaky thing! We all needed to be called out at some point for undermining our God-given gifts and calling. We were fierce in our encouragement, but often reluctant to accept it for ourselves. For me this was a reminder of how much I need this kind of community in order to grow as a leader and how much I want to be part of that community for other young women and men.
Through my experience in Uptick where I was first exposed to author Mike Breen’s pentagon shape (five-fold ministry), God clarified my calling that I have the heart of an evangelist! Following God’s lead, I boldly invited my neighbours to our house and have begun a Bible 101 group, highlighting Breen’s shapes. Everyone that I asked, said “Yes, of course!” Together we learn of God’s love for us through His Word and through each other.
The ways God has met me through Uptick will continue to have an effect on my life as I listen and respond to His voice and the opportunities He leads me into. These may be in my work, everyday life, church, relationships, community, and specific ministries.
I desire to be part of God’s creation of a holistic discipleship culture in my community, including evangelism, prayer, rest, spiritual health, full expression of the gifts, justice, and radical mission, for the Glory of our God. I desire and choose to continue living out these things out of a place of deep communion with Jesus, and to intentionally invite others to join me.
Uptick was a profound experience for me; inasmuch as I learned about practical ministry skills, and gleaned from other young women on this journey of discerning the calling God has given them, I learned so much more about how He created, gifted, and is continually equipping me for that calling. Through the retreats and conference calls, and excellent resources like the DISC survey and teachings on the five-fold leadership concepts, I was able to recognize a pattern in myself of desiring to help people assess, strategize, and grow in their own life; even discovering that my gifts are wisdom and discernment. I am currently serving in a youth ministry director capacity and have seen this experience push me to be a better disciple who makes disciples.
Uptick has developed me into a person who has a better understanding on how I can encourage our disciples to step into the paths that God has led for them. I am excited and motivated to share the ideas that I have to help build ministries in our local areas.
There was an open atmosphere to pray, listen, learn and ask questions. There was a genuine love and care that surrounded our group where we not only discussed the learning material, but also matters that were affecting our hearts in our everyday lives.
Uptick has taught me to own my leadership skills, value my God-given gifts and not shy away from being in a position of leadership because I am young or because I am a woman.
Uptick has taught me the value of owning my call and being OK with being good at it! Too often women are put down and discouraged within ministry contexts and it was so refreshing to be encouraged and supported through a time of transition in my life and be able to explore the challenges and amazing victories of being a woman called to ministry!
God has also been showing me that as a female Christian leader, I can do hard things: I don’t need to be afraid of hard things because it is He who is ultimately leading me, (and others). And He is faithful. And worthy of praise. He is inviting me to make decisions from a place of trust and peace rather than from fear or avoidance. I choose to say yes, through continually asking for God’s strength and wisdom in how to live and lead this way.
My Uptick experience was a time of learning how to rest spiritually and intellectually. When we studied the rhythms of life together at the retreat, my brain was exhausted from all the reading and writing that I had to do for school. It was then that I realized that I had equated intellectual growth with relational growth in the Lord.
Thankfully, God invited me to enter a season of intellectual rest after the retreat, so that He could do some deep-seated pruning based on what I had learned at seminary and from Uptick. Growth comes from knowing how to abide. So in order to grow intellectually, I needed to learn how to rest intellectually, so that what I learn can be used by God to prune me for future growth.
Throughout this experience I have learned about myself and my leadership style and ability.I learned how to be a better disciple for God and His Kingdom, and how I can better lead my youth into a life with God and to become disciples themselves. I have met incredible women in ministry who opened my eyes to how to respond to God’s calling and how we can be God’s tool in this world. I have felt closer to God during this time and feel open to new experiences in my ministry