Baptist Women in Ministry currently has 125 individuals, churches, and organizations that give monthly to our work. We would love to have 140 monthly supporters, and we hope to add fifteen more donors to our giving list! Monthly gifts provide dependable income for Mentoring Program! Small monthly gifts of $10 or $20 or larger monthly gifts of $50 or $75 make a significant difference! Read Ashton’s story about how important the Mentoring Program has been for her, and join her in giving monthly to BWIM!

In today’s young professional networks, mentoring is a huge buzzword. There are thousands of articles about finding a mentor, what to do with your mentor, why a mentor is important. I’m fortunate in my life to have many mentors who have walked alongside me in informal settings. But my experience with Baptist Women in Ministry’s “Outside-the-Box” mentoring cohort is my first formal mentoring relationship, and my cohort has made it my most valuable.

There is something sacred about gathering with a group of women each month to commiserate, learn, grow, laugh. It has taught me the importance of intentionality in my friendships and my deep need to be in community with other women leaders. While serving the church is no longer my career, it is something I care deeply about. This cohort has challenged me, extending my relationship with God, my relationship with others, and my relationship with the church even as I am practicing my “out-of-the-box” ministry.

Our fearless leader, Taryn Deaton, created a safe environment from the start. While her wisdom prevails and guides, she has built each of us up to be better leaders by instilling the authority of our thoughts and opinions in our conversations. Together we have navigated the challenge of being theologically trained but working in non-traditional settings and holding the tension of our love of the gospel with the call to serve outside of the church.

I am so grateful to Baptist Women in Ministry for this experience!

Ashton Wells is the community development manager at the American Cancer Society of Kansas City. Kansas City, Missouri.