Helping Women Live Well, Lead Well
By Jennifer Johnson
Blessing Ranch (New Port Richey, FL) is well known for its intensive counseling services and spiritual formation work with pastors and their families. Facilitating personal transformation is at the core of what they do, and now with “Beyond Her Story” they’re hoping to multiply that work among women across the country.
“Over the last year or two I started feeling like God was leading us to make more efforts to reach women in ministry,” says Dr. Charity Walker-Byers, executive director of clinical services at Blessing Ranch. “We’ve worked with women in leadership here in the United States and on the mission field for years, but we wanted to create something new.”
Walker-Byers, along with Larry Boatright, Blessing Ranch’s executive director of operations and program development, invited nine female leaders—pastor’s wives, founders of nonprofit organizations, and others—to brainstorm with them about the new initiative.
“We can only see so many people a year in our offices for one-on-one work,” Walker-Byers says. “So we created a website with tiers of engagement; there are blogs, podcasts, interviews, and other resources available to everyone, as well as a free weekly video devotional available by e-mail. For those who want to go deeper, we’re providing two-day workshops centered on specific topics and incorporating the same principles we use during our weeklong intensive work.”
“Dr. John Walker [founder and chief psychologist at Blessing Ranch Ministries] has created a pretty innovative model for personal transformation that integrates theology and psychology,” says Boatright. “So Beyond Her Story is about understanding your story and then going beyond that to the story God wants for you—going beyond knowledge of the Scriptures to actually living them out.”
“Leadership can be so lonely, but we bring perspective,” says Walker-Byers. “We’ve worked with thousands of Christian leaders and we see the common struggles like fear, anxiety, and depression. We want to make it OK for women to talk about those things and give them resources to help.”
The team plans to continue adding additional resources such as online courses and e-books, and hopes to offer workshops in more cities this fall. Learn more at www.beyondherstory.com.