It was A Good year of ministry to build on for the year ahead
For all the more visible ministry milestones we spotlight below, there were hundreds of hours of invisible ministry that made them possible—the tedious but necessary tasks of administration, planning, data management, correspondence, paperwork, research, online design and programming, working with freelancers, contracting for services, and much more. Honestly, each very visible peak of ministry that you see sits atop a mountain of ministry that you don’t see. Here are some of the milestone peaks for 2016.
MOM HEART CONFERENCE 2016
We celebrated in 2016 our 20th anniversary and final year of the WholeHearted Mother and Mom Heart Conferences (our first moms’ event was in a Texas church in 1996). We brought the series to a close with conferences in Colorado, California, and Texas, the states where we started our hotel-based conference ministry in 1998-2000. Record registrations filled each event to capacity and made for a great celebration and send off. For the first time in twenty years of about sixty conferences, we filmed a special commemorative 4x DVD album of the final conference in Irving/DFW, Texas. Even though our hotel events were growing and going strong, we knew it was time for us to make a change.
The Lifegiving Home
In January, Sally released her second book with Tyndale, The Lifegiving Home – Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming. She co-wrote it with first child Sarah to tell the story of what it was like to create a lifegiving home, and to grow up in it. Second child Joel wrote the companion study guide, The Lifegiving Home Experience. Both books have enjoyed wide acceptance and good reviews, and continue to sell well. Sally and Joel took the book on the road with “The Lifegivng Home Encounter,” an evening event offered six times in several states with Joel playing selections from his CD “Music for the Lifgegiving Home,” and Sally sharing her thoughts and insights. The success of the book has also created a new Lifegiving Home Project initiative for Whole Heart, located on SallyClarkson.com.
Mom Heart Ministry
Mom Heart Ministry continues to grow and expand, not just as a key ministry initiative of Whole Heart, but as a Spirit-led worldwide movement of small groups for Christian mothers. The MomHeart.com website has grown under the steady hand of Jennie Nelson, with more content still on the way to train and equip moms for ministry to other moms. The Mom Heart Groups Facebook Group page launched this year already has about 2,000 moms on it who are involved in Mom Heart groups. Finally, Sally led in her Colorado home in October a 3-Day Mom Heart Intensive for her national leadership team. About forty moms came together from across the US, and from Canada, Mexico, and the UK, to share ideas and vision for how to keep Mom Heart growing. Sally also is working with a new leadership team in the UK to help Mum Heart UK get started, and will speak there in the spring. At the same time, Mum Heart Australia continues to grow with new events and groups. Mom Heart is beating strongly.
At Home with Sally & Friends Podcast
One of Sally’s strongest gifts is speaking, and she love to speak extemporaneously. She decided to launch a podcast to give her an opportunity to reach more connected moms in the increasingly mobile world of the internet and social medial. She launched her first podcast in January, and has seen it grow exponentially throughout 2016 to tens of thousands of downloads each month within its first year of broadcasting. In her weekly podcast, listeners get to “listen in” on a mom-to-mom unscripted, natural conversation between an older mom and a younger mom, like Kristen Kill, about the multi-faceted experience of motherhood. The podcast is available on her blog at SallyClarkson.com, and on iTunes.
We began a systematic makeover of our online presence in 2016 to become more effective in serving parents over the Internet. We are moving all our ministry websites from the old-school WordPress blogging platform, to the new-gen Squarespace hosted platform, known for its contemporary and design-driven website themes. SallyClarkson.com was first, with a whole new design and user experience. You are reading this Annual Report on our newest conversion at WholeHeart.org. Coming soon will be a re-launch of the Storyformed.com website. We are positioning Whole Heart for effective ministry online into the next decade.
Renew My Heart Getaway
We still intend to minister to mothers through events in churches and hotels, even though we ended the WholeHearted Mother and Mom Heart Conferences in 2016. In this new season of event ministry, though, Sally’s focus will turn from focusing on the ministry of mothers, and be more about ministering to mothers through personal encouragement, inspiration, and teaching. These events will be smaller, shorter, more interactive, and feature only Sally as the speaker. We created and launched the new Renew My Heart event concept in 2016, with events for 2017 in CO, CA, TX, NC, and OR.