Ladies, meet Dr. Sarah Kong, a born and raised Dallasite who also happens to be Diane’s dentist! Like Diane, Sarah is a Christian working mother (she has a two-year-old and a four-year-old), so we sat down with her this week to find out her take on Diane’s Monday blog.
4word: On Monday, Diane wrote about the importance of women’s voices being heard in the political, business and church spheres. Do you agree with her? Why/why not?
Sarah: As a mother of little ones, I have to agree with her! Subtle or unsubtle, things like having women speakers at the Republic and Democratic National Conventions are important because little girls look at those things. They’re watching. These girls will grow up one day and become our future leaders, having been inspired and encouraged by what they have seen and heard in their homes and in the news. Being able to point to these women leaders and discuss the historical significance and the relevance it has on their lives can be a subtle way to instill in our little girls that indeed, women can be strong leaders!
4word: In your experience in the workforce and at your church, have you felt like your talents and opinions are valued? Or have you instead felt alienated as a professional, Christian woman?
Sarah: As far as the church setting goes, I definitely feel valued as a female. Having grown up in a Presbyterian church that supports ordained female ministers, it was never a question whether women were allowed to serve in leadership roles.
As far as the workforce goes, times are definitely changing. There are actually more women entering dental school than men now. I believe that this shift in ratio has and will continue to open doors for even more leadership roles for female dentists than ever. I feel fortunate to be in a career where I can build relationships with patients and find opportunities to share my beliefs with those with whom I work and serve.
4word: Diane mentions in Work, Love, Pray that she has often felt like women’s ministries don’t have good activities or programs for working women and that most churches only let women serve in traditionally female capacities. But it sounds like your experience has been different. Can you tell us more about that?
Sarah: I thought that part of the book was interesting because… Whereas some churches believe women should not be in leadership roles, I have seen women serve as ministers, elders and deacons since I was young. So, the choice was a natural one when my husband and I were married by a female pastor!
That being said, my church does have a fantastic women’s ministry which includes a working women’s outreach group. It is a lay-led community of career-oriented females who organize events, socials and service activities. They actually brought Diane in to speak once!
4word: Well that’s neat! So what does your church do well in serving professional women? Are there any areas in which you think they could improve?
Sarah: I think our church does a good job considering the specific group they are trying to reach. However, I think a lot of it is the demographic. While attempting to find balance in all our busy schedules of work, travel, church, family and life, we have to prioritize our time and select a few impacting activities that will enrich our walk with Him.
That’s one thing you don’t realize or think about when you’re a single woman. You might think you’re busy then, but later when you have a husband, you suddenly have two calendars and schedules to juggle. It’s like having double the amount of social events to attend.
And then, once you have a baby, you now have three calendars to juggle. It doesn’t seem like you should be able to balance all of that, but somehow you find a way to manage it!
And now we’ll turn the question back on you: how would you rate your church’s women’s ministry? Do you feel that there are adequate resources, programs and opportunities for working women? Why/why not?