3 Reasons to Invest in Living by Design Ministries

living by design ministries board of directors meeting from above with open bibles and coffee making decisions about upcoming spring fundraiser

Article by: Sarah Koontz

At our annual meeting with the Living by Design Board of Directors, I was asked the following question: “Sarah, it’s been five years since we launched this ministry. Are you still as passionate about it as you were in the beginning? If there was no money in the budget to pay your salary, would you continue to serve this community wholeheartedly?”

This particular board member has more than twenty years of ministry and nonprofit experience.

He wasn’t interested in numbers or statistics; instead, he wanted to know the condition of my heart. 

This question gave me an opportunity to share my zeal and vision for Living by Design Ministries with our board and reminded me of the value of honesty and transparency in ministry.

So today, as we kick off our Spring Fundraiser for Living by Design, I want to share my answer to these two critical questions with you:

Yes, I am just as passionate about this work as I was five years ago, and yes, I would continue this work even if the ministry could not afford to pay me a salary.

If you want to know why I am so invested in this free Bible study ministry, I encourage you to keep reading!

If you want to know why I am so invested in this free Bible study ministry, read this article! Click to Tweet
woman holding a Bible pointing at a special scripture verse for spring fundraiser

Serving the Church through Living by Design Ministries

I believe that I am called to serve God and the church through Living by Design Ministries.

As I look back over my life, I cannot help but see God’s divine direction and work of preparation leading me to this exact place of ministry.

When I was four years old, I asked Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Savior. When I was twelve, I committed my whole life to Him. When I was fourteen, I received a call to full-time ministry.

From that day forward, I eagerly anticipated the revelation of the ministry God prepared just for me (Eph 2:10).

After twenty years of divine preparation, including many setbacks, u-turns, heartbreaks, and illnesses, God finally began to reveal His unique purpose for my life.

He graciously showed me that every single loss, every moment of loneliness, and every closed door was preparing me to be poured out like a drink offering for people I’ll likely never meet (Phil 2:17).

If you are reading this, there is a 99% chance we have never met before. And there is a 98% chance we’ve never had a personal interaction with one another.

Yet, it’s quite possible that this ministry has become a lifeline for you. By the grace of God, you might even consider me a friend and mentor in faith. 

Yes, there is something incredibly strange about spending my days pouring into the lives of complete strangers. 

But are we strangers, really?

I feel an inexpressible spiritual bond with the individuals who welcome my words in their inboxes week after week.

I like to think of you all as my Bible study partners—connected and united by our shared desire to study and apply the Word of God to our lives.

Every single day I wake up and ask God to give me the strength to serve this community with diligence, excellence, and perseverance.

You are the reason I press on; you are the people I’m called to serve. 

Even if we never meet this side of heaven.

I believe that I am called to serve God and the church through Living by Design Ministries. -Sarah Koontz Click to Tweet
a woman working on her computer at a coffee shop with a donut and coffee beside her

Sharing the Transformative Power of Bible Study

I published my very first blog on this platform in July 2015; it was entitled, “Finding God’s Hand in the Storm.” 

This article remains a true and accurate reflection of my heart’s sustained desire to nurture growth in others through my words, and by my deeds.

I’ll never forget the uncertainty and vulnerability I felt as I typed those first few blog articles. 

It was strange to share my innermost thoughts and fears on the internet—where absolutely anyone could find them and judge me harshly for them.

Yet, no matter how exposed I felt, a sense of peace and purpose filled my soul every time I hit publish. 

I wrote my first free Bible study in 2017. 

I thought it was a simple stepping stone to the next thing God had planned for me. 

But when I tried to “move on” to the next project, I felt a prompting to write another free Bible study.

Then another, and another after that.

During the past seven years, I’ve published 175 blogs, 158 SOULfood Saturday e-mails, and 15 free Bible studies. 

I love to study God’s Word and write about His intricate design for our lives. I enjoy creating beautiful Bible studies that honor God and equip the church to shine His light into the darkness of this age. 

I believe in the transformative power of Bible study and am passionate about providing resources that strengthen your faith in God.

There is no moving on from this—it is my now thing, my next thing, and my forever thing.

I must continue this work because it is my spiritual act of service to my King (Rm 12:1).

There is no moving on from this—it is my now thing, my next thing, and my forever thing. -Sarah Koontz, Founder of Living by Design Ministries Click to Tweet
Christian woman holding an open Bible with soil and a plant growing atop of it a symbol of fruitful ministry for spring fundraiser

Three Reasons This Ministry is Worth Investing In

Before I ask you to invest in our free Bible study ministry, I needed to tell you why we are so invested in it.

First of all, I believe that God’s Word is the only thing in the world powerful enough to transform our pain into purpose (Jn 8:31-32).

The Bible reveals a God who redeems, a Savior who sanctifies, and a Holy Spirit who fills the cracks and crevices of our hearts with hope.

At Living by Design Ministries, we create free resources that help Christians experience the transformative power of God’s living and active Word in their everyday lives. 

Second, God’s people need to know what God’s Word really says (Eph 4:14-15). 

Let’s be honest with one another, there are a lot of people “teaching” a lot of things that sound great, but are not biblical! 

At Living by Design Ministries, we are committed to diligent study and correct teaching of the Word of truth.

And third, Bible literacy is declining at an alarming rate in our culture (Jn 17:17). Sadly, nine out of ten practicing Christians say they wish they read their Bibles more [source].

By providing free online resources to help Christians better engage with the biblical text, we are tackling the problem of Bible literacy head-on.

Many of our readers do not realize that my immediate family is responsible for 95% of the ministry work at Living by Design. 

My husband is my strength and shield. He makes all financial decisions and helps me deal with the challenges inherent to ministry life. Without his daily encouragement and support, I would crumble under the weight of my calling.

My two teenage daughters review all our graphic design concepts. They help me come up with new study ideas and offer feedback throughout the creation process. I share all the highs and lows of ministry life with them and view them as my co-laborers in this work.

My writing is inspired, not just by our current readers, but by the next generation of readers. 

When I release a new study, it is my deepest desire to equip Christian women to raise up the next generation of Bible-believing Christians. 

This ministry is my family’s mission field; it is also our battlefield. 

This ministry is my family’s mission field; it is also our battlefield. -Sarah Koontz, Founder of Living by Design Ministries Click to Tweet
picture of hand dropping spring fundraiser coins into a jar with a plant growing out of it

An Invitation to Support Living by Design Ministries

At Living by Design Ministries, we are committed to growing in knowledge of the Word and proclaiming the truth of the Bible to all who will listen.

And friends, we do all of this with a small staff and a minuscule operating budget. We have been hovering around the “50% funded” mark since we became a nonprofit in 2017. {Read our 2021-2022 Annual Impact Report}

Our lack of financial stability and limited funding does impact our ability to serve our ever-growing community.

As I said at the beginning of this article, I am passionate about this ministry and would carry on even if there were little or no money to sustain our work.

But the fact that I am content and committed doesn’t change the fact that this ministry is significant and worthy of your support.

I used to get anxious whenever fundraising season rolled around because I simply detest talking about money (I try not to even think about money most of the time). 

But God has called me to serve His Kingdom purposes by cultivating this free Bible study ministry. 

That means I simply must find people who are willing to stand in the gap and cover the cost for our Bible study participants.

There are so many souls in our midst that could not afford to pay for these studies if there was any cost associated with them whatsoever.

They need me to unapologetically invite you to invest in this ministry. They need me to ask you to pay the price they cannot. They need me to be bold so that they can continue participating in our life-giving Bible studies.

So here it goes…

Will you prayerfully consider making a financial investment in our ministry?

Every dollar donated helps FIVE people receive free Bible study material in their inboxes. Every $10 monthly recurring gift covers the cost of THREE Bible study participants for the whole month. And every single donation reminds us that we are not alone in ministry!

If you are unable to make a financial donation at this time, we invite you to share a testimonial online.  

Many people won’t invest their time, talents, and treasures into an organization without first reading the impact stories of how the organization is accomplishing its mission. To help Living by Design Ministries in this way, consider leaving a review on Facebook, submitting a testimonial at GreatNonProfits.org, or completing this online form. 

Thank you for taking action and showing support for our Spring Fundraiser. With your help, we will be able to continue giving “without cost from the spring of the water of life” (Rev 21:6b).

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About the Author: Sarah Koontz

About the Author: Sarah Koontz

Sarah Koontz is the founder of Living by Design Ministries, a non-profit organization that exists to deliver free Bible Studies to inboxes around the world. She is a passionate storyteller who enjoys using illustrations to communicate deep spiritual truths. Sarah and her husband Ryan live on thirteen acres in the heart of the Black Hills, SD. They have two beautiful daughters, a rowdy flock of chickens, and a house full of foster kittens. Sarah is an avid gardener, a faithful coffee drinker, lover of one-pot-dinners, an unexpected homeschooler, and a Dallas Seminary student.

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