Guest Post by Terry Williams
FEARLESS. INNOVATIVE. RELATIONAL.
These words come to mind when having a conversation with Monica Henderson, Executive Director of A Woman's Choice, a Care Net affiliate in Louisville Kentucky.
Monica is fearless! Married to her high school sweetheart and the mother of two teenage boys, Monica left her job as a corporate attorney for nonprofit ministry. For Monica, the corporate life was not how she wanted to live anymore; it was certainly not the kind of stress that she wanted to die for. And so she began to pray, asking God to place her in ministry, one where she could use her skills and training to help others. As with so many of us called to this ministry, God did a work and there was no turning back for Monica. She is now in her 7th year as an Executive Director at a pregnancy center that shares a wall with an abortion clinic!
Like many of us in this ministry, Monica wrestles with the reality that many babies are born into situations that are difficult at best. But being the person that she is, Monica doesn't give up, and she doesn't give in. Monica Henderson has found a way to reach these women at their point of need and beyond. Several years ago, A Woman’s Choice started a program called Necole's Place. Located in a separate facility, Necole’s Place’s primary mission is to teach life skills to their clients. Topics such as GED tutoring, basic tutoring, parenting classes, anger and stress management classes, dialy Bible studies, and on-site childcare are among the free services provided through this remarkable program Additionally Necole's place serves lunch every single day to every person in the building: clients, staff, children, and volunteers. This place is where relationships are built, says Monica, and where lives are changed.
Under Monica's leadership, A Woman's Choice takes care of their own; paying close attention to the volunteers and staff assigned to some of the many duties that come with the pregnancy resource center job descriptions -- monitoring the parking lot, or being the volunteer advocate that shares the truth about abortion with the scheduled client. Whenever a volunteer appears weary or stressed, the paid staff steps in with a hug, a shoulder, or a word of help and hope. It is not unusual for Monica to instruct those serving on these front lines to take some time off and regroup. Additionally, A Woman's Choice holds quarterly staff retreats for the single purpose of spiritual renewal. In another innovative administrative move, Monica made the decision to hire three part-time paid client advocates who see their abortion minded clients.
Monica has some advice for her sisters and brothers who are working in pro-life ministry. She says if you want to reach abortion minded clients:
- Be open when the abortions are being performed in your area.
- Be professional and innovative in reaching and serving clients.
- Invest in the spiritual wellness of your staff, volunteers, and yourself!
FEARLESS. INSPIRED. RELATIONAL.
These are the words that I would use to describe Monica Henderson, effective executive at A Woman's Choice Pregnancy Center in Louisville. I have a feeling that readers will agree.
Adapted from 5 Characteristics That Make Monica Henderson an Effective Executive, a post orginally appearing in Care Net's private affiliate community. Terry Williams is a Care Net Center Services Specialist. She has extensive experience in pregnancy center ministry as a former executive director, volunteer trainer extraordinaire, and board member.