My START A DELIGHT STORY - Miami University
Over the past few years, we have witnessed hundreds of college women take small steps of obedience in faith to start 126 Delight chapters all across the country. These chapters have shared story after story of newfound best friends, new levels of vulnerability, and the incredible power of Christ-centered community in college!
Over this month, we want to share the Delight stories of new chapters at 4 universities in the US. Our hope is that in sharing these stories that you’ll see the truly incredible power found in walking in obedience with Jesus and that you’ll recognize that you too are called to be a leader.
We’re so excited to share the first Delight story of the month of Leah Ball and the Miami University chapter! Leah started her journey with Delight Ministries and got to know Mac & Kenz at Belmont University, where she spent her freshman year. When she transferred to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, she felt called to bring Delight with her! With the support of Mac & Kenz, as well as many other girls, Leah was able to follow through with this calling and she started the Miami University Delight chapter.
Q: WHEN DID YOU START A DELIGHT CHAPTER ON YOUR CAMPUS?
A: We kicked off last fall in 2018. But the process of building a leadership team and becoming a student org began in spring of 2018.
Q: WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO START A DELIGHT CHAPTER? HOW DID IT GET STARTED?
A: I used to go to Belmont University in Nashville before I transferred, and one day I was at Delight headquarters helping out. When I told Mac and Kenz that I was transferring they asked me, “Oh my gosh, do they have a Delight there?” I said, “No they don’t. I already looked.” And of course they responded excitedly, “You should start a Delight!!”
Fast forward to when I came to Miami University in the fall of 2017. I got plugged into a bible study, which was really good, but I craved deeper connections with other women of faith. So I started thinking more and more about starting a Delight because the idea had been in the back of my head for almost a year since Mac and Kenz had encouraged me to do it. And I started to get the feeling that this was placed on my heart by God. So the first thing I did was call Kenz and I said, “If I want to do this, what would it look like?” I remember talking to her and we went through the process, but the first thing she told me to do was to get other people involved and to build a leadership team so I wouldn’t be doing it alone.
Q: HOW DID YOU FIND OTHER WOMEN TO LEAD WITH YOU?
A: That was a process that definitely took at least a few weeks. Kenz encouraged me to talk to people I already knew and see who would be interested, but also to pray about it and be open to the Lord placing people on my heart that I didn't initially think of. The most important part of the semester before we kicked off was building the leadership team. There are seven other girls on the team with me, four of whom I sought out and talked to on my own and the other three were brought on by the first four girls. I met most of them through the small-group bible study I was a part of.
Q: HOW DID YOU GROW AS A LEADER AND WHAT DID GOD TEACH YOU THROUGH STARTING A DELIGHT CHAPTER?
A: One of the coolest ways I feel like I’ve grown is going from the person at the front leading the charge to being able to step back and let the entire team do it together. For the whole first part of the process of building the team and kicking off and everything, I felt like everyone on my team kept looking to me to for answers and to see how things would go. But after our very first chapter meeting the other girls on the team really stepped up and now I love not being in charge of planning everything. The girls came into our leadership meetings and say, “Here are my notes on the story, I want to lead,” and, “Here is what I think we should do this week.” So I really enjoy being part of this amazing team and now I lead best through being there to support them. In the past year, all seven of the girls on my team have grown so so so much in their vulnerability and their capacity to capture the attention of others and to pour into the girls. It’s been a joy to witness and I love celebrating them.
Q: WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART OF THE PROCESS FOR YOU? WHAT MADE THE HARD THINGS WORTH IT?
A: I would say that going through the steps to become a recognized student org was a bit challenging because it takes awhile, and the hardest part of that process was finding a faculty advisor, which is such a logistical problem. But one of the other leaders on our team went to an event held by our community church and through that she met a woman who is a professor on campus and she ended up becoming our advisor and it worked out perfectly. It was definitely a tedious process but God always provides!
Q: WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THE GIRL WHO FEELS CALLED TO START A CHAPTER BUT IS AFRAID SHE ISN’T THE GIRL FOR THE JOB?
A: Well, first of all, if it’s on her heart, then she is the girl for the job. But second of all, I would want to tell her that she’s not going to do it alone. Even if she doesn’t feel equipped (which she totally is) there’s going be people there to support her and be right there with her. The reason the first step of the process is to build a leadership team is because no one wants you to do it alone. There’s not really a time in the process where you’re not going to have someone supporting you, whether that’s Kenz or the girls on the leadership team.There’s always someone who is walking alongside you…I would want to tell her that she doesn’t have to do it alone, and she’s not going to do it alone.
Q: HOW ARE THE WOMEN ON YOUR CAMPUS BEING IMPACTED BY THIS MINISTRY?
A: In the simplest form, there are quite a few girls I have spoken to who have said, “I have met my best friends through Delight.” The relationships that grow outside the weekly group gatherings are so important for girls to make the transition to college. I think for our chapter that’s one of the biggest ways girls have shared with me that Delight has had a positive impact on their college experience.
Q: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT DELIGHT?
A: Delight is different…. The Bible calls us to confess our sins to one another and I think that Delight opens the door for so much vulnerability and so much truth and redeeming brokenness in us, which is just so crucial and beautiful. Delight fosters a tight-knit community and allows us to build deep relationships with other women who are there to support and love us. It’s so authentic and inclusive, and I am really happy that so many freshmen at Miami are able to lean on our Delight community because the transition to college is so much harder than a lot of people want to say it is.
As I talked with Leah, her passion for Christ, Delight Ministries, and the girls she has bonded with through Delight just overflowed. We obsessed with God’s goodness and experienced many “wow” moments throughout our chat. We repetitively noted how sweet of a gift Delight is: being able to walk in the door as strangers and walk out as sisters who are able to rejoice, worship, and grow alongside each other!
Thank you, Leah, for sharing your story and for inspiring future Delight leaders!
Do you feel called to lead on your campus?
We’re looking for women like YOU to launch and lead a Delight chapter on your university. Stepping into the call of leadership can seem scary and intimidating at first, but stories like Leah’s remind us of how God walks with us every step of the way. We’d love to chat with you about taking that first step into leadership. To learn more about starting a Delight chapter on YOUR campus, click the button below!
About the Author
Hey sister! I’m Mallorie Shearer. I’m from Marion, Indiana but am finishing up my last year of college in Indianapolis. Aside from my love for Jesus, some my favorite things include coffee, good books and podcasts, time outside, and writing! Writing serves as my creative outlet and is one of the best ways I can express how God is working in my heart. What I treasure the most is my worship time, which is usually (oddly) during my jogs, in church, or around a circle with some of my closest sister friends. I also love to lead bible studies and serve on many different leadership teams, hoping to reflect Jesus’s heart as much as I can!