NEW Women in Youth Ministry Coaching Cohort

There's something about the mixture of a group of likeminded individuals coming together and the accountability of a trained coach that does wonders for your growth and development as a leader and youth worker. I've learned that journeying with a safe group of peers provides fertile soil for long-lasting change.

I think that women in youth ministry are the intersection of some of my favorite people: leaders, women, and youth workers. And this environment is a beautiful opportunity for my gifts and background to be used for other women!

Participating in this cohort has benefited me more than any other conference or experience I have participated in! What I love about this cohort is the focus isn’t on how to lead a better youth ministry - the focus is on how to lead yourself, which will benefit all aspects of your life, including your ministry, for years to come.
— Jennifer Williams, Youth Director, Restoration Church

This whole-life coaching program is all about developing and empowering women in leadership. Being a woman in youth ministry is different. It demands unique skills and awareness as we approach the challenges and opportunities due to our gender.

We will learn across a scope of subjects focused on leadership development and youth ministry realities in our changing culture. This specialized cohort will have 10 women in leadership, and meets twice for 2 days plus 4 times online (3 hours each). Each component is very intentional and structured to provide encouragement, training, challenge, and whole-life transformation.

This cohort provides a customized approach to your specific context and needs as a woman in youth ministry.

A Few Details...

  • WHO: 10 women in any role within youth ministry.
  • COHORT SCHEDULE: This cohort will meet twice for 2 full day meetings in Orange County, CA (first and last meeting) and have 4 online meetings (3 hours each). The specific meeting dates will be chosen by the group. The cohort will most likely look like this:
    • MONTH 1: 2-day face-to-face meeting
    • MONTH 2: 1on1 coaching call
    • MONTH 3: Online meeting
    • MONTH 4: 1on1 coaching call
    • MONTH 5: Online meeting
    • MONTH 6: 1on1 coaching call
    • MONTH 7: Online meeting
    • MONTH 8: 1on1 coaching call
    • MONTH 9: Online meeting
    • MONTH 10: 2-day face-to-face meeting
  • 1on1 COACHING: Participants receive four 30-minute phone calls with me in between our face-to-face meetings plus a 1on1 coaching session during the face-to-face meeting.
  • CONNECTION: Secret Facebook group for ongoing support, training, and interaction.
  • HOMEWORK: We will do a good amount of shared, cross-disciplinary reading. I believe that leaders are readers! Additionally, each participate will self-assign homework based on learning and necessary, personalized growth areas.
  • LAUNCH DATE: We are hoping to launch in early 2018, or whenever the cohort fills.
  • COST: $2250 (+ participant travel expenses)

The transformation you'll experience from the other women and myself will be beyond these bullet points! You can read about Andrea's experience in a previous cohort.

I've participated in similar cohorts and it's beyond worth it. It's one of the best investments you can make in your leadership. It has been for me. Conferences and network meetings are great, but they rarely produce the kind of customized, personalized, long-lasting transformation that we require as leaders.

The women who've already committed are very diverse! They are from all over the country, different denominations, different life stages, and different experiences in ministry. I'm VERY excited about our "differences" because it will make our learning that much richer and more profound!!

If you're interested in this cohort or a future one, you can learn more about the Youth Ministry Coaching Program HERE (including a downloadable brochure for your supervisor, sample schedules and FAQs) or contact me directly HERE. I'd love to figure this out with you!

Ready to apply already?!? Complete this YMCP application and secure your spot with a $100 deposit. 

Today's My Birthday

My happy place. Perhaps where I see and hear God better than anywhere else.

My happy place. Perhaps where I see and hear God better than anywhere else.

Today I turn 38 years old. I love my birthday. I love the grace of another year of life lived. I love the messages and phone calls from dear friends, presents, fancy dinners, and champagne. I love being celebrated. I love celebrating the life I get to live.

Celebrating 16 years as a team!

Celebrating 16 years as a team!

This year, in particular, I'm bubbled over with gratitude. I have an adoring husband and our love seems to get better with every year (just celebrated 16 years of marriage!). Our three kids are more fun than ever before. They are real little people who can shower themselves (praise Jesus!), help carry in groceries, and say the sweetest things - unprompted! I am the luckiest girl in the world with my circle of friends - women and men who know me deeply and love me toward my best self. I have a unfair number of mentors who see me, push me, call out the truth in me. I want to be like them when I grow up and they want me to be the best version of myself. #winning I have work that I LOVE to do. Even today, on my birthday when I'm away from my Fav Four, I'm traveling doing work that matters, that I'm good at, that I love. 

And just this last month our family went #backtothefuture in a #socalorbust move to our beloved Southern California. We've settled in our miracle home (still need to hang pictures to make this home truly cozy) and are playing at the pool nearly every day. We're reconnecting with friends who feel like family, sharing meals, watching our kids play like no time has passed, telling stories, drinking wine, laughing and hugging with the deepest gratitude.

In the words of one of my mentors, "CA has never let me down one day." Nancy and I met for an obscenely early breakfast exactly a year ago, when moving to CA wasn't even on the radar. Since she shared my story of feeling like a stranger in a foreign land, I asked her if she was happy to live in CA after her exile. She blurted out between sips of tea, "CA has never let me down one day!" I burst into tears. Me neither. Since we entered the state on I-40 something deep and important clicked back into place in our souls. We've come home. 

Someone pinch me! HOW DID I GET SO LUCKY?!?!

I'm grateful for life and breath. I'm grateful for CA sun and water. I'm grateful to be known and loved. I'm grateful for the sale of our IN home which enabled us to move here. I'm grateful for family who supports us even in the midst of their loss. I'm grateful for coffee in the morning and wine at night. I'm grateful for Anthropology and Korean food and the beach and the Spectrum and doTERRA essential oils and cultural diversity.

I'm grateful for all the growth in my life this last year. I pushed myself to grow this year more than most others. And I feel the benefits today. I have some really tired muscles that need to be rested, but I'm also re-invigorated to rock the world.

  • I've learned to listen to my body and honor what she's telling me.
  • I've immersed myself in non-white, non-male voices this last year to better understand the cries, passions, and perspectives of those who are different from the American majority.
  • I've grown in vulnerability, especially when it comes to expressing my desires, longings, and hopes.
  • I've grown in skill and confidence in my teaching, preaching, and training. I know my value as a female preacher who has a unique voice of God.
  • I grown in my ability to be present with my Fav Four, putting the phone down more often, and looking at them in the eyes when they talk to me. 
  • I've become a better coach, walking with people to achieve what they want.

This next year I will live with greater intention, vision, hope, and contentment than ever before. I'm more committed than ever to use my voice and gifts on behalf the outcast and marginalized. My heart is set in learning about things I don't understand and didn't fit into my previous worldview or theology. I'm creating some business goals to create some freedom for our family. I will write Book #2. I will persist. 

If you’ve never had a God-sized dream that scared you half to death, then you haven’t really come to life.

If you’ve never been overwhelmed by the impossibility of your plans, then your God is too small.

If your vision isn’t perplexingly impossible, then you need to expand the radiuses of your prayer circles.

Here's to the next year of life, of being a strong warrior (EZER), of relaxing into our home, of becoming a better version of who I was created to be!

Thanks for being a part of the journey. It's an honor to share life with you. XOOX

Mentality of Scarcity or Abundance (Richard Rohr)

I grew up with a mentality of scarcity. And for most of my adult life I've been re-training my mind to reverse this unhealthy thinking and poor theology. It's especially when I have high needs (i.e. moving across the country with my family) that scarcity thinking can move front and center into my thinking. Today's meditation from Richard Rohr was spot on. May it serve you well today, too...

The flow of grace through us is largely blocked when we are living inside a worldview of scarcity, a feeling that there’s just not enough: enough of God, enough of me, enough food, enough health care to go around, enough mercy to include and forgive all faults. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the human mind is actually incapable of imagining anything infinite or eternal. So it cannot imagine an infinite love or a God whose “love is everlasting,” as the Psalms continually shout. In other words, the mind of itself cannot know God.

The many “multiplication” of food stories in the Gospels—when Jesus feeds a crowd with very little (for example, Matthew 14:15-21)—clearly exemplify abundance as the foundation of reality. The spiritual point is grace, not some mere physical miracle. Notice in almost every case that the good apostles, who represent our worldview of scarcity, advise Jesus against feeding the crowd: “But how will two fish and five loaves be enough for so many?” Jesus is trying to move them from their worldview of scarcity to one of abundance, but does so with great difficulty. In the end, there is always much food left over, which should communicate the point: Reality, with its inherent overflowing, always has more than enough of itself to give. Just observe the seeds, spermatozoa, and pollen of the natural world.

Our unhealthy economics and politics persist because even Christians largely operate out of a worldview of scarcity: there is not enough land, water, money, and housing for all of us; and in America there are never enough guns to keep us safe. A saint always knows that there is more than enough for our need but never enough for our greed. In the midst of the structural stinginess and over-consumption of our present world, how do we possibly change consciousness and teach the mind to operate from mercy and graciousness? It will always be an uphill battle, and it will always depend upon a foundational and sustained conversion. Even the churches tend to be stingy with grace and mercy, as Pope Francis continues to point out.

Only our personal experiences of unconditional, unearned, and infinite love and forgiveness can move us from the normal worldview of scarcity to the divine world of infinite abundance. That’s when the doors of mercy blow wide open! That’s when we begin to understand the scale-breaking nature of the Gospel. Catholics and much of the world are now stunned to observe a pope who exemplifies this worldview in our time. We can no longer say it is impossible idealism.

Gateway to Silence: By grace I am saved.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, “Today Is a Time for Mercy,” December 10, 2015, https://cac.org/richard-rohr-on-mercy-mp3.

Grow Youth Ministry Curriculum and Strategy!! GET IT.

If you're in youth ministry and constantly trying to figure out teaching curriculum -- and all the goodies that make the curriculum work for you -- you've got to check out the Grow Youth Ministry Curriculum and Strategy resource. It's brand new from the genius work of my dear friends, Kenny and Elle Campbell at Stuff You Can Use.

It's seriously everything you need for your students, volunteers, and parents. It's great Kingdom content, super user friendly, and really fun!

The team who contributed to this is the most diverse - racially, ethnically, and gender - that I've EVER seen. That alone makes this curriculum and strategy worth purchasing!!! 

I'm super stoked and honored to contribute to this brand new resource. I wrote the series on justice and I was thinking about you and your students the entire time I wrote these 4 adaptable messages. As a youth pastor at heart, I LOVE it when there are solid resources available at a good cost. And this curriculum is. 

Check it out. I don't think you'll be disappointed. (ummmmm...and if you are, they offer a 200% guarantee. Love these peeps!)