I'm a reluctant champion of other women in leadership. In the first 10+ years of my leadership journey, I was content just doing my thing. I wanted to be an excellent leader first and foremost. Carrying the freight of my gender felt like a weight too heavy for my young soul to shoulder (thanks Nancy Beach for this helpful metaphor!). I didn't want my gender to get in the way of my influence, nor did I want to draw focus to the fact that I was a woman in fear that someone would notice and place that proverbial glass ceiling over my potential.
Fast forward several years, I began noticing more and more the gender inequity in places of leadership influence. Women would start off in leadership roles but slowly they would disappear. And it began gnawing on my soul in a way I could no longer resist. I believe women are needed in sacred spaces. So, for the better part of the last decade I have committed myself to open doors for women in leadership, coach them toward achieving their goals (the women in youth ministry cohort is a great example), train women to be the best versions of themselves, mentor women as we sit across drinking coffee and eating burritos, and cheerlead women to stay the course even when it's hard. Few things fill me more than seeing women thrive in leadership and teaching.
Next March I have the privilege of leading the third Women in Youth Ministry Campference with a collection of truly remarkable women in leadership. We at The Youth Cartel fiercely believe in women in leadership. We believe the Church is better when women and men share in decisions and voice. We are committed to doing what we can to elevate women.
So for about 48 hours in March 2017 we will gather together for the sake of strengthening our leadership core so we can be the most effective leaders in our contexts. It is truly holy ground. The solidarity is palpable. The resolve to soldier on is inspiring. The training is of the highest caliber. These women are frontrunners in their churches and cities. The sisterhood is legit.
This year we felt PROMPTED to spur more women in youth ministry into action. The PROMPTING is to cause reaction for the sake of goodness and life in the world. Women are so necessary in our churches and youth ministries. This gathering is one of a kind, a "must go to" for any women in youth ministry you may know. Spread the word and spread the love. You may have no idea how much they need to be prompted...