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May’s Registration Perks


Are you planning to come to The Summit? Register by May 31st and we’ll give you the following early registration perks! ($100 in value)*

  • All MP3 audio of The Summit 2015 ($25)
  • All session videos of The Summit 2015 ($50)
  • $25 store credit to our online store

Early Bird registration is just $149 per person… so $100 in perks is a screaming great deal. Head over to The Summit page and learn all about this year’s event.

* Limit to one perks package per church/organization/ministry.

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Student Justice Conference Bumped to July 28 – 31, 2016


As our May 1st deadline to register groups for the Student Justice Conference approached two things were becoming clear.

  1. Youth workers and students really want to come to the Student Justice Conference, there’s a lot of excitement about it.
  2. Groups were having a very hard time confirming students to bring.

With that information, the organizing partners made the decision to bump SJC to July 2016. 

Continue reading Student Justice Conference Bumped to July 28 – 31, 2016

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Elephants at The Summit

The Summit 2015 - Theme

In 2012, Marko and I started The Summit to help spark creativity, stir ideas, and push our friends in youth ministry to think in new ways.

Heading into our fourth year we wanted to make sure that we continued to press into that idea… that the event itself wasn’t itself becoming formulaic and that we’re continuing to spark creativity, new ideas, and push our friends in youth ministry to think in new ways.

Continue reading Elephants at The Summit

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What’s new in The Youth Cartel store?


Our little online store, which literally lives in my garage and is shipped by my family, is full of great youth ministry resources. We carry more than just things from The Youth Cartel publishing line, we also carry a handful of products from around the world of youth ministry which we think are excellent and are “Cartel-y.”

Here’s what’s new in my garage…

Continue reading What’s new in The Youth Cartel store?

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Under Pressure


When I first started watching the TV series One Tree Hill – and this was years ago mind you – the title song struck a chord in me. Despite a few weird lines, these are some powerful lyrics about being yourself:

I’m tired of looking ’round rooms
Wondering what I’ve got to do
Or who I’m supposed to be
I don’t want to be anything other than me

One thing I’ve become more and more aware of over the years is just how hard it is to be you. Somehow I imagined that growing older meant that is was easier to find myself and be myself. And it has become easier, especially in comparison to my teenage years. But it’s still not easy.

There’s so much pressure to be someone else, something else. And as women, we are constantly under pressure.

Under pressure to be an organized, always-available soccer mom who bakes perfect cupcakes and volunteers at every school activity.

Under pressure to be the domestic goddess whose house is always in pristine condition, with a perfectly maintained garden, and who cooks a fresh healthy meal every single day.

Under pressure to be the perfect youth leader who has an active presence on every social network known to man, who always has time for students and who is beloved by everyone in the church.

Under pressure to be in a constant close relationship with my Father, reading my Bible daily, in continuous communication with Him, filling my soul and mind with ‘higher things’.


As women, we juggle many different roles, each with their own expectations and pressure. We’re moms, spouses, homemakers, youth leaders, volunteers, neighbors, friends, sisters…I’ve gotten better at this, but I still struggle.

But one thing I do know and it’s something I could not say twenty years ago: I don’t want to be anyone other than me. I may not always succeed, but I try.

How about you?

p.s. It’s a little over one week till the Women in Youth Ministry Campference and it’s not too late to signup! Let’s hang out there and swap stories!

(I don’t wanna be – Gavin DeGraw, 2003 from the album ‘Chariot’)

Rachel Blom is from The Netherlands originally and has over 15 years of experience in youth ministry in several countries. She’s an author, blogger, avid reader and a walking encyclopedia of completely useless facts. She lives in upstate New York with her family and is on the core organizing team of the Women in Youth Ministry Campference. Find her youth ministry blog on

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The WYMC Wouldn’t Be Possible Without…


We are but two weeks away from the first ever Cartel Women in Youth Ministry Campference. Our team has literally been planning and praying since last summer. We can’t wait for everyone to get there!

The major scaffolding of this Campference (which is the best elements of a camp and a conference combined) is our two partners and one sponsor. I just love how they believe in what we are doing and want to support these women in leadership. Let me tell you a little about them, because you’ll love them, too.

Lake Junaluska

The Campference wouldn’t be happening without our accommodation, Lake Junaluska. They believed in this vision from day one and have worked with us on every level to make this event possible. They’ve given us lots of space as we created the contract. They’ve set us up in their best housing. I mean, look at these amazing new rooms!!They’ve provided us with a worship team to lead us into the presence of God. Lake J is infamous and is truly a gift in location and cost to allow us to be there!

Lake J Rooms

Lake Junaluska also hosts incredible youth retreats every winter and provides a myriad of great resources for pastoral renewal. We hope your time at Lake J at the Campference will give you a reason to come back!

Slingshot Group

The Slingshot Group were another organization that believed in this from the very beginning. They asked, “How can we get involved?” and put some serious investment behind the answer to that question. Slingshot not only offered financial backing but they also gave us Nancy Beach as our main stage speaker. Nancy is a big deal in the church world and Slingshot knew that she would add so much value in her presence, words, and coaching to be at the Campference. So, they made it possible for Nancy to be with us. Wow.


If you’re not familiar with Slingshot Group, they partner with churches all over the U.S. for staffing searches and coaching. I also work with Slingshot in their youth ministry division, which is why I wanted them to partner with us at the Campference. Every week I get to see the positive investment of staffing churches and coaches candidates toward the remarkable. If your church is struggling, Slingshot can help you figure it out. If you are in a transition and need someone to help you walk through that transition, Slingshot is here for you. If your church needs a staffing position filled with a great candidate or you need some ongoing coaching, Slingshot has your back.

Judson University

Judson University is our sole sponsor at WYMC. Judson has believed in and poured into women for pastoral leadership for years. They graciously said “yes” to sponsoring this event – even when it wasn’t in their budget! – because they want to encourage YOU as a frontrunner in ministry. That’s why they are awesome! Plus, look how beautiful this campus is!

Judson University

For a couple decades, Judson has been training youth ministry students for pastoral ministry. I am a product of their youth ministry and adolescent development major. It equipped me for ministry beyond my hopes and expectations. They also have a Master of Leadership in Ministry that may be exactly what you need to do next.

We are grateful to these ministries – and the people who make them awesome! – for coming alongside of this to make it happen. You can find out more about our partners and sponsor here. We think they can greatly impact your life and ministry, too!

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Your Invitation to the Youth Ministry in a Post-Christian Context Coaching Cohort

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I’m not sure of any places in the youth ministry world that are honestly, helpfully, and healthily looking at ministry in a post-Christian world. That is why I’m excited about this cohort with Jake Kircher and friends.
He’s leading the charge to say 1) this is different than Bible-belt youth ministry, 2) this is hard, 3) this is exactly where the church must remain and grow! The community, creativity, and conversations that will exist in this cohort will be worth it immediately and over the long haul.

Jake is the right person to lead this specialized YMCP cohort. And he’s right to include a handful of other folks in the trenches with him to guide the conversations and make this cohort as robust as possible.

Word is already out about this cohort. There are only 7 spots left and a bunch of people interested. I hope you’ll consider participating for your sake and the sake of the Gospel in your community. Maybe you know someone who’d benefit from this cohort, too. Forward this email to them for everyone’s sake!

[twocol_one][button link=”” color=”red”]Download a Cohort Overview[/button] [/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last][button link=””]Learn more about YMCP[/button] [/twocol_one_last]