These women are friends. Most of whom I’ve respected, followed, and admired for years. This is not a good paying gig. Some of them are paying their own way to come. But they are coming because they are committed to this thing. To you. Humbling, right?
Let me just brag for a hot minute about each of them because after reading about them, you’ll surely find a way to join us March 28-30.
Altogether, these women get what it’s like to be the only woman on the leadership team. They know what it’s like to juggle ministry and marriage and little ones. They’ve wrestled with being a single woman in ministry. They’ve known the sting of being unjustly fired. They’ve experienced being “threatening” because their gifts and personalities are challenging the cultural norms. They are incredibly forgiving and grace-giving because they’ve been forgiven much. And they are wicked smart, funny, wise, and soulful.
That’s why Rachel and I invited Crystal, Stephanie, Irene, Elle, Brooklyn, and Ashley to speak. And that’s why we asked Monica and Charlie to provide coaching. That’s why we asked Becki to lead us in worship. They are each their own unique version of those descriptors.
Crystal Kirgiss is thoughtful, strategic, and serious about having fun. She embodies a mysterious mash-up of love for Young Life, historical documents, and homemade journals. She also taught last year at WYMC about the story of Jesus walking on water and I’m still thinking about it.
Stephanie Caro is one of those women who has paved the way for women like me and younger. She’s a feisty trailblazer who speaks her mind, but does so with a fierce commitment to making the church better for teenagers. Her work with Ministry Architects places her among the most strategic minds in the youth ministry world.
Irene Cho has been a dear friend for nearly 15 years. She has a confrontational, prophetic voice for the sake of minorities that I cannot get enough of. She’s willing to sacrifice her own position and privilege to bring equality and justice. I want to be like Irene when I grow up. As a longtime staff member at Fuller Youth Institute, she also gets to work in one of the healthiest and most influential organizations in the country.
Elle Campbell is too much for words. I adore how she partners with her hubby to bring practical resources to youth leaders everywhere. She’s witty and hilarious. Their skyrocketing success has come at a price but Elle maintains humor and joy. A few years ago, I was captivated by one of her blog posts where she trumpeted the successes and opportunities of other female youth workers and committed herself to be one who stands with—not against—other women.
Brooklyn Lindsey is also a dear old friend. Her vulnerability and honesty is striking for a global, influential leader. Brooklyn has learned to find and honor her unique voice, even if it’s not the path of least resistance. She’s also way into essential oils (like me), so I love her all the more.
Ashley Bohinc is my newest friend, but it was love at first site. She’s been involved in most every level of students’ lives – teacher, volunteer, part-time, full time, church work, non-profit work. We also share a burning passion for Ethiopia, which she pours herself into beyond her day job.
Monica Childers and Charlie Conder have my heart in a different way. I’ve coached them and trained them as coaches. They’re both older than me (I cannot lie, girls) but I feel proud like a momma of them. The breakthroughs and growth they’ve experienced these last couple years is why I want them to coach you at WYMC. Superstars.
Finally, Becki Visker. We became instant friends when I moved to the Midwest and our regular late night soirées have kept me sane in a painful move. She’s wise beyond her years, honest but gentle, strong yet pliable. And when she leads worship it F-L-O-W-S from a deep communion with God that’s extended to us. Most of the time, I cry.
For real…finally, Rachel Blom. She’s been my running mate in planning WYMC for three years. Dutch by birth, with a stint in Germany, and now living on American soil, Rachel speaks 7 languages. She’s complete. I adore her global perspective and insight. She reads more than anyone I know and writes a ton for the sake of youth ministry. Her personal journey this last year is not to be missed at WYMC. Rachel has become a soul sister.
Can you tell now why I’m so stoked to have these women at WYMC?!?! This will be our best year yet. Each contributor up until now has made WYMC what it is and made it possible for the third time to be the charm.
I cannot wait to see you there. If you feel prompted in any way (ahem…our focus word), you can find all the info and sign up here and now (before the early registration deadline on 2/28).