By Jacob Eckeberger on June 03 2014
1Q interviews are when we ask multiple youth pastors the same question and share their response. This particular 1Q interview is with three of my youth pastor friends about their experience as women in youth ministry.
Original photo from Elvin
My wife is on a church staff that is 2/3 women. Honestly, it has taken some getting used to. All of my past church experiences have had mostly male leadership. Now that I’m a part of “the lady church,” as it’s affectionately called in our town, I feel like I’m experiencing what it might be like for all my female friends in ministry that are a part of the minority. So I wanted to reach out to 3 of my female youth pastor friends to ask them the question, “What excites you the most or challenges you the most about being a woman in youth ministry?”
Colie Krueger Yth Minister at Community of Faith Lutheran in West Linn, Or:
What excites me about being a woman in youth ministry is the opportunity. The chance to minister, to bless, to change perspectives, to preach the gospel, to bring Christ’s redemption and healing to students, to disciple young believers, to see lives transformed. It is a gift. I wasn’t aware of the lack of women in the field until I went to a youth ministry conference this past year. There were around 200 youth pastors from the area invited for the weekend, and I was astounded to find only a handful of women in the room on opening night! I had no idea that I was such a minority. From that point of view, it feels like an honor to be in the role and to be accepted and uplifted by my colleagues. In terms of the challenges I face as being a woman in youth ministry, I have never seen the struggles as being related to my gender. Rather most of the struggles I’ve come across in youth ministry arise from living in a fallen world, helping students battle pressures and lies of our culture, learning how to battle the attacks of the enemy and training my own heart to submit to the Lord's plans. My prayer is that God will enable more women to be used by Him in youth ministry; there are so many students who don’t know Jesus yet and long to hear about Him, and so many faithful sisters in Christ who radiate the gospel with their lives. “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Mt. 9:37-38)
Brooke Holloway Associate Pastor of Yth & Missions at Memorial Baptist in Arlington, VA:
As a woman in youth ministry sometimes I am so aware of differences--and sometimes I feel alone. But when I really pay attention, I discover that I'm not alone in feeling alone--feeling alone spans genders, experiences, life stages, locations. I discover as we live into this life Christ has for us as his people that this is just the thing Jesus transforms, making something of us together: God's people in their many voices, interests, approaches...gifts, if you will, coming together and working together for the good of God's Way of Life. In my particular role as a woman in ministry I get the chance to encourage this Life-Together as God's people. I get to be God's child and I get to play my part...and then, I get to encourage others--teenagers and adults alike--to be God's child and to play their parts.
Brooklyn Lindsey Jr High Pastor at Highland Park in Lakeland, FL:
What excites me most? Seeing women and men working together in partnership. I am so proud of organizations who have seen imbalances in leadership and have worked together to make changes. I have been a part of these conversations and changes and feel like we have come a long way in some things. There are still some challenges but there's nothing we can't do together.