The topic of women in ministry is something that the church is wrestling with right now. There are polarizing viewpoints that seems divisive and discouraging depending on who you are. What we can all agree on is that we may disagree and that is ok. Healthy dialogue leads to better understanding and a better understanding leads to a greater capacity for grace & compassion.
Women have an incredible role in the local church. These conversations have to lead towards a greater understanding that women can lead at a high level, they can teach, they can shepherd, they can care for people, they are strategic and intentional. A calling to ministry isn't only for men!
Jessica Sanchez, Allison Williams, Katie Edwards and Ashley Bohinc are all women in full time ministry and have a heart to talk about this subject. This panel was incredibly wise, gracious and smart when it came to the answers to questions collected over social media. The answers to give justice to the full conversations that happened during the breakout. Below are some of their answers to the questions asked:
How did you get into the current position you are in in ministry?
Jessica Sanchez - “I started serving as a volunteer at my church. I saw a need and filled that need because someone at my church believed in me and saw something in me. I went on to marry that person, my husband has been my biggest advocate."
Allison Williams -“I graduated from bible college and got hired to do kids ministry. Over time that slowly turned into working with youth ministry as well."
Katie Edwards -“I started serving in middle school ministry as a 17yr old. When I was 21 the middle school pastor asked me about a full time roll that paid $800 a month, which at the time I thought was incredible."
Ashley Bohinc - “I started serving in middle school ministry and then got asked to come on to staff full time."
What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome to be in the position you are in right now?
Allison Williams - “My biggest obstacle was the financial aspect of the job, early on I had to talk to the leadership at my church about how much I got paid because it was below the poverty line."
Katie Edwards - “The biggest obstacle for me was making assumptions. I had to ask is it true? Comparison and pride hold you back from being fully present in the position I was in. I needed to start going into conversations with others giving them the benefit of the doubt immediately."
Ashley Bohinc -“The biggest obstacle for me was a lack of belief in myself."
What does self care look liken for you?
Jessica Sanchez - “For me, I need to have consistent therapy meetings in good seasons and bad. I also needed to see a spiritual director consistently so call out the strengths and weaknesses in me."
Allison Williams - “I need a light at the end of the tunnel. I need something that motivates me to know there is a reward coming like vacations, memberships to art museum, theater, etc, to go somewhere people don’t know you and just be."
Katie Edwards - “I set up rhythms of recovery throughout the week as well as take a true sabbath. “Rest is important so I did a sleep study to figure out how much sleep is needed for me to feel rested. I need to spend time with life giving people."
Why do you think its important to have women in ministry?
Jessica Sanchez- “The church needs diversity, different experiences to get a better, fuller perspective. You need both genders involved in students lives."
Katie Edwards - "Boys and girls need men and women, perspectives from both sides is key."
Ashley Bohinc -"Girls need to see that vocational ministry is a path for them, they need to know that their call to ministry is real and will supported by others."
How do you prepare and participate in mixed gender meetings?
Katie Edwards - “I prepare the same way I would for any meeting."
Jessica Sanchez - “I dont speak any differently no matter who is in the room."
Allison Williams - “I have to be ready to go, I have to prepare well so that the men will take me seriously. I have to work twice as hard for half the respect, there is not as much margin for error, it takes a lot of planning."
What is the BEST & HARDEST thing about leading alongside your same gender?
Allison Williams - "The best part about leading with other women is that there are more and more women in ministry. It’s awesome to see more and more women in ministry. The hardest part is that sometimes women fight for the same seat instead of pulling up more chairs. God’s got room for everyone to shine!"
Jessica Sanchez - “Historically there is a sense for 1 woman to be on the team, so it is a competition. The best part is that its a blast to do ministry with other women."
Katie Edwards - "The best part is seeing other women pouring into her family. The hardest thing is the assumptions made about people and about me."
What is the Best & Hardest thing about leading alongside Men?
Katie Edwards- “The best thing about working with men is that its fun, men have the tendency to bring laughter and fun to the job."
Jessica Sanchez - “Guys help me to not take myself to seriously, they help me laugh a lot."
Allison Williams - "The best part about working with men is that they are fun to collaborate with. The hardest part is being a single woman in ministry and networking with guys and them always thinking I am pursuing them for marriage… which is creepy."
If there was one thing you wish could be different about men & women leading together in ministry, what would it be?
Katie Edwards - “I wish there would be stronger partnerships that would exist in every church, leaning into each others strengths needs to happen more often."
Jessica Sanchez - “I wish it wasn’t a novelty to have a women in a position at church, I wish it was easier to create partnerships."
Allison Williams - “I wish there would be more of a collaborative spirit regardless of theology, lets learn from each other no matter what the difference, take the next step and learn from women."
The takeaway is simple. Women have a place in ministry and we need to lean into the unique giftings, talents & perspectives that women bring the Church.
As you walk around NYWC, especially in the exhibit hall and big room, you surely will have some questions. Below are the 5 that I am sure you have had:
Why is there a storm trooper walking around the exhibit hall?
I know you have asked yourself that question. No investigative reporting here just curious, as I am sure you are too. I wonder if he has found the droids he is looking for, thats probably what he’s doing. Can someone please ask him and get back to me? Thanks!
At the Orange Booth, Shef’s arms are as big as his legs by their slingshot game, does he always skip leg day?
The expressionless Orange leader has been in the gym and obviously never misses arm day! But the skinny jean pic on the right? Come on Shef, give leg day a chance man! Or, maybe, could it be, Shef’s face on Doug Fields body? We all know Doug doesn’t miss leg day or his bicep curls. So… who’s legs are those anyways?
Does John Michael Hinton count calories and does it count when he magically makes the Oreo whole again?
At comedy night, John Michael Hinton ate the middle of an Oreo and then magically made it reappear and fill back up. He then took a bite, chewed it up, and then spit it back at the half eaten cookie. Do those calories count? If they dont count, he could make millions teaching people how to eat Oreos, make them reappear and not worry about the calories.
Why is Doug Fields going to the various exhibits trying to get free resources for his new Youth Ministry position?
I think I saw Doug Fields going booth to booth collecting free resources, T-shirts and missions organizations information for his new role. I even overheard him talking to Josh Griffin about a discounted Gold membership so his new church can utilize DYM resources. We wish Doug all the best. I think he should probably reread is book, First 2 years in Youth Ministry, immediately! We are all here cheering you on Doug!
Can Heather Flies really squeeze things out of people when she hugs them?
I mean, we all know how incredible of a person Heather is. She gives a firm handshake and hug but how hard do you have to squeeze someone to get liquid to come out of people? I did some research, it takes 15 PSI (pounds per square inch) to make that happen. The average person hugs at an average of 6 PSI. I have concluded that it is absolutely possible for Heather to squeeze the literal life out of someone!
Do you have any any other questions about things you are seeing at NYWC ’19? You won’t get an answer if you don’t ask!
This Deep Dive with Brandon Early, was simply to give incredible resources that can help save time, money and make you look like a pro in the process! Some of the resources are free, some cost money but they all are user friendly and add incredible value to your ministry. From promo items to apps for personal faith development; Below is a list of links that will help you look like you know what you're doing no matter where you are in ministry.
AirServer - The Most Advanced AirPlay and Google Cast receiver for Mac
Pinnacle Studio: video editing software & screen recorder
Non-profit organization accounts – Animoto Help
Online Video Editor | Smart Video Maker by Magisto
DYM | The #1 Destination for Youth Ministry Resources | youth workers helping youth workers win
Sidekick App by DYM – Discover the Sidekick app by DYM
Logos Bible Software
The Bible App - YouVersion
Dwell — Scripture Listening App
glo Bible – The Media Bible
Best Note Taking App - Organize Your Notes with Evernote
Buzzer Games | CrowdControlGames
Affordable Buzzers game show and quiz game lock-out buzzers and buzzer systems for classrooms and professional trainers
DYM | Bible Trivia: Right or Wronged - Shop Categories | youth workers helping youth workers win
pCloud - File Security Made Simple | pCloud
Fonts, Logos & Icons from GraphicRiver
Stock Footage & Video Effects from VideoHive
Fonts, Graphics, Themes and More ~ Creative Market
Make Social Graphics, Short Videos, and Web Pages To Stand Out—In Minutes | Adobe Spark
Collaborate & Create Amazing Graphic Design for Free
Axis: Teen Culture Translation | One Conversation that lasts a lifetime.
Log In | Poll Everywhere
Interactive presentation software - Mentimeter
OneTab - Chrome Web Store
Word Swag App - Generate Cool Text, Words & Quotes on Your Photos
Pacemaker: DJ App - Mix music with Spotify
Planoly: Visually plan, manage, and schedule your Instagram posts - Formerly Planogr.am
Beautiful Free Images & Pictures | Unsplash
Catchbox US/Global Store
Elmo CatchBox Throwable Microphone for PentaClass Audio System - SKU#1188324 ECA-CB
Products – Qball
Free Church Graphics Guide: Images, Videos, Icons, & More, Ranked
CCV Resources | CCV
Open Resources | Search for free church resources Open Resources
Free Church Images - Graphics - Backgrounds - Social - Church Videos
Free Church Resources, Trainings, Apps and Community | Life.Church Open Network
Seeds - Resources: All
Student Series | Free Resources for Churches | NewSpring Network
Church Media Drop | Free Media For The Church
Freely Photos | Free Christian Stock Photos
Free Worship Media & Church Media Resources – CMG | Church Motion Graphics
18 Places to Find Free Church Media | MediaShout
free sermon series graphics - Google Search
Resources | Southeast Christian Church
Which ones do you need to utilize today?
DYM - Be a Gold Member... Its worth it!! Sidekick is worth it alone!
Pacemaker - music is a must have element in your ministry, this website is incredible
Word Swag - easiest way to design awesome graphics
Axis.org - great way to stay up to date on culture and great way to keep parents informed
Need more ideas or options? Comment Below, there were other options that didn't quite make the list!