Archive for April, 2009

I am Woman, Hear Me Roar!

These are the notes from my breakout session at #orange09. Very challenging stuff! 


Eternal roaring—what your saying on the inside isn’t coming out but it’s so good that is should… Do you ever feel this way?


There are significant lies about the kind of roar we should have in ministry that we as women believe:

  • I have to be:

Stronger, bolder, more courageous

  • I have to work:

Harder, longer, smarter, be the best

  • I must:

Chokes back tears/ push down emotions


What are we trying to prove?


Princeton business survey:

Women are more assertive, bold, take more risks than their male counterparts


But what about LOVE! That is what we are gifted at!


If someone followed me around for a year, would they say my collective roar is a roar of LOVE?


4 Distinct Areas to look at as women in leadership


  • Living into our unique leadership style:

Never stop growing

Become professional listeners

Become professional encouragers

Never try to be someone we’re not

Discover your strengths

Find helpful language to describe yourself and then share it with others. Discover who we are

Discover our unique spiritual gifts

Personality types

Celebrate the uniqueness of others

Never make your leadership about YOUR leadership

                        This is about the kingdom

                        This is about others

                        Root out selfishness

                        Work through our wounds

                        Find comfort in my own skin by realizing it is not about me anyway

  • Creating a healthy rhythm of life

What season of life are you in? My life, my challenges, my unique experiences /Celebrate your seasons!/Live into your season, stop apologizing for your seasons…

Knowing what your values are //the kind of life we’re trying to lead//what are my priorities?

Knowing the importance of rest

Knowing the importance of my unique capacity //am I pushing myself too much?

  • Forging Healthy Relationships with Male counterparts and Female counterparts


            Seeing myself as a team player// “I have something to contribute to the team.”

                        Build bridges to the spouses of married team members //

                        Pick the battles you will fight!

                        Be wise with boundaries

                        Have a healthy sense of HUMOR!!


                        Avoid competition and comparison                        

Cultivate Friendship with female counterparts

Keep confidences—don’t gossip, don’t listen to gossip

Celebrate the successes of other women and grieve with the losses

  • Handing our story to other women

                        Invest!! Invest in a girl and she will do the rest



Hand over the keys—leadership


A roar that is competitive is different than a roar that is secure in who God has called us to be.


Be a woman of exceptional, extravagant, and selfless love! 

Check SWERVE today

Click here to access’s blog SWERVE. I’m guest blogging today. 

Day 1 Highlights

Precon 1–Volunteer Dilemma–people will follow a passionate leader! Relentless Passion –I’d do this with or without you, so you might as well join in!

Precon2—reThink Social Media—@Human3rror is the genius on web design and social media. I felt cool getting to sit next to him at lunch. He’s got quite a story and a really good heart. Question: how can you start using your blog in ways it was never intended?

Precon3—Refining your systems…. This was a hard talk to follow since it was getting late in the afternoon.

Bloggers Lounge—Got to chat it up with @coffeewithchris (YP) and @kevinconley (kdimin) two really cool ministry guys.

Session #1—worship with FeeBand and speaker Reggie Joiner (he started reThink and the Orange conference)—God doesn’t care about the picture (speaking about the picture perfect family) he cares about taking the family full of imperfections and leveraging it as a platform to show his restorative and redemptive power.  Are our unrealistic expectations actually limiting what God wants to do in our lives? In the lives of the families in our ministries?

A full day. Another one tomorrow.

#orange09 attendees: what are some of your highlights?

All others: Do you think our expectations limit how we allow God to work in our lives? 

Compound Influence

I was never good at math. Writing was always my better subject. But recently I’ve been thinking about compound interest.

The equation for compound interest is: P = C(1+ r/n)ntWhere:    P = future value    C = initial deposit    r = interest rate (expressed as a fraction: eg. 0.06 for 6%)    n = # of times per year interest is compounded    t = number of years invested

Get it, right? Ok, so maybe that is a little hard to understand. (Except for you really smart weirdos…)

Here is a better definition:

Compound interest is interest earned not only on an original investment, but on its accrued earnings as well.

So I started to think about ministry and leadership, and saw that not only can you compound INTEREST, but you can also compound INFLUENCE. This started happening in our ministry. 

  • First we started with a small group of high-impact volunteers (5 to 6) (High-impact volunteers are those people in your ministry who have the ministry instincts that others just don’t. They usually have great people skills and lead out of a natural ability.)

  • Second we started meeting with these leaders once a week, or twice a month to develop, cast vision, and give away leadership responsibilities.
  • As they started to lead we saw our influence compound.

Instead of directly leading 60 to 75 adult volunteers, we only lead 5 to 6. Which in turn lead teams of 10 to 12.

Want to get more volunteers for your ministry? Learn how to compound your influence.

How does this apply to you? Even if you don’t serve in ministry, we all have influence. How can you compound your influence in your individual spheres? 

How to Network and Win!

Conferences are great places to network and meet people in your area of ministry or expertise. Even if you’re not at a conference, networking is a tool for anyone who wants to compound his or her influence (More on this later.)

Here are some great “best practices” on how to network that have really worked for me!

  • Look people in the EYE
  • Give them a FIRM handshake
  • Say your name CLEARLY!! First and last. (At the same time you do the top two)
  • Ask questions about them! People WANT to talk about themselves. As humans we are hardwired to be SELF-THINKING. Play into people’s desire to be heard. Shut up and listen! If you’re other people’s biggest fan, they will want to be around you!
  • Remember names, faces or facts. (If you’re not good at remembering names, at least try to remember their face or facts about the conversation you last had.) BTW you can really only do this if you were really LISTENING!
  • Talk to anyone and everyone. You never know what people have to offer. 

How do you rate yourself in any of these areas? 

Some Thoughts on my Mind

#orange09–I can’t seem to figure out how to upload videos to my blog. Wishing I had switched my blog to iweb before the conference… 

Wedding stuff—We set the date for July 31st which is only three very SHORT months away… we have a lot to do until then…

SWITCH—A little worried about being gone this week. Just praying all goes well. I’m also constantly thinking how well the new 1-3-1 model is working… 400 students in small groups of 9 is HARD!

Cody Light—He’s half a country away on his own little business trip in CA. Won’t see him again until Saturday.

Running/Sore—I feel like a 97-year-old lady walking around. I’m extremely sore from yesterday’s marathon…

BLOG—Excited to get to write a LOT this week. Stay tuned for all the good stuff from #orange09.

What’s on your mind?

Going to the Chapel, and I’m…

Gonna get mar-ar-aried!!

That’s right! I’m engaged to Cody Light! He asked me after we crossed the finish line at the Oklahoma City Marathon!

Check out the awesome pictures below!


Cody wrote my number on his shirt, so I would see it when he crossed the finish line.


He had the ring safety-pinned inside his ipod holder…  


Then he got down on one knee… 


And I said “YES!!” 


He was REALLY glad!  


The ring is BEAUTIFUL!!

We will be married around the end of July… three short months. I can’t wait!  

Orange ’09

I leave for the Orange conference on Tuesday. I’m excited to meet with some other blogging friends and hook up with other youth pastors and ministry leaders.

While at the conference I will be updating everyone on all the good stuff. Please follow my daily updates here at as well as on Twitter @Anna_Meadows

Here are the breakout sessions I’ve signed up for: Any one else joining me at the conference?

The Volunteer Dilemma

reThinking Social Media

I am Woman. How Do I Roar?

How to Stop What’s Working…to Do What Works Better

Fine Tuning Your Systems

INFLUENCE: Is There Anything Bigger Than The Church? Mobilizing the Next Generation


Today is Wednesday. The day that, for the past eight years, has been dedicated to my student ministry—whether I was a student, a leader or a youth pastor. Over the course of those years our culture has continued to warp and change as sixth graders, all too soon become 12th graders.

Right now as I look into our youth group (SWITCH) these three issues seem to be the most common.

  • Little to no belief in an absolute truth
  • No thought to the consequences of their actions
  • Distant or non-existent parental covering

The last one is a whole notha post for a whole notha day!

So, here’s what I need: If you are a youth pastor, a volunteer leader, or a parent of a teenager, take a moment and think of the three top challenges your group or individual struggles with today, and leave them in the comments.

3-2-1 go! 

Eye Contact

images-5.jpegDo you have it? It’s that characteristic that sets some apart from others. Once I heard my boss make a comment about someone he’d never met.

“That woman is successful.”

“How do you know,” I asked, since he had never met her.

“She had eye contact the whole time she interacted with us.”

Since that moment I have made it an intentional act to have eye contact with every person I interact with. Try it. It’s hard. It takes confidence but ultimately the equity it builds is worth it.  

Do you have good eye contact? 

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