March is Women’s Appreciation Month and we are so excited and honored to have Brooklyn Lindsey on. She is a wife, mother, speaker, blogger, social justice reformer, youth pastor, kids minister, and so much more. Her website www.brooklynlindsey.com has great resources you can view. Her answers are in bold.
Where do you call your hometown? Newark, Ohio & Lakeland, Florida
I was born in Ohio but I’ve lived in Florida most of my life.
Is your hometown where you started writing?
I started writing in the 6th grade. Wilson Middle School in Newark Ohio.
My first published article as an adult was a small game idea in Group Magazine during my first youth ministry in Orlando Florida (2001).
How did you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?
My mom dropped my sister and I off at a church for youth group. We were invited to a youth camp and we jumped in a van that took us 15 hours to a camp in Kansas. A small group leader named Cherry led both my sister and I to Jesus. I was 15 years old. It was a very personal and liberating experience.
You have written and contributed to several devotionals and books. Do you usually get your ideas one at a time, or do they flood in and you try organize?
I get ideas all day every day. It’s hard to turn them off. I usually have a parking lot for the ones that I don’t have energy or time for, others I feel I need to respond to when they come to me. My first book was like that, the idea happened during dinner with a bunch of Youth Specialties friends in Sacramento. Once we talked about it, I knew I had to do it.
Was there a mentor in your life that helped cultivate the writing talent in you?
Anne Lammot wrote a book Bird by Bird, it’s my school. But, Roger Palms taught a class called the Ministry of Writing while my husband was in seminary. I audited the class and it’s helped me move ideas to publication, think like an editor, and also think about the reader’s needs.
Many say that writers, no matter the genre or subject matter, were readers first. Do you remember a book or two that motivated you to write?
Every Christopher Pike book that was ever written!
When you need inspiration, where do you go to find it?
Outside or to a place were people are working simultaneously like a coffee shop or a collaborative working environment.
You’ve started a blog for student ministers encouraging them in the ministry. Why did you start doing that?
I figured I was already living it, writing it for my leaders, why not share it with others?
Where did the idea for reThink come from?
You’d have to ask Reggie about that! One thing I know about reThink group is that it’s a collaborative organization. You can trust the things coming for the team because they wrestle with ideas and find the best ones.
You call yourself one of the “Thought Leaders” of reThink. I have to ask, where did that title come from?
Reggie gives us a voice. Our thoughts matter. He calls us leaders, and values our thought contributions.
Aside from student ministry, defeating poverty is another part of the work you do. Tell us a little bit about your ministry in fighting for justice for the poor.
I wanted to start something that could resource students when God turns up their desires to do justice and live compassionately. There isn’t a whole lot out there that connects teenagers with the church who exists to do these very things. The Justice Movement overs education, events, resources to hold hands with teenagers in building bridges and breaking cycles of poverty and oppression. We started with water and are already doing work in Sri Lanka thanks to the efforts of students all over the world.
Yes, I’m currently working a few book projects. They’re all very personal and different than the projects I’ve done before. I’m excited about the year ahead!
You are a wife, mom, ministry leader, youth pastor-at-large, a professional speaker, writer, blogger, among other things. Keeping up with these things must be difficult sometimes. Share some of your wisdom on dealing with each of these things when it is difficult.
Get a good therapist.
Ha! I kid, but I’m also serious.
We need helpers. We need clarity. We need people to lean on.
We need to learn to say no to some things so we can say yes to the best things.
It’s been a tough year of learning for me, but I’m so grateful for the things I have learned and the person I get to become.
Tell us a little bit about how God honed your leadership skills?
By giving me things that were bigger than me, then helping me find a way through them.
Sadly, many women ministry leaders come under fire. When you face harsh criticism, what is the best way to deal with it?
I try to be honest about it.
I try not to take everything everyone says at face value.
I try to ask the humanizing question. Why would a human being say something for do something like that? What could make them respond that way?
I try to be the person that I would like them to be to me.
But sometimes, I have to call a safe friend and let my thoughts be known. We laugh, we cry, we yell, we get a coffee and move on.
Is there a particular woman whose life inspires you?
There are so many.
But one that is most accessible to me is my sister Betsy. She defies gravity. She’s authentic. She’s not someone who puts on a mask around people. She is real.
Do you have any advice for women who are seeking to get involved in ministry as a leader?
I would say, it’s tough work, it’s difficult sometimes, it’s a sacrifice, but that you aren’t alone in the work.
Don’t give up. Stay involved. Hibernating in fear doesn’t help anyone or yourself. Give yourself a chance to change the world, and, you will.
That concluded our interview. It was such an honor to have Brooklyn Lindsey interviewed. Be sure to visit her websites so you can get involved in what she is doing.
Up next, you’ll hear from Mary Ramirez, contributor to TheBlaze where she writes articles, contributes to The Chris Salcedo Show, and publishes her own blog. Be sure to subscribe on your way out!