- a child of God on a lifelong journey to follow Jesus
- the loving wife of a godly husband named Rogier, a supersmart geek who keeps challenging me. We’ll be celebrating our 20th anniversary in 2015!
- the proud mom of a kind, curious, happy and supersmart 7 year old son named Elian
- Dutch. I was born and raised in The Netherlands. From 2010 till 2013 we lived in the south of Germany and ever since, the Albany area of New York is our home
- a youth ministry veteran. I’ve been involved in youth ministry in one way or another since 1999 and I still love it.
- an author with several published (non-fiction) books, both traditionally published and through various ebook publishers. I’ve also magazine articles, youth ministry resources, and more. Check out my portfolio here.
- a gifted speaker. Being Dutch, I’m always reluctant to list my accomplishments, talents, or gifts. It’s not something that sits well in our culture. But from all the feedback I’ve received over the years, it’s clear that God has blessed me with a gift for speaking/preaching and I’m passionate about this. I love communicating God’s Word to all audiences, but especially to students. And I love doing keynotes or talks at conferences, or teaching seminars and workshops. Topics include speaking/teaching, social media, communication in general and youth ministry management.
- a blogger. I blog for various blogs, including of course this one, but also for ChurchMag, Download Youth Ministry, and others.
- an aspiring fiction writer. I started writing stories and books when I was not even a teen and I haven’t stopped since. My dream is to get published in young adult fiction.
- a reader. I don’t merely love books, I devour them. Stories captivate me and if a book has a great story, I cannot put it down. Follow me on Goodreads to find out how much and what I read (hint: it might shock you!)
- About this blog
Anyway, that’s enough about me. Let me tell something about Youth Leaders Academy. Youth Leaders Academy is a blog aimed at training youth leaders worldwide from all denominations and walks of life to serve better in youth ministry, whether as volunteer or on staff. I post a few times a week on practical topics relevant to youth leaders, ranging from leadership, to small groups and practical aspects like organizing a service of retreat (with the occasional book or resources review thrown in).
Where to start
If you’re new to Youth Leaders Academy, I’m so happy you found it! Can I give you a tip? Start with subscribing to all our posts by Email.
There’s tons of information here for you. You can search using key words in the search form (top of the right sidebar), browse through the different categories (see main menu), start with the Blog series or go to the Top posts. A series dear to my heart is the series on Preaching for Youth and if you’re looking for practical ideas for sermon topics, you’ll like our Youth Sermon Topics page. Go check these out!
The photo of the sheep in my header was taken in my home country Holland on one of our famous ‘dykes’ by Dutch photographer Miro Schaap and he holds all copyrights.
I accept guest posts for Youth Leaders Academy. Be sure to have a look around the site to see what kind of posts I usually post. Some general guidelines: 500-1000 words, ‘how-to’ type of posts preferred, topic has to be related to youth ministry, no games/ideas types of posts. Feel free to contact me if you’re interested!
I’d love to connect with you on social media (see social media icons on the top of the page). You can email me at rachel (at) youthleadersacademy.com