Like a delicious batch of cookies

Did you miss it? You must have because if you were a part of our latest Leverage event, you would be buzzing about all that happened.  In case you were busy, let me recap for you what we did.


If you have ever desired to soak in the brilliance of a panel of women, the Leverage Panel was the place to do exactly that.  At the beginning of our event, we had the pleasure of hearing from three incredible women who have used their influence in very different circles of leadership:  Vicki Yates, Elaine Tan Comeau, and Deanna Hyrhor.  Each woman shared gems of wisdom as our emcee for the evening, Kim Savage, lead them through well thought out questions, with an open discussion opportunity. It took all I could not to jump up to keep asking questions as the discussion rolled on! This incredible panel of women inspired us to not only lead with more intention, care, and humility, but showed us how God uses women who are willing to be used.  The panel provided us with many “must reads”, which we all anxiously ran to pick up!

Breakout Sessions

Imagine baking three batches of delicious cookies, and putting them all into the perfect cookie jar.  All different, yet, all delicious – however, you can only pick one, so that it does not exceed the caloric intake for the day.  If the metaphor is lost on you (because you are not allowed to eat cookies), my Whole 30 friend, it’s like the colorful bunch of carrots in the organic section of the farm market – all different, yet, you know this bunch won’t taste the same like the carrots in bin labeled “Carrots”.  That is what we got when we split off into our breakout sessions lead by our core Leverage leaders.

Krista Penner (Equip Me)

Krista is a master communicator – nothing seems to phase her, however, God clearly used some interesting and somewhat embarrassing moments to mold Krista into the unshakable speaker she is today.  Authentic and humorous in her delivery, Krista’s opener was “Sometimes public speaking will make you want to poke your eye out” – which brought forward laughter and got the attention needed!  Krista thoughtfully navigated through how best to prepare a talk by creating a manuscript, and how to present well when delivering the message.  Peppered within the nuggets of wisdom were stories of epic fails – like tripping enroute to the stage.  Most importantly, Krista emphasized the need for God to use us, and saying “yes” while being prepared.

Helen Burns (Inspire Me)

It is hard to meet Helen and not like her instantly.  Women in this breakout session seemed more like girlfriends talking over coffee, than listeners to a speaker.  Helen engaged the women right away by sharing about the importance of studying our hearts.  As a pastor’s wife, she spoke to the need for relationships with other women, especially those who could resonate with the challenges that come with leadership.  Helen reminded the women that leadership is a lonely road, therefore we need to ensure we are surrounding ourselves with a healthy network of other women in leadership, and supporting those who are fighting alongside us.  Helen encouraged the women to know the condition of their hearts and to stay true and not waiver in the constant culture shift.

Anne Miranda (Connect Me)

Anne’s breakout session at first glance seemed like organized chaos – women were talking with other women, sitting face to face in their chairs and engaging with one another, while Anne watched, grinning, and taking in the “buzz” of the room.  The lovely chaos was all part of Anne’s strategy and key point– we need to connect with one another, face to face, day to day, and authentically do life together.  Prior to challenging women to connect with someone they may not know, Anne shared about the need for vulnerability when connecting with others.  She shared with the women how to craft a question which will draw out a story and how to pull women in, push them to God, and connect them to one another.  After sharing some connection tips and tricks, Anne let the women connect in a practical way – face to face, getting to know someone new, on a deeper level.



The invited Keynote speaker for the evening was Whitney Damewood, who was a refreshing cherry on top of the cake for the night (there really is no analogy I can give to those of you who don’t do dessert.  It would not do any justice.  Just go eat some cake at this point).

As if talking to a room full of friends, Whitney shared the need to be a true Christian amidst todays constantly shifting culture.  She touched on the necessity to use todays culture as a launching pad for bringing others to Jesus.  She challenged all listening on the need to go out and make disciples in the culture, rather than sit in our church bubbles, waiting for the disciples to come in.  Whitney spoke with authority and resonated with women in the room young and seasoned (see what I did there).  Every woman walked out of the session with something to think about, and we could only imagine the creative discussions happening on the car rides (or walks) home.

Here are some great truths Whitney shared with the group:

“Being a Christian means living a distinctly different life out IN the world without imitating it.”

“(When speaking to Gentiles) People listened to Paul because he knew what they knew and more.”

“Women have a hard time confronting the culture that they actually idolize.  Instead of worrying about the conditions of women’s hearts, we idolize their Instagram accounts”.

At the end of the evening, the encouragement to all attending was clear: If we choose to place Jesus at the highest point in our lives, we identify as being daughters of God, and we have the call of the Holy Spirit, we will be forces to be reckoned with.


Our Leverage events are designed to speak to every woman leading women.  We exist to help women in leadership be equipped, inspired and connected.  We encourage you to approach each other with true authenticity, all the while bringing glory to God, whether you are leading women in churches, or in the marketplace.  If you need to be refreshed as a leader, please join us at our next event.  We would love to do that for you!



By Anna Koehn

Anna loves the current state of daily chaos in her life – being a working wife and stay at home mom to four (most days awesome) kids.  When not wiping noses, bums, or answering emails, Anna loves serving at Maple Ridge Baptist Church with women and children. Walking along side moms and young women, and drawing them intentionally to a thriving relationship with Christ in the confusing, complicated and busy times of their lives is Anna’s passion. Nathan and Anna have been married for 12 years and live in Maple Ridge BC.  They are parents to four kids – Katelyn (7), Caleb (5), Cecilia (4) and Hannah (2) who all provide lots of material and stories to share.

Fellowship Pacific