The formal bio has its place… but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from my husband and best friend over the years, I need to relax and be less formal! So, what doesn’t a formal bio say?
For one, I’m not sure how I got to be 40 or how I’ve become the mother of 2 teenagers! I’m definitely in unchartered territory. Just as I became accustomed to having two children in elementary school, I turned around and realized I have a son and daughter with driver’s permits. We’re a family of opposites. Somehow we ended up with 2 mini me’s. My son, Mark, is a carbon copy of his dad and Annika is a better version of me! It’s amazing how opposites attract in dating and marriage and it’s interesting how that works itself out in your children when they’re opposites! We have many laughs over how literal Annika and I are when we’re in conversations with Chris and Mark… who are both big picture, figurative guys.
My biggest battle is likely the same as yours: balancing it all. At Highpoint Church, we talk about the 7000 days we have to raise our children from crib to college. Our kids occasionally calculate the number of days they have left and remind us of the countdown. At this point, I feel like I’m as much a taxi cab driver as a leader of women’s ministry, but I’m happy (most of the time) to have the drive to get a window into the ever-expanding world of my teens. When I’m not spending time with my husband, children, or women in my ministry, I’m usually doing one of two things: loving our dog, Amo, or looking for something I’ve lost. I’ve misplaced more keys and iphones than anyone I know.
My husband, Chris, and I have been given the gift of an absolutely amazing marriage. When we met, Chris thought he was going to be a professional golfer and I had my eyes on being a CEO. God must’ve laughed because He had such greater plans. As Chris entered the ministry and later began Highpoint Church, we always saw ministry as a partnership. There’s not a legacy of pastors or even ministry lay leaders in our families, so we made that decision without much understanding. We had no idea how that one choice would protect us and bless us as we spend our lives in ministry.
I’m far from having my act together. I have as many questions as answers… but early in my Christian journey, when I doubted I had anything to offer anyone, a wise man gave me some perspective. He said that my job is to just be faithful to pour into others what God has poured into me. I hope that through sharing my victories and failures, God will use this to pour into you.
Now, for those of you who like formal bio’s… read on!
The Back Story
The daughter of a naval pilot, Karin Conlee lived in Maryland, California, and Florida before moving to Memphis when she was fifteen years old. Graduating magna cum laude at Rhodes College with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, Karin Conlee originally aimed for a career in television and business. She soon learned God had a very different plan for her life. During Karin’s freshman year of college, she saw her need for a personal relationship with the Lord and quickly realized God had been preparing her all along for a very different path from corporate America. In 1994, she married Chris Conlee and together, they began a journey in ministry. Karin worked in academia as Associate Director of Admissions of Rhodes College for four years to support her husband through seminary, before becoming a full-time mother to Mark and Annika. The last fifteen years of her life have been spent serving as a hands-on partner in ministry with her husband in Bartlett, TN, Dayton, OH, and now Memphis. In the fall of 2001, Chris and Karin moved back to Memphis from Ohio to plant Highpoint Church – a place where they live out compassion without compromise.
After pioneering the women’s ministry at Highpoint almost a decade ago, Karin spends her time developing leaders. God has used her gift of communication and public speaking in a variety of settings.
As the leader of the Women’s Ministry at Highpoint, she leads ladies in a weekly morning and evening bible study, mentors young women, and co-authored a study on biblical womanhood, entitled Miss Perfect: Discovering God’s Purpose without the Pressure.
She has taught seminars on marriage and parenting, priority time, as well as leading studies for students at Rhodes College and Westminster Academy. Throughout the life of Highpoint, Karin has also co-taught many Sunday messages with her husband on the subject of marriage and parenting. They truly feel like God has given them the most amazing marriage and want to share their experiences with others.
Chris and Karin’s son, Mark, enjoys all sports and is currently involved in both basketball and football. Their daughter, Annika, loves reading and all things creative, and also plays lacrosse. Both Mark and Annika are actively involved in serving at Highpoint.