Youth Ministry Institute

 Welcome to Youth  Ministry Institute!

If you've ever had a chance to sit in a smaller circle of folks and intimately learn the ins and outs of youth ministry, share emerging ideas, and look at your theology of youth ministry with people who do what you do, then you know the feeling of a peer community and the security of relating with other youth ministers. If you haven't had this opportunity, then it is now knocking on your door. 

 

 

The Youth Ministry Institute (YMI) in the North Georgia Conference (UMC) is an informational, practical, and relational training for people who serve in youth ministry. Whether paid staff or volunteer, a ministry presence of Christ in the lives of teenagers is important and deserves to be treated as such.

Because adult leaders with youth are at various stages in their ministry and education, YMI offers three “tracks” that are designed to help the youth leader thrive in ministry with youth and the congregation.

Churches and senior pastors: a great way to show support to your youth minister and youth ministry is to make sure his or her registration fee is covered.
 

Youth ministers: a great way to give support to your youth ministry team is to register, bringing all these great opportunities to your volunteer team.

Track 1

Track 1 of YMI begins in August of each year (25th and 26th, 2016) with an overnight retreat for everyone registered for YMI in all tracks (an option is available to arrive early on Wednesday, the 24th for an extra $35). This track is generally for beginning youth workers, as it focuses on the basics in ministry with youth. Here’s what you get with Track 1:

  • Connection with a YMI coach who will meet with the youth leader monthly, helping to assess the needs of the ministry and how YMI and the conference might provide support for those needs
  • Nine sessions – Five on the August retreat and four throughout the year (October, December, February, and April) – for learning, connecting, and growth in the following areas:
    • Relating to Practical Policies, Procedures, and Local Church Structure
    • In Light of Historical Doctrines
    • Models and Theology of Youth Ministry
    • Insights into the Adolescent World
    • Bringing the Bible to Life
    • Caretaking of the Soul
    • Know Thyself
    • Experiential Teaching
    • The Basics of Leading and Planning a Year in Youth Ministry
  • A designed in-house training/planning session for you and your ministry team at your local church
  • Assignments between each session which will include books to discuss at the next gathering or with coaches
  • A “goodie box” of youth ministry resources and books that will help you in your ministry and coursework
  • A meeting between a coach, our senior pastor, and you to discuss and clarify the youth ministry design and direction for your congregation
  • Participants will be provided a private social networking site for updates, prayer, questions, and dialogue. This will also be a place for active participation in helping each other with practical issues in youth ministry, and your coach will be involved regularly in giving input and feedback.

Cost for Track 1 is $650 which includes the cost of the retreat and all sessions (meals included).


Track 2

Track 2 of YMI also begins in August of each year (25th and 26th, 2016) with an overnight retreat for everyone registered for YMI in all tracks (an option is available to arrive early on Wednesday, the 24th for an extra $35). This second track is generally for youth workers who recognize youth ministry as a long-haul career, offering training in areas that help promote sustainable youth ministry. Here’s what it looks like:

  • Attendance at the National Youthworkers’ Convention (November 17-20 in Cincinnati, OH – paid in full)
  • Connection with a YMI coach who will meet with the youth leader monthly, helping to assess the needs of the ministry and how YMI and the conference might provide support for those needs
  • Nine sessions – Five on the August retreat and four throughout the year (October, December, February, and April) – for learning, connecting, and growth in the following areas:
    • Experiential Worship
    • Insights into the Adolescent World
    • Exploring Confirmation
    • Helping Youth Discern their Call to Ministry
    • Partnering with Parents of Youth
    • Sunday School for Youth
    • Youth Ministry in Small Membership Churches
    • Integrating Teenagers into the Life of Your Church
    • Markers for Measuring Success in Youth Ministry
  • A “goodie box” of youth ministry resources and books that will help you in your ministry and coursework
  • Participants will be provided a private social networking site for updates, prayer, questions, and dialogue. This will also be a place for active participation in helping each other with practical issues in youth ministry, and your coach will be involved regularly in giving input and feedback.

Cost for Track 2 is $800, which includes the retreat in August and the registration, transportation, and housing cost for the National Youthworkers’ Convention in November (meals not included at the convention).


Track 3

The third track to YMI is the Youth Ministry Coaching Program – a whole-life coaching focusing on transformation and youth ministry development. This is a cohort led by The Youth Cartel’s Mark Oestreicher exclusively through the North Georgia Conference. YMCP begins as soon as we have a cohort of 10 registered. Each cohort meets six times in the year – every other month for two full days at Glisson Camping and Retreat Center.

Critical thinking and theological reflection are extremely important for youth workers who don’t merely want to perpetuate the way things have been done in the past. However, thinking and reflection are merely one portion (though a significant one) of what will help youth workers stay true to their calling and also grow in maturity and effectiveness. Emotional, relational, and spiritual health are essential to long-term impact. This third track of YMI (YMCP) is designed to provide both an opportunity for critical reflection and discussion of youth ministry issues, but also to provide a safe place to experience holistic growth.

In most ways, the YMCP will surpass the training that can be offered by seminars and conventions. It will even surpass the experience of formal education. This is specifically due to the structure of the program (a small cohort with accountability, safety and shared shaping of the content), as well as the

content of the program (thoughtful youth ministry dialogue, real life application, customized personal development, emotional honesty, and spiritual direction).

Since its launch in 2010, YMCP has seen over 200 youth workers graduate from the program, and the results of have been astounding. Regardless of their age (from 24-60 years old) or experience in youth ministry (from one year to three decades), the ramifications of YMCP have resulted in profound personal and Kingdom impact.

After completing Youth Ministry Coaching Program, participants will have had the following experiences and opportunities:

  • Participants will grow in understanding their strengths and weaknesses, how such strengths and weaknesses impact their leadership, ministry, and personal life, and how to lead in their strengths and manage their weaknesses in healthy ways.
  • Participants will experience new spiritual growth and insight as they safely process their own journey and the integration of their personal lives with their professional lives.
  • Cohort members will receive training on a wide variety of youth ministry issues, with an opportunity for dialogue and contextual application.
  • Cohorts are customizable based on participants’ input and unique needs.
  • Participants will develop life-long youth ministry peer relationships of trust and accountability.
  • Participants will read books in preparation for every gathering, discuss them, and determine action steps for their lives and ministries.
  • Each member will have opportunities to share ministry questions and needs to the group in areas of their own choosing, with feedback and recommendations from the group.
  • Participants will work through a series of self-selected homework assignments, with input from the group, and report back on their progress.
  • Participants will have one personal coaching session per month with the cohort coach (some in person and some via phone).
  • Some cohorts include spiritual direction sessions at every cohort gathering with a trained spiritual director.
  • Participants will be provided a private social networking site for updates, prayer, questions, and dialogue. This will also be a place for active participation in helping each other with practical issues in youth ministry, and your coach will be involved regularly in giving input and feedback.

Each YMCP face-to-face meeting will be two days.

  • DAY 1: begins at 8am and continues through dinner.
  • DAY 2: begins at 8am and ends by 3:30pm. Each participant will be scheduled for a 30-minute coaching session with their coach at each of the group meetings, and will schedule a phone coaching session appointment to occur in between the group meetings.

                        Sample YMCP 2-Day Meeting Schedule

Day 1

8:00 – 9:15 am Highs & Lows, Report on Homework

9:30 – 11:00 am Teaching and interaction on a youth ministry subject

11:15 am – 12:00 pm Personal Sharing

12:00 – 2:30 pm

• Lunch break

• Personal coaching sessions with coach

• Spiritual direction appointments

2:30 – 3:15 pm Focused Input: cohort participant

3:25 – 4:10 pm Focused Input: cohort participant

4:25 – 5:00 pm Quick Input Blocks

5:30 – 6:00 pm Break

6:00 – 7:30 pm Dinner together

 

Day 2

8:00 – 9:00 am Reflection and Prayer

9:15 – 11:00 am Teaching and interaction on a leadership subject

11:30 am – 12:00 pm Book Discussion

12:00 – 2:30 pm

• Lunch break

• Personal coaching sessions with coach

• Spiritual direction appointments

2:30 – 3:15 pm Focused Input: cohort participant

3:30 – 3:45 pm Homework Assignments

 

Cost for Track 3 (YMCP) is $3000 which includes meals and lodging on each of the two-day meetings at Glisson.


Meeting Days of the Three Tracks

Accepted participants will have an opportunity to speak into the actual meeting dates, but once set, the dates will not be flexible.

A kickoff retreat is scheduled for August 25th & 26th (a Thursday and Friday) to which everyone is expected. Cost for the retreat is included in the tuition for YMI for participants from the North Georgia Conference. 


Grant Opportunities

It is expected that churches will provide the funding through continuing ed or special reimbursement for YMI and not expect the youth minister to pay for YMI from his or her own personal funds. However, not all congregations can afford such an expenditure, and we do want a diversity of churches represented in each cohort. 

If the church is unable to provide the necessary funds for YMI there is a grant available that will help. The YMI Grant is for any of the three tracks and is a matching grant. Go to https://northga-reg.brtapp.com/YMIGrantRequest for the grant application.

 

Application Process

Choose which track is right for you and submit an application: