I have served as a staff youth minister in local churches for more than 30 years - 2/3 of those years as an ordained elder. I’ve served in three conferences in small and large churches where I’ve planned and led countless retreats, mission trips, and youth programs. I have been writing curriculum and books on youth ministry since my college days. Through all this I now appreciate the calling that each individual has in ministry with young people (not just a few volunteers pushed back in a youth wing of a church). In fact, even churches with no teenagers are called to be in ministry with children and youth. That can (and should) be done through the community to which they are called – not for the purpose of getting the young to come to gain a more complete experience of the Kingdom.
With this experience I have a good understanding of staff and congregational dynamics. I am used to working with parents (the most influential people in the faith decisions of our young) and am always looking for ways to integrate youth and young adults with others in the faith community. I focus on empowering leadership in the Conference through local congregations and especially look for ways to help such leadership take hold through teenagers and young adults in church communities.