I've come up with plan to invest 6 months of my time into personally investing into youth workers who have been in the field 5 years or less. Behind the scenes of this blog I have been talking with veteran youth workers who want to be a part of that experience too. They will be pouring into the participants as well. I'm also excited to have corporate sponsors, like my friends at Simply Youth Ministry, on board to help deliver some great resources and offer encouragement to those wanting to learn.
I was chatting with a pastor friend the other day about some of the things that seminary doesn't really prepare you for in ministry. I talk with youth workers each week who are fresh out of academia and struggle with some of the things they deal with while working for churches. Part of my role as a coach and cheerleader during the 6-month stint will be helping youth workers process through the demands of ministry and help deliver some care and insight to areas where they might need it most.
Jeremy Zach is a well-known YM blogger and works for the ReThink Group. He interviewed me recently on his blog:
Why did you go into youth ministry?
Ultimately, I went into youth ministry because I felt God’s call to it. I was very involved in my youth group (as a teen) and my youth pastor gave me leadership opportunities. I felt God’s call to full-time service during my time there.
Russell St. Bernard is a youth worker and thought-leader in Maryland. He is not only a blogger but does some youth worker training. I was honored recently when he wanted to interview me and share about the coaching network.
What is one of the most memorable moments you have had in youth ministry? I could talk about many different memories but nothing can trump the changed lives. One that I think about a lot is being called to the scene where a teen attempted suicide. Fortunately he wasn’t successful at taking his own life. I ended up mentoring this teen and months later hearing him talk about how I helped change his life left a lasting impression on my mind and heart for eternity.
Read the full interview [here]...
Michael Bayne and I have been friends for a long time. Back in the glory days Mike & I were doing youth ministry in the same city and he was a part of a youth pastor network I led. I have always felt Mike was such a great thought-leader. He's doing amazing things in TN now... but we keep in touch and he's excited to be an encouragement to participants of the coaching network. He recently shared about it on his blog, which you need to read.
Mark Cox is a blogger at ThinkNextNow.com. I've been so impressed with Mark in the short time I've known him. Not only does he really love youth ministry but I can tell through his blog and the conversations that he and I have had over the last couple years that he's constantly looking to grow as a thought-leader. So when I shared with Mark about my plan for a coaching network he was stoked. He also wrote about the opportunity on his blog. You can read that [here].