Home > Youth Ministry > YM Think Tank 2009 Rewind

YM Think Tank 2009 Rewind

As we gathered again in 2009 with our original group and even expanded it to include other leaders, it was good to see hugs instead of handshakes as the group had grown in relationship to each other over the year! Acquaintances had become friends.  This second gathering of individuals who share a common call led to some new insights and a strengthened focus, but the clear outcome of this year’s Think Tank was “let’s stop talking and get to work.”

The 2009 Think Tank explored “gaps” in youth ministry that need to be addressed and then looked for ways to address them.

  1. Gap between Youth Worker and Education/Training
  2. Gap in youth ministry support for Urban and Rural Youth Ministries
  3. Gap in ministry to late adolescents – Emerging Adulthood
  4. Gap in youth ministry national resources – National Association for Youth Ministry or Foundation

Our exploration of the gap between the youth worker and education and training pushed us to think creatively about how to reach those who attend episodic youth ministry events and those both professional and volunteer leaders who never receive any training.  We faced the reality that few youth workers are actually trained and we questioned whether the training the received was what they need.  We brainstormed ideas about how to use technology to fill this gap as well as how to create CYMTish ministries in collaboration with or through other institutions.

We believe that there is a lack of resourcing available for youth ministry in the country, but that even the limited resources available are a huge pool compared to the resources available to rural and urban churches.  The need for resources that meet the contextual nature of these communities is great.   We acknowledged that suburban middle class resources (vast majority) would only be somewhat helpful or effective in these contexts.  We believed the need to create opportunities for these communities to develop resources for each other was a key.  We concluded that an upper middle class group of folks who work in suburban churches were kidding themselves if we thought we had the answers, therefore we committed ourselves to creating opportunities and developing support for rural and urban resource development.

Fuller helped us further understand the gap in the church related to young adult ministry.  We explored ways that churches could develop ministries to fill this gap and talked extensively about the need to train youth workers with the knowledge to help youth transition to young adults and maintain an active faith.

We also spend some time looking at the national youth ministry scene and identified a need to funding and resources.  We clearly see a need for a Foundation or organization that brings together youth ministry leaders to do more together than they can apart.  We see a need for funding to help youth ministry leaders continue to develop the youth ministry vocation and to provide funding for the dreams of todays leaders.  We see a need for a group that can give youth ministry a voice to national, denominational, and local church leaders.

The most humbling moment of the 2009 Think Tank came when the academic leaders concurred that one of the best things that they could do is to help support organizations like CYMT (www.cymt.org) and YMI of Orlando (www.yminstitute.com) to fill the gap in training and reach the local churches!

About half way through the 2009 Think Tank, it was evident that we were ready to stop thinking about the need for these things and start doing something about them.  Below are our 2009 thinkers:

Institute for Youth Ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary – Dayle Rounds

Princeton Theolgical Seminary – Kenda Creasy Dean and the Timothy Scholars

Timothy Scholars (YM PH.D Students) – Drew Dyson, Jason Santos, Stephen Cady, Blair Bertrand, and Andrew Zirschky

Luther Theological Seminary – Andy Root and Terri Elton

Fuller Youth Institute – Kara Powell and Brad Griffin

Center for Youth Ministry Training – Dietrich “Deech” Kirk, Lesleigh Carmichael, and Will Penner

Youth Ministry Architects – Mark DeVries and Sara Bailey

Truett Theological Seminary – Amy Jacober

Duke Youth Academy & Duke Divinity School – Fred Edie and Katherine Smith

Seattle Pacific University – Jeff Keuss

Memphis Theological Seminary – Virginia Lee

Garrett Theological Seminary – Reggie Blount

Youth Ministry Institute – Steve Schneeburger

Youth Ministry Guru’s – Jay Cousino, Lars Rood, Virzola Law, and Mike King

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