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2022 Youth Worker Well-Being Report

Recent data collected by The Youth Cartel and Jeremiah Project suggests more than four out of ten youth workers are considering moving on, or have moved on in the past two years. This suggests that what Barna’s recent pastor poll showed is likely also true of youth workers: Youth workers are currently in crisis and at risk of burnout.

In November of 2021, Barna research published the results of a Pastor’s Well-Being Survey. Their summary paragraph reads:

Recent data collected from Barna’s pastor poll indicate that U.S. pastors are currently in crisis and at risk of burnout. Notably, in 2021 alone, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of pastors who are thinking about quitting ministry entirely.

Upon seeing these results, Todd Freneaux, Executive Director of Jeremiah Project, contacted Mark Oestreicher of The Youth Cartel with the idea of partnering on a similar study, but of full-time youth workers. Marko had a sense, from his interactions with youth workers, that the levels of burn-out and weariness would be mirrored or even greater among youth workers.

480 people completed the survey (we asked that they were either currently employed full time as a youth worker, or had been at some point in the prior two years). All responses were self-reported.

If you would like to read the complete report, CLICK HERE to request your copy.

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THE 2022 YOUTH PASTOR COMPENSATION REPORT

Now in year five, The National Youth Pastor Compensation Survey has had well over 5,000 respondents over its lifetime. The survey is brought to you by Chemistry Staffing, in association with The Youth Cartel and ChurchSalary.com.

This year, we had 775 respondents, with 680 of them self-classifying as full-time. For our purposes, full-time is defined as being regularly scheduled for 30 hours or more per week.

Click HERE to get your copy of the complete report.

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Youth Leader Well-Being Survey

We have had this sense that a way larger than normal quantity of paid youth workers are:

  • Losing their jobs
  • Deciding it’s time to step out of vocational ministry
  • Thinking about stepping out of vocational ministry

And with the new data that came out from Barna reporting a huge spike in all pastors considering a move out of vocational ministry, we thought it might be helpful to take the pulse of our tribe. Our friend Todd Freneaux of The Jeremiah Project actually suggested this survey, and we immediately felt it could be helpful.

If you’re a paid youth worker (or have been at any time in the last two years), we’re asking you to take three minutes (really, it will not take long) and click-through two links:

  1. First, click here to take the completely anonymous survey.
  2. Then, if you’d like, click here to separately give us your name and email address (separately, so no one can connect your survey responses with your name or email), and we’ll send you a free copy of the results in January.

The survey will close on December 15 (but don’t put it off!).

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NEW: 5 Views on the Future of Youth Ministry

5 Views of the Future Promo

We are excited about our newest release 5 Views on the Future of Youth Ministry: Perspectives on What Could or Should Be. It releases Aug 1st, so take advantage of the pre-release special price.

About the book:

Mark Oestreicher, General Editor. Contributors: Chris Curtis, Kenda Creasy Dean, Mark DeVries, Tommy Nixon, Virginia Ward

Is youth ministry thriving? Stagnant? Evolving? Dying? What does any of that mean for us as youth workers, or, more critically, for the young people we care about?

In this edition of our “multi-views” series, the chapters are authored by a group of youth ministry thought leaders. We asked them two key questions: What are the problems youth ministry currently faces? And what is the pathway forward? Each chapter represents a thoughtful, practical, and challenging viewpoint. At the end of each chapter, there is a sidebar from an in-the-trenches youth worker whose ministry is currently living out the future the chapter’s writer foresees.

We expect that the words of this book will cause you to rethink, to dream, and to question. There are no easy answers and one-size-fits-all solutions here. But we also believe that along with the challenges they bring to the forefront, these chapters will leave you with a sense of hope-filled possibility the future of youth ministry and the teenagers God calls us to love and care for.

  • 5 Views on the Future of Youth Ministry: Perspectives on What Could or Should Be
    5 Views on the Future of Youth Ministry: Perspectives on What Could or Should Be
    $14.99
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Learn Something New This Sumer

Summer can be a great time for some personal development. Maybe you want to learn more about the students you work with or some new skills you can put into practice this fall. These affordable courses or great for you or use them with your entire team. 

All Cartel Courses include videos and a discussion/application guide. 

  • Reframing Discipleship eCourse
    Reframing Discipleship eCourse
    $0.00
  • Understanding Teenage Brains
    Understanding Teenage Brains
    $14.99
  • Understanding Teenagers and Social Media
    Understanding Teenagers and Social Media
    $14.99
  • Communicating with Students, Parents, and Volunteers
    Communicating with Students, Parents, and Volunteers
    $9.99
  • Helping Teenagers in Crisis
    Helping Teenagers in Crisis
    $9.99
  • Crafting a Youth Ministry Resume
    Crafting a Youth Ministry Resume
    $4.99
  • Hiring 101
    Hiring 101
    $9.99
  • Quick Tips for Talking to Teenagers
    Quick Tips for Talking to Teenagers
    $4.99
  • Family and Ministry
    Family and Ministry
    $4.99
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5 Minutes with Marko Episode 9

5 Minutes with Marko Ep 9

LGBTQ Teens Need a Pastoral Response Over a Theological Response

“I’m not convinced there’s an actual increase in gay teenagers, or those wrestling with same-sex attraction or gender questions, in the average church. But there’s no question that youth workers all over the globe—whatever their church’s theology, or their own—are facing an exponential increase in questions from all fronts.”

To go deeper on ministry to LGBTQ teens, check out:

  • 4 Views on Pastoring LGBTQ Teenagers: Effective Ministry to Gay, Bi, Trans, Queer, and Questioning Students Among Us
    4 Views on Pastoring LGBTQ Teenagers: Effective Ministry to Gay, Bi, Trans, Queer, and Questioning Students Among Us
    $14.99
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Permission in this Season of Disruption

Marko shares how youth workers have unique permission to take risks during this season of disruption.

To learn more about youth ministry during this season, check out Youth Ministry in this Season of Disruption.

  • Youth Ministry in This Season of Disruption
    Youth Ministry in This Season of Disruption
    $14.99

What readers are saying:

“This collection of thoughts about youth ministry in the COVID era is insightful, encouraging, and thought-provoking. I am encouraged by the shared struggle and observations on how we are doing. 

This book has helped me sort through much of what I have been struggling through in this unique chapter of life and ministry. While there are no easy answers here, there are plenty of ways of framing the challenges we are facing in youth ministry in the church. 

The speed with which it was constructed and the way it gives hope for the future makes it DEFINITELY worth the read.” – Eric

“Incredibly encouraging and helpful as we attempt to move from iteration to innovation in these strange times. Grateful for other youth ministers who are doing good work.” – Holly

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Youth Ministry Coaching Program Stories

When I beta tested the Youth Ministry Coaching Program’s first cohort back in 2010, I had no idea how it was going to transform lives. I thought it going to be cool training. I thought it was going to help youth workers grow in the depth of their thinking. I thought people would be able to share honestly with each other and see real growth in their lives. But it’s far surpassed my expectations and over these last 10 years. 

YMCP has become the premier coaching program in the Youth Ministry world with 600 people going through this year-long process. I have seen crazy awesome, only God stuff – marriages saved, youth ministries reinvented, countless youth workers staying in ministry, and quite a few deciding it was time to get out. It’s much more than a training program, it’s a growth and transformation program.

I asked a couple of people to share their recent experience with the YMCP, and you can watch what they had to say:

We are currently filling cohorts for the spring of 2021, and you can see the opportunities here: https://theyouthcartel.com/faq-item/cohorts-currently-forming/.

We also have a new online opportunity that completely reimagines the program to work digitally. Learn more about that https://theyouthcartel.com/ymcp-online/.

I would love to see you consider joining us in one of those programs.

Marko

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Youth Ministry This Season of Disruption – Dr. Andrew Root Interview

Marko sat down with Dr Andrew Root, one of the contributors to the new book Youth Ministry in a Season of Disruption. They discuss how it impacts our “youth groups” and what it means for youth pastors. 

Youth Ministry in a Season of Disruption helps unpack the unprecedented time we are living in.

This book dives headfirst into that space with you, bringing the voices (and thinking) of 28 unique youth ministry practitioners–consider them as your own little band of partners.

Broken into five sections, Youth Ministry in This Season of Disruption begins with two critical reminders–a historical encouragement from Sean McDowell, and a theological encouragement from Andrew Root. Section three pauses, asking us all to consider five critical issues as we pivot and adapt.

Section four includes entries from seven in-the-trenches youth workers willing to share how they’ve misstepped in this season, and what they’ve learned from that (ideally, helping you sidestep those same mistakes). And, finally, the dozen chapters of section five include a host of innovative and experimental wins from youth workers just like you.

This book doesn’t have all the answers. But it’s a snapshot from the brilliant and resourceful tribe of youth workers that you’re a part of. Between the lines, we hope you’ll get a sense of God’s Spirit whispering: Don’t give up; you can do it!

Buy Youth Ministry in a Season of Disruption.