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 excited to announce a brand new way to participate in the Youth Ministry Coaching Program. We have a brand new online opportunity.
In these challenging and strange times we’re living through, we wanted to maximize YMCP for an online experience – YMCP Online. We believe a healthy, vibrant youth ministry needs a healthy, vibrant leader; so YMCP is less ‘skill training’, and more of a leadership development program. And excellent leadership is what our ministries need right now.
The Youth Ministry Coaching Program (YMCP) is the oldest, most robust coaching program in youth ministry. With 600 graduates and participants, in 58 cohorts over the last ten years, we know how to nurture and deliver growth and transformative work in the lives of youth workers.
With YMCP Online, we created a lightweight, accessible, and affordable version of our trusted coaching program to meet the need. The six-month program includes a monthly 2-hour online lecture, a monthly 4-hour cohort/lab session, and 5 one-on-one 30-minute coaching session with your lead coach.
If you’ve already have been a part of the program, we’d love for you to share this new opportunity with your fellow youth workers who are leading ministries.
If you would like to learn more, visit our info page to learn about pricing and how to: YMCP Online.
I’m skipping the intro here and getting straight to the point: you are not superman, or superwoman, or supergirl.
Have you ever noticed how many superheroes are doing it all alone? They’ve got superpowers, so they don’t need anything or anybody else. Also, they’re virtually indestructible, so they can keep going and going and going.
Stress is an inescapable part of youth ministry, of life really. But when that stress takes over your life, when that stress forces you into a constant survival mode,when you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel anymore, it’s not okay anymore.
No matter if you’re a full time youth pastor or combining a paid job with a role as volunteer in youth ministry, it can get overwhelming to try and do it all. You want to spend time with God. You want to spend time with your family. You want to spend time with students. You want to get stuff done. And somewhere, sometimes, you’d also like to breathe and have some down time. But how?
If you feel at times like you’re drowning, you’re not alone. Many youth workers struggle with stress and being overworked, and I used to be one of them. I was in full-on survival mode for years, until I had a scary wake-up call that made me realize how much I was sacrificing: my health, my relationships and friendships, even my relationship with God. After that, things changed and with some effort, I created a more healthy life rhythm. And I want that for you as well.
I’ve been in youth ministry since 1999. For the first 10 years or so, youth ministry equaled massive amounts of stress for me. Oh, don’t get me wrong: I loved working with teens. Youth ministry was and is my passion. But it was tough to combine a full time job with being a youth leader. And even when I became a paid youth pastor, the stress was always there.
One huge stress factor for me (being the perfectionist over-achiever that I am) was my to do list. Or maybe I should say: my do do lists. The endless list of actions I felt I had to do for my job, my personal life, and my youth ministry was so overwhelming, I felt I was drowning in to do’s half the time. Whatever I managed to get done at the top, was immediately replaced with new items at the bottom. It was so discouraging. Continue reading Free e-Book: The 7 Keys to an Effective To Do List
Worrying always overwhelms you just when you don’t need it. You want to go to sleep, but worrying keeps you awake. You need to prepare your youth sermon, but worrying keeps distracting you. You want to really ‘be’ in the conversation and listen, but worrying keeps drawing your thoughts elsewhere.
Worries about your youth ministry.
Worries about your financial situation.
Worries about your marriage, your family, your friends.
Worries about students, your small group members.
Worries about the future.
While we all have our worry moments every now and then, there can be times in your life when your worries really seem to take over. If you feel your life is being dominated by worries, here’s what to do. Continue reading Overcome Your Worries
If you’ve never had a hyper-feedback parent involved in your youth ministry, you’re missing out. I mean that in both a sincere and sarcastic way. Sarcastically, these parents are a thorn in the flesh, the cause of ulcers, and deepen your prayer life in all the wrong ways. Sincerely, hyper-feedback parents can sharpen the ministry, push you to grow, and provide numerous opportunities to practice humility, courage and love. Continue reading Responding to the Hyper-Feedback Parent
I spoke at Open Boston last week and met some wonderful youth leaders. One young woman asked me for advice. She is new to youth ministry and had a deep sense of “I don’t know what I’m doing”. Well, that certainly sounds familiar because that’s exactly how I felt when I became a youth ministry volunteer for the first time! Seriously, I felt overwhelmed and I was making stuff up as I went along.
At that time, there wasn’t much available in The Netherlands (where I lived back then) in youth ministry resources and training. And that may be the case for you as well, as I have many readers outside of the US (which I love by the way—it’s such an honor to serve churches in South Africa, Nigeria, Brazil, The Philippines, India, Australia, the UK, you name it). You may not have access to training, a formal education, or even resources. Continue reading 6 Books to Read if You’re New to Youth Ministry
Anyone who has ever managed to actually pay attention during the safety instructions on an airplane, knows this line:
“When traveling with children, put your own oxygen mask on first before assisting others.”
As much as I don’t want to think about an airplane losing cabin pressure, causing passengers to need an oxygen mask, I have pondered the reality of that admonition. You cannot help your children—or anyone else for that matter—when you don’t have oxygen yourself. They need you to take care of yourself first, so you can take care of them afterwards. They need you to put your own oxygen mask on first. Continue reading Put Your Own Oxygen Mask on First
Judging by the ‘back to school’ posts on my social media timelines, school has started everywhere again. That means most youth ministries will be up and running again as well after the summer break.
Now, whether you are a slightly OCD type-A planner who has got every detail down for the whole season, or more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type: I am certain you have some kind of schedule for your ministry—and thus for yourself. You know the programs and activities you’ve got scheduled, right?