Laura Willoughby — 2018 North GA UMC cohort

As a new Student Minister, the benefits of the North Georgia Cohort were unmeasurable. Mark, Sam and the other participants shared a wealth of knowledge through instruction, discussion, personal growth time and focused input. I was pushed out of my comfort zone in so many areas allowing me to grow vocationally and personally. The program has given me the ability to serve my God and my students with confidence.

Chris Mucha — 2018 North GA UMC cohort

Some advice from a veteran youth worker: if learning culturally relevant content, developing professional/personal discernment and support, and building relationships with peers that will last a lifetime sounds good to you… then you need to join a YMCP cohort.

Min Lee — 2018 North GA UMC cohort

Not only did YMCP help me to grow professionally, but it also served as a place where I was able to find healing and much needed guidance and encouragements.  When I started the cohort, I was deeply hurt, angry, and frustrated by some incidents that took place at church.  My yearlong journey with the group provided me with time and space where I was able to be vulnerable and be supported as I went through various challenges in ministry and personal life.  Now, I’m at a place where I’m serving and leading out of a healthier self!  I’m very grateful for the experience and I would like to highly recommend it to those who are looking for ways to be stretched and grow professionally and personally (yes, even for Asian Americans)!

C.J. Lord — 2018 North GA UMC cohort

As a young youth minister, I lacked confidence, and I felt like I had little sense of direction for my ministry and my personal vocation. The Youth Ministry Coaching Program provides me with community, support, and the skills training that I needed to thrive in youth ministry. Our youth ministry now operates from a values-based approach to lead students to Jesus. Not only is our youth ministry growing, but students are going deeper in their faith than ever before.

Jake Martin — 2018 North GA UMC cohort

The Youth Ministry Cohort was an invaluable experience. Ministry can be lonely and frustrating at times. The Cohort was a way for me to connect with other Youth Pastors in my area with varying degrees of ministry experience. You will connect with others who have a passion for youth, open up, learn new skills for effective ministry with an incredible teacher and mentor, and have fun while doing it! I would suggest participating in a cohort to anyone who wants coaching and desires a community of likeminded warriors and advocates for teenagers!

Brent Ritter — 2018 North GA UMC cohort

The Youth Ministry Coaching Program has been transformational. As a veteran youth minister, I found fresh information and concepts to encourage renewed innovation and creativity.  The content was multi-faceted and extremely relevant to the current cultural youth ministry context. At equal and potentially even greater value, I also added colleagues and deep friendships to my life. These relationships fostered an environment for me to find life-giving healing and restoration. I’m not sure I’d still be in ministry at the moment, let alone be looking forward to the future without it. YMCP has been a launching point for my next chapter and I wouldn’t trade this experience and the effect it has had on my life, family, and ministry for anything.

Lucas Pruett — 2018 North GA UMC cohort

My experience with The Youth Cartel coaching program (permission to alter title to reflect what should be there) was immensely beneficial for me, both professionally and personally. Professionally, it taught me vital methodologies and strategies that have allowed me to take a huge leap down my road of leadership over the past year. Personally, it prompted me to a MUCH-needed time of discovery and has played a major role in my continued journey to wholeness and sanctification. I fully recommend this program for anyone desiring to grow as a student minister, leader, and follower of Christ!

Kristen Glover — 2018 Houston Cohort

YMCP (Youth Ministry Coaching Program) is a year long continuing education opportunity for youth ministers to hone their own leadership skills and learn how to build a healthy contextual youth ministry. In trying to find words to describe this process, I struggle to measure the impact it has had on my personal and professional life. This program, or spiritual journey, as I would like to call it, has helped me to focus on the important things in life and ministry. I have learned new ways of how to seek out God’s wisdom, love and grace in the midst of this chaotic thing called life. More importantly, I have been taught how to help my youth find the same wisdom, love and grace in their lives. Last, but not least, I was gifted with a new found community of ministry peers whose insight and friendship have been invaluable over the course of this year. I would highly recommend any of my youth ministry friends looking for “what’s next” in their training to talk with Mark Oestreicher about YMCP.

– Kristen Glover

Paul Maletic — 2018 Houston Cohort

Over my 17 years of youth ministry, I have done all sort of conferences, retreats and trainings. I entered into the Youth Cartel’s yearlong cohort program (YMCP) a little unsure of what to expect and skeptical of what I might really learn, yet I felt a need to do some kind of continued youth ministry learning after surviving 10 years post seminary and ordination. However, the open space created for personal connection, professional reflection & growth as well as vocational peer group conversations was wonderfully overwhelming. The cohort’s questions, support and process has sharpened my call and given me new traction in my ministry. The Youth Cartel brings together a great intersection of ministry & business development with a Spirit-led vulnerability of personal investment & discernment. I recommend anyone who cares about youth get to know The Youth Cartel’s written curriculum and training resources. I wholeheartedly recommend anyone needing to re-discern or re-image their ministry to give one of the cohorts a try – it is amazing what God can do over the course of a year with the right voices, thoughts & questions at your side!

– Paul Maletic

Lisa Gill — 2018 Houston Cohort

I don’t even know how to put into words how much these people have meant to me this year. I went into The Youth Cartel’s coaching program (YMCP) with Mark Oestreicher expecting to learn and grow in my role as a youth minister, and there is no doubt that has happened. What I didn’t expect was that I would come out the other side a new and better version of myself. I have seen the face of God and heard his voice through this incredible group of friends in ways that I could have never imagined was possible, and I have been so blessed by their witness. We have laughed and cried together, celebrated 2 new beautiful babies, a marriage, and a new job together in the span of just a year. This is what Christian community looks like—loving one another, carrying one another, and being champions for each other. We are forever friends and I am eternally grateful for that truth. This is just the beginning.

– Lisa Gill